Before or after you plan your travel to Japan, it’s worthwhile to check if there are any public holidays during your stay in Japan, not only because some museums, shops and other facilities are closed on public holidays but also because Japanese people will be traveling and be visiting popular places on those holidays as well.
Shinkansen, flights, and accommodations may be booked out very early for those holidays if you don’t plan ahead. The prices could go up unless you book early. The public holidays in 2018 in Japan are as below.
|Date||Days of the Week||Holiday|
|January 1st||Monday||New Year’s Day|
|January 8th||Monday||Coming of Age Day|
|February 11th||Sunday||National Foundation Day|
|February 12th||Monday||National Foundation Day (Substitute holiday)|
|March 21st||Wednesday||Spring Equinox|
|April 29th||Sunday||Showa Day|
|April 30th||Monday||Showa Day (Substitute holiday)|
|May 3rd||Thursday||Constitution Memorial Day|
|May 4th||Friday||Greenery Day|
|May 5th||Saturday||Children’s Day|
|July 16th||Monday||Marine Day|
|August 11th||Saturday||Mountain Day|
|September 17th||Monday||Respect for the Elderly Day|
|September 23rd||Sunday||Autumn Equinox|
|September 24th||Monday||Autumn Equinox (Substitute holiday)|
|October 8th||Monday||Sports Day|
|November 3rd||Saturday||Culture Day|
|November 23rd||Friday||Labor Thanksgiving Day|
|December 23rd||Sunday||Emperor’s Birthday|
|December 24th||Monday||Emperor’s Birthday (Substitute holiday)|
1. Year-End and New Year Holiday
Although December 31st, January 2nd, and January 3rd are not mentioned in the list above, they are also a part of Year-End and New Year Holiday.
2. What is “Substitute holiday” in Japan?
When a public holiday happens to be a Sunday in Japan, the next Monday will become a public holiday, which is “Substitute holiday”.
When do Japanese people travel?
It may be helpful to know the three periods that are the busiest travel seasons in Japan. Shinkansen, air flights, and accommodations are booked out early and the prices could go up if you don’t book early for those periods.
1. New Year
Most companies close business from December 30 until January 3.
2. Golden Week
Four public holidays; Showa Day, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day, and Children’s Day are placed within 7 days. Some people use paid leave to combine those holidays and weekend and make it a long holiday week.
3. Obon Week
Obon is a Japanese Buddhist event to honor ancestors and is observed from August 13 until 15 or 16 (in some regions July 13-15 or 16). Many Japanese people go back to their family places during this period. Some companies close down for the Obon week.
Avoid busy time and enjoy Japan!
We recommend you avoid the three busiest travel seasons in Japan mentioned above to save your budget and to avoid the crowds.