by Bryce Marley-Jarrett
When Japlanning your trip to the land of the rising sun, one thing many people do not look into is when Japan observes public holidays, and the other big one: school holidays. Read our guide for the full list of 2016 public and school holidays in Japan!
As for many of us in the world, while we are in festive season, it inevitably means closures, as well as many people on holidays, and tourist attractions see increased visits and sky-high flight prices.
These trends also happen around school holidays and other public holidays, so it's best to work your vacation in Japan around these dates to get yourself the best deals, not only on flights but also accommodation.
Now let's take a look at National Holidays for 2015 in Japan.
Most public holidays land around weekends, with the biggest stretch being the start of May, known as 'golden week', which is arguably the busiest time in Japan for holidays when many take the whole week off. Steer clear of theme parks and regional tourist hotspots as you will see them at their busiest, and you may face room shortages at local hotels, not to mention the all-time high prices.
Friday 1st - New Year’s Day
Monday 11th - Coming of Age Day
Thursday 11th - National Foundation Day
Monday 21st - Vernal Equinox Day
Friday 29th - Showa Day
Tuesday 3rd - Constitution Day
Wednesday 4th - Greenery Day
Thursday 5th - Children's Day
These three make up the famous "Golden Week" one of the busiest weeks in Japan as much of the country takes the entire week off work. With the addition of Showa day on the 29th April, you have a busy 10 days in Japan. Expect Friday 29th April - Sunday 8th May 2015 to be an extremely busy time in Japan.
Monday 18th - Marine Day
Thursday 11th - Mountain Day (this is a new holiday for 2016)
Monday 19th - Respect for the Aged Day
Thursday 22nd - Autumnal Equinox Day
Monday 10th - Health and Sports Day
Monday 3rd - Culture Day
Wednesday 23rd - Labour Thanksgiving Day
Friday 23rd - Emperor’s Birthday
It is interesting to note that Japan have a fantastic provision in their law in regards to public holidays. Any day that falls between two other public holidays shall also become a holiday to make a long weekend for the people of Japan. This is known as "kokumin no kyujistu", or "citizens' holiday."
In 2016 there is not any of these.
The other big event to try and avoid are the Japanese school holidays. With all children out of school, these are busy times at attractions and regional holiday spots. Again, you will see hotels being much more expensive and also will find domestic airfares higher.
Saturday 13th February 2016 - Sunday 21st February 2016
Friday 25th March 2016 - Sunday 10th April 2016
Saturday 28th May 2016 - Sunday 05th June 2016
Tuesday 26th July 2016 - Monday 29th August 2016
Saturday 22nd October 2016 - Sunday 30th October 2015
Saturday 17th December 2015 - Monday 2nd January 201
Avoiding traveling in Japan's holidays times will always make your travels less hectic (and usually cheaper). Keep in mind if you also take these tips to your home country too and travel outside peak times back home, you will get better flight prices too.
*The end of summer break, half term break and winter break have been estimated based on previous years. These will be updated once official dates are released for the Japanese 2016-17 school year.