Golden Week


golden week banner

    When end of April approaching, lots of Japanese are looking forward for Golden Week (GW) as this period is a longest holiday in Japan exclude New Year holiday. Several brands and restaurant will announce Golden Week or GW campaigns such as special discount or special menus during this holiday to increase sales, we can say that this is a prime time for travel and consumer business to increase their sales in Japan.

                Golden week is consisting of 5 national holidays which are;

1.       29th April, Showa Day (昭和の日). A birthday of the previous Emperor Akihito, who started Showa era

2.       1st May, Labor Day (メーデー). A day to increase the awareness of working right for workers.

3.       3rd May, Constitution Day (憲法記念日). This is a day that new constitution of Japan has been announced after WWII.

4.       4th May, Greenery Day (みどりの日). As a day for increasing awareness of nature (In the past this day has been the same day as Showa Day but it was separated to extend the long holiday period of GW from 2007)

5.       5th May, Children Day (子供の日). This day is a day to wish them to grow up healthy full of happiness for both boy and girl since 1948. Koinobori (Carp flags) will be decorate as it will represent of celebration of this day.


Lots of companies decide to announce the whole week holiday even some days of the week are not national holiday to reward their employees for hardworking and make these 9 days in to long holidays in a row.

Then how come this long holiday called Golden Week?

Some sources say that, Matsuyama Hideo a director of Daiei Film, a large Japanese film maker. Using a word “Golden Week” in this long holiday period to promote 自由学校 (Jiyuu Gakkou), the film in 1951 which have scheduled to launch in that long holiday.

After the biggest and successfully income of this film is earned since company establishment, a word “Golden Week” has widely spread to the whole Japan.

Matsuyama san mentioning that, to choose the word “Golden” is to stress out the time of making money as it is highest rating time in Television and Radio business. So he chose the word as “Golden Time”. As well as foreigner familiar of “Prime Time” in international entertainment business.

                Some said that, this word influenced from Radio stations during Showa era. As this period audience rate will greatly increase and most of radio stations will call this period as Golden Week as it is a good time to earn money and promote their station. After that, ゴールデンウィーク(Golden Week) is replaced 黄金週間 (Golden Week) in Kanji into Katakana as it is seem to create more impact in marketing than ordinary Kanji.

                Anyway, as an unclear explanation and lengthy of this Katakana. There is some news reporter such as NHK tried not to use a word “Golden Week” when reporting news during this long holiday. They will change to 大型連休 (The great long holiday) instead for their comfortable during report. Also, some of reporters try not to use this word as it may disrespect for people who have to work in this period with no choice such as Travel, hotel, restaurant, and department store businesses.

                This is some of information for Golden Week that we could research, we hope that you will enjoy this holiday and have a good time.