Holidays in Japan

*coming soon*
This page is in notes mode and is being developed and expanded on

  • January 1 (national holiday)
    New Year (shogatsu):
    “This is the most important holiday in Japan. While only January 1 is designated as a national holiday, many businesses remain closed through January 3.” –
  • Second Monday of January (national holiday)
    Coming of Age (seijin no hi):
    “The coming of age of 20 year old men and women is celebrated on this national holiday.” –
  • February 3
    Beginning of spring (setsubun):
    “Setsubun is not a national holiday, but celebrated at shrines and temples nationwide. More information is available on the Setsubun page.” –
  • February 11 (national holiday)
    National Foundation Day (kenkoku kinenbi):
    “According to the earliest Japanese history records, on this day in the year 660 BC the first Japanese emperor was crowned.” –
  • February 14
    Valentine’s Day:
    “In Japan, women give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day. It is not a national holiday.” –
  • March 3
    Doll’s Festival (hina matsuri):
    Also called girl’s festival.” –
  • March 14
    White Day:
    The opposite of Valentine’s Day: Men give cakes or chocolates to women. It is not a national holiday.” –
  • Around March 20 (national holiday)
    Spring Equinox Day (shunbun no hi):
    Graves are visited during the week (ohigan) of the Equinox Day.” –
  • April 29 (national holiday)
    Showa Day (Showa no hi):
    The birthday of former Emperor Showa. Before 2007, April 29 was known as Greenery Day (now celebrated on May 4). Showa Day is part of the Golden Week.” –
  • May 3 (national holiday)
    Constitution Day (kenpo kinenbi):
    A national holiday remembering the new constitution, which was put into effect after the war.” –
  • May 4 (national holiday)
    Greenery Day (midori no hi):
    Until 2006, Greenery Day was celebrated on April 29, the former Emperor Showa’s birthday, due to the emperor’s love for plants and nature. It is now celebrated on May 4 and is part of the Golden Week.” –
  • May 5 (national holiday)
    Children’s Day (kodomo no hi):
    Also called boy’s festival. More information is available on the Golden Week page.” –
  • July/August 7
    Star Festival (tanabata):
    Tanabata is a festival rather than a national holiday.” –
  • Third Monday of July (national holiday)
    Ocean Day (umi no hi):
    A recently introduced national holiday to celebrate the ocean. The day marks the return of Emperor Meiji from a boat trip to Hokkaido in 1876.” –
  • August 11 (national holiday)
    Mountain Day (yama no hi):
    Newly introduced in 2016, this national holiday celebrates mountains.” –
  • July/August 13-15
    Obon is a Buddhist event to commemorate deceased ancestors.” –
  • Third Monday of September (national holiday)
    Respect for the Aged Day (keiro no hi):
    Respect for the elderly and longevity are celebrated on this national holiday.” –
  • Around September 23 (national holiday)
    Autumn Equinox Day (shubun no hi):
    Graves are visited during the week (ohigan) of the Equinox Day.” –
  • Second Monday of October (national holiday)
    Health and Sports Day (taiiku no hi):
    On that day in 1964, the Olympic games of Tokyo were opened.” –
  • November 3 (national holiday)
    Culture Day (bunka no hi):
    A day for promotion of culture and the love of freedom and peace. On culture day, schools and the government award selected persons for their special, cultural achievements.” –
  • November 15
    Seven-Five-Three (shichigosan):
    A festival for children, Shichigosan is not a national holiday.” –
  • November 23 (national holiday)
    Labor Thanksgiving Day (kinro kansha no hi):
    A national holiday for honoring labour.” –
  • December 23 (national holiday)
    Emperor’s Birthday (tenno no tanjobi):
    The birthday of the current emperor is always a national holiday. If the emperor changes, the national holiday changes to the birthday date of the new emperor.” –
  • December 24-25
    Christmas is not a national holiday, but shopping malls are heavily decorated in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and many people follow some local Christmas traditions, such as eating chicken and a Christmas cake or having a dinner with one’s partner.” –
  • December 31
    New Year’s Eve (omisoka):
    December 31 is not a national holiday.” –