Public Holidays in Japan


Japanese people have the reputation of being hard-working – and this is a fair assessment (that, alone, could be the subject of a few articles). But did you know that only 4 countries in the whole world (India with 21 public holidays, followed by Colombia, the Philippines and China) have more public holidays than Japan ?

December 23 is one of 16 national public holidays in Japan. Granted, there are less paid vacation in Japan (10 days only) than in many developed countries. But the 16 public holidays in Japan, conveniently spanned – when a holiday is on a Sunday, the following working day is called “transfer day” and thus non-working, when a working day falls between 2 public holidays, it is deemed a “citizen holiday” and non-working as well – make up for that.

Let’s have a look at the detail of those national holidays in Japan:


List of public holidays in Japan:

January: 2 days:

New Year’s day

“Coming of Age” day (second Monday) to celebrate those who have turned 20 (see related picture above)

February: 1 day:

“Foundation” day on the 11th

March: 1 day:

Equinox day, celebration of Nature

April: 1 day:

Showa day, on the 29th – this is also the start of the Golden Week

May: 3 days (Golden week):

May 3, 4 and 5 are respectively Constitution Memorial day, “Midori” day (“midori” means “green”) and “Kodomo” day (“Children’s” day)

June: 0 day

July: 1 day:

“Marine” day (3rd Monday)

August: 1 day:

“Mountain” day on the 11th: it is a new holiday, established in 2016, and occurring during the “Obon” period

September: 2 days:

Autumn equinox day

Day to honor the dead people and families’ ancestors (third Monday)

October: 1 day:

“Health and Sports” day (2nd Monday)

November: 2 days:

On the 3rd, “Culture” day

On the 23rd, “Labor Thanksgiving” day

December: 1 day:

On the 23rd, Japanese celebrate the Emperor Akihito’s birthday (the Emperor was born in 1933 and therefore has just turned 82)

You will have noticed that each month except June has at least 1 public holiday, with many of them being “happy Mondays” – thus allowing some nice rest out of the office for many Japanese people albeit not all of them.