Golden Week: What is it and why should I know about it?

It here in Okinawa you’re probably wondering what is all the hullabaloo about Golden Week. A lot of travel websites will tell you that it’s a holiday and that there are events but no one seems to ever want to tell you what the actual holidays are. So hey I thought that I’d make a quick blog post telling you all about Golden Week, or as you’ll see it in print GW.

GW is a weeklong celebration of holidays. Throughout the entire week family’s travel and do all the things that we do as Americans for Christmas and New Year’s. They go and visit other family and friends, go visit famous tourist attractions, and enjoy lots and lots of good food.

So what holidays are celebrated during GW? There are four holiday is celebrated during GW. One on April 29 then May 3, 4 and 5. the days in between and sometimes the days prior to and after GW are also treated as holidays depending on where the dates sit on the calendar. April 29 is Showa Day. On this day the former Apple’s birthday is celebrated. May 3 is constitution day. On this day in 1947 the new postwar constitution was put into effect. On May 4 is greenery day which celebrates the environment and nature. This holiday was created because the Emperor love plants and nature. It is almost like Earth Day. Finally on May 5 is children’s day. On this day families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging carp streamers and displaying samurai dolls which symbolize strength power and success in life. Although this particular holiday celebrates boys there’s also a festival that celebrates girls in March.

Because GW is such a popular time of year to travel there are many deals and special events to participate in over the course of the week. This is especially true on May 4 and 5 when many children are allowed to participate special events for a discounted rate for even free. You might also find special deals at department stores and restaurants who even offer special menus during GW.

So why do you need to know about GW? Enjoying Okinawa is great during GW however it can also be a nightmare. If you want to avoid crowds and being around a lot of tourists GW is not the time to come here. However, if you are here in Okinawa already and want to take advantage of some great discounts GW may be a great chance for you to do that. There are some other things you might want to consider when coming to Okinawa on GW. The first is that because many tourists visit the island during this time there are many cars on the road and lots of traffic. When driving here during GW be sure to pay close attention. Many other drivers may be confused and trying to read directions making it dangerous if you don’t pay close attention to those who drive in front of you. Also remember that during GW some places will be overly packed with tourists who want to take advantage of the great discounts. If you want to avoid people try not to go to those places that are very popular among tourists like the aquarium and Okinawa world. ‘s with a little bit of consideration and planning GW can be a lot of fun.


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