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Why do most Japanese take their holidays at the same time, such as Golden Week, Bon and New Year?

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29 Comments
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because they're told to. Next...

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Because the Japanese people have a mindset built into them since they were children. That you always have to do things as a group not as a individual. Mindwash & Brainwash Doing group activities is helpful for everybody theme song. Making group decisions is the Japanese strong point. Making individual decisions scares some of the Japanese people. So taking group vacations, the average Japanese citizen feels less stressful because his/her colleages are taking vacation to. So they feel comfortable taking vacation. They worry that their co workers will feel the burden of taking over there jobs when they are on an individual vacation. Another example company parties ( everybody has to go) nobody can't object or they will feel like an idiot for saying I have other plans.I guess you can say it's like observing a school of fish. If the group changes direction the group of fish has to follow right ?

I can't stand it. I hope people will start taking vacation on an individual basis

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Because it is common sense to take a vacation when there are several national holidays clumped together. In addition, you don't use all your vacation days at once and you can take an onsen trip here and there, spreading 3 day weekends out across the year.

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It is a really strange concept, JT, but people usually take their holidays when they have time off from work. Maybe Japan will eventually figure out a way around those pesky laws of time and space.

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Because they do not have much choice besides Golden Week, Bon and New Year.

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the point on "you shouldn't take vacation so not to leave a burden for your co-workers" seems to be very strong here in jp. i took a day off for the first time in 2 years this week, and the next day, the person i work with complainted to me that she had to work harder to cover my absence. and what really shocks me is the fact that we're not japanese. we're brazilian!! and she's been here for like 10 years, so i think she's already absorbed the concept. i hope she won't take others like loneliness, shopping to relieve anxiety or suicide...

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Another thing is "the Japanese workflow system". Most of them work on daily routine work--like the assembly line in factories. They don't have any control of what they are supposed to do especially those in the ranks. Their bosses decide on everything, even vacations. That's also the reason why they are so scared of their bosses (this could also be a good discussion topic for later). They just work on things as they come on their desks on a daily basis. So others really have to work double if they're covering for a coworker on vacation. They feel bad about that situation. But there are always exception to this.

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The answer is contained in the question: Because everyone else takes their holiday at the same time.

If everyone is on vacation at the same time, there's no guilt about possibly inconveniencing co-workers with you absence, no fear of recriminating looks from those same co-workers when you come back from a "non-standard" holiday, and no fear of a stack of work piled up during the time your were gone because those same co-workers couldn't be bothered to put in a little extra effort in the fair expectation that what comes around goes around.

It's a vicious cycle that could be addressed if management were able to assert itself and make the rank and file drop this petty jealousy pall that seems to hang over most offices whenever anyone dares take a non-proscribed holiday, but that would require the same sort of radical thinking from management that would eliminate effectively forcing employees to work overtime for free with the same sort of unspoken peer pressure that scares workers into eschewing regular holidays.

Institutionalized insanity.

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why dont you go ask them...

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It's "culture" as many would try to put it.

The Japanese (and I know I'm going to get plenty of nasty retorts to this) have blindly followed their leaders almost since recorded history began.

In the Edo period they followed their "Daimio" and in the early 20th century they followed their leaders in the name of the Emperor almost to complete destruction.

Now the "company" has replacement "leader" and they unquestionably follow it, to the point of not taking vacation (even if the law says they are allowed) and working overtime (even to death) for the "good of the company".

So basically the only time the "company" allows them to have any time of is when everyone is off, thus these 3 times a year.

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Most Japanese take their holidays at the same time: between 6PM and 9PM at the office.

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Because Golden week and Bon and New Year are holidays.

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they take Golden week, Bon and New year at the same time? yowza

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Because everybody is gone so its hard to get anything done.

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I'm not pleased that others touch my works while my absence.

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Because those are holidays. The same reason Americans take their holidays on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the 4th of July. The same reason Chinese take holidays at Chinese New Year. Yes it's no fun to travel then, but is it really any different than other cultures?

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because they enjoy taking holidays all together when prices are hiked

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They take them because they get those days off of work. I always take holidays when my company gives me the time off work.

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"The answer is contained in the question: Because everyone else takes their holiday at the same time".

Completely agree with this. It is simply what people grow up with and for them it is normal.

As for the the, "They take holidays at the same time as to not inconvenience their fellow workers", is pure dogma as far as I'm concerned. If it were true Japan would be an amazing country with no problems and pure paradise.

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Because it's Golden Week, Bon and New Year.

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Because they don't have the choice, especially in a "Japanese" company.

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Exploiting the bank holidays available. Fairly simple. A more interesting question would be "why do British people always take holiday in August?". So when the weather is at it's best in the UK, everybody leaves - crazy, given that the weather is really bad the rest of the year!

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Obviously they do it to give foreign residents of Japan something else to whine about. They're so inscrutable, those Nihonjin.

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Should be pointed out that, unlike Golden Week and New Year, Bon is not a national holiday.

They do it because it would be too "meiwaku" to take any of their paid vacation days for any reason other than being close to death. Everyone taking their vacation at the same time means that no one is left picking up the slack. But I wish they would realize that if they just ALL took vacations during the year that they would all be equally responsible for picking up the slack for everyone ...

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I know the question may be written in a slightly incorrect manor, but are people just trying to be obtuse or are they just that slow as to not actually get the meaning of the question?

Maybe the question should have been: Why do most Japanese ONLY take their vacations during these times? (but I think most knew that but many chose to ignore that fact)

Yes obviously in every country people take holidays when they are national holidays, and obviously due to culture and traditions they also take holidays around or during certain time (summer vacation, Christmas, etc..).

But the real question is why don't the Japanese take the vacation time that most full time employees in theory have the right to?

The answer is not that simple but it comes down to a few reasons.

Peer pressure, company unwillingness adjust internal workings to allow someone to take vacation and the government regulations that have so many loopholes that it is just about impossible for an employee to force their company to give them time off.

Basically if the company says that your taking vacation will impact business then they can deny you request, of course they are supposed to offer an alternative date but they rarely do and if they do it will be during an inopportune time for you.

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so when do you expect them to take their holidays then?

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OK I see we still don't get it with the exception of Bon all the rest are basically national holidays, so if we are talking about national holidays and not vacation then the answer is simple "because they are national holidays".

If we are talking about vacations (which most companies theoretically have as part of their employment package) then the answer to "benhur" and the rest would be "when they feel the need for a rest" or "they have something or some place they need or would like to go or be" just like most of the worker in other developed countries.

Most companies claim to offer 15 days paid vacation but hardly anyone can or ever do take them.

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Take ALL your paid holidays. How can these japanese workers be so weak and pathetic. Have a backbone, stand up for yourself for christ's sake. So pathetic.

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Because it reminds them of their super packed subway rides to and from work everyday. When they get a little time off to relax, naturally they want to go to some super crowded beach or amusement park.

Seriously, I think it might just be a part of their natural cycle, like leaves turning red in the fall, or lemmings racing off cliffs.

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