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Extra abdication holidays pose dilemma for Japanese workers

54 Comments
By Kyoko Hasegawa

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This is due to the inability of the "system" to allow people to do things on their own, without supervision or direction, from a young age.

Started back when schools stopped Saturday classes, parents were like"OMG what are the kids going to do?" (Damn Mom, let them BE kids, they will figure it out...) Then teachers summer vacations got taken away, so to keep themselves busy, they started "club" activities for ES kids too! The ball kept rolling....

Now they are adults, and no one to hold their hand. I say fine, YOU go to work, I'll stay home and enjoy MY time OFF!

35 ( +36 / -1 )

Personally speaking, doing some cleanup around the house, knock a few things off the "to-do" list, going golfing, having a couple of BBQ's, then finishing it off with a three day weekend at home with the wife, and my dog!

All in all, NOT ENOUGH TIME OFF! GIVE ME MORE! (Dont want to use my precious vacation time!)

28 ( +28 / -0 )

"To be honest, I don't know how to spend the time when we are suddenly given 10 days of holidays,"

This comment shows why I see extended holidays are valuable. With the new era (or any significant change) it is time to reflect on one's life. Just staying home and getting to know the neighbourhood and reflect on life is a beautiful gift.

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Has anyone considered having a staycation?

With a city the size of Tokyo, it would take you years to explore all that it has to offer, and it is always changing.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Look how when they talk in the news about "Japanese workers" they seem to include everyone, when they are just referring to the top half of the workforce, your regular salaryman with a permanent contract. The bottom half will work -a lot- these holidays.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

With so many good books out there,

I know what I’m going to do....

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Funny, no mention about those who don't get paid vacation days during this extended GW. For these people, 10 days off unpaid is definitely not a good thing. Those who mostly benefit from this are full-fledged company workers.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

It’s funny how they complain about good things or things that don’t matter, but when they really should complain they just ignore it.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

How 'bout just doing chores, taking the kids to a nearby park and explore the neighborhood? You can explore different parts of the neighborhood everyday, walk with the kids on their route to school and have them point out things that they see, while you scour the area for danger and point it out to the kids? How 'bout that? If you're single, do the same, who knows, you might meet that special person on your walk. Cripes, there's a lot to do on days off.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Days off is a problem? What a pathetic problem to have.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

You know your country is seriously MESSED up when many complain about too many consecutive holidays....bloody hell Japan START fixing yourself!!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

To be honest, I don't know how to spend the time when we are suddenly given 10 days of holidays

It was announced last year not exactly sudden

45 percent of Japanese "felt unhappy" about the long vacation

Is this a funny farm or something?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

They'll probably never have such an extended vacation period again in their lives and they complain about it? I don't get it.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

My uni is actually giving us the days off. but making us teach on other holidays. technically we are supposed to get make up holidays (furikyu I think its called). When I asked about they said no one uses and they don't even know the procedure or paper work. Since I am on contract and want to get renewed or considered for tenure, I can't bring it up. Don't even get me started with the new rules passed down about the labor law changes. Was told not to ask about that either. (I like my job and uni, not complaining about that, just that this is norm most places I fear)

10 ( +11 / -1 )

It would seem the new era of Reiwa is breaking the 'wa' as it is introduced.

"To be honest, I don't know how to spend the time when we are suddenly given 10 days of holidays,"

So, Japanese workers don't know what to do when they take a vacation. That tells one a lot about the working culture and society. If they are not working, they are not living.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

"Japanese workers" huh?

What about "Those working in Japan?". Some work at Japanese companies.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

As a employee of a Tour company this is our make it or break it time, so I am more than happy to be working hard during this holiday. I will look forward to our hard work paying off later this year, while everyone has a very enjoyable long holiday period.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's about suffering as a group and putting your work before any personal gratification, that's frowned apon. As for Labour Laws the company will enforce what's best for it and ignor what is perceived as negative. Being a public national holiday, you would take it? But then to be told you have to make that time up which is illegal but the norm. And if you do complain contact the Ministry of Labour...ha, and Shogani is the best you will get. Contract suddenly void. Working in Japan is about suffering together and rejoicing together in misery.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Too many days off, yeah what a nightmare...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Sorry but geez what a bunch of sheep. Take a break!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"To be honest, I don't know how to spend the time when we are suddenly given 10 days of holidays."

Really, How is that a problem? That is what a vacation should feel like - you have no plans but to rest and recreate. Having a planned out vacation is great but you should not fret if you don't have any - just relax. Although if you're in the service industry, these coming holidays are going to be even more busy.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Yubaru

It is not that theJapanese don’t have time off, it’s just that they don’t take the time off they have-that is the problem here

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This:

It's about suffering as a group and putting your work before any personal gratification, that's frowned apon.

And this:

It’s funny how they complain about good things or things that don’t matter, but when they really should complain they just ignore it.

pretty much sum up the attitude of the country in general. I think Japanese are just happier being miserable. My better half seems to agree, yet buys right into it...

We're taking a 2-week trip before GW while the prices are still reasonable and then working most of the time during the official holidays. Much cheaper, more enjoyable but the wife still feels guilty because our break is longer than everyone else's...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Being born in Japan you really draw one of the developed world’s short straws. Few holidays and a life of relentless work to achieve so little. And when they are given an actual period of holiday they don’t know what to do with it. Quite sad.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"To be honest, I don't know how to spend the time when we are suddenly given 10 days of holidays,"

Time to spend with family and with the population problems in Japan, a good time to make babies perhaps. Or have fun trying.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Regarding the time off. I guess that a long holiday like this only benefits the very rich, those who can justify spending 5 times the regular cost of a vacation just to fly on those coveted days off (I intend to disable my facebook account during this holiday, as those people are really the only ones who post updates now). Regular workers (me) cannot justify it, so we will need to spend time at home.

Luckily, unlike the stereotypical Japanese salaryman, I would rather be at home with my family, than in the office working. Funny thing is, The Rising Wasabi posted a satire article about this a while back. I thought i was on the wrong site for a minute!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"...one of the main reasons for Akihito's popularity lay in the fact that he was "conscious of the responsibility of the post-war generation" to reflect on Japan's wartime atrocities."

It's this fact that makes the wingers' heads spin. Their living god happens to be someone who does not deny the truth the way they do. The Emperor and Empress are truly good people. Let's hope their son turns out to be the same, and then, hopefully, Aiko thereafter.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"To be honest, I don't know how to spend the time when we are suddenly given 10 days of holidays," said 31-year-old finance worker Seishu Sato. "If you want to go traveling, it's going to be crowded everywhere and tour costs have surged... I might end up staying at my parents' place."

This is the main gist. Its not that people are sad about having days off like the article insinuates, it's the way the holidays are set. Like lunchtime in Japan. 12 PM EVERYONE rushes out and all cafes, bentoushops are FULL. Ridiculous that nobody has figured it out yet.

"I won't be able to take days off. On the contrary, we'll be super-busy," said Takeru Jo, a 46-year-old pizzeria worker.

SHIFTS! You work the first 5 days, someone else works the next 5 days.....

Others who have to work over the period complain about childcare. "For parents in the service sector, the 10 days of holiday is a headache. After-school care, nurseries -- everything is closed," tweeted one disgruntled parent.

This is a problem yes, but again, SHIFTS.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think the Japanese concept of "yasumi" is not exactly the same as "holiday" in Western countries. For Japanese a "yasumi", even a 10 day one, is time to take a rest from doing what you usually do, but substituting it for something else equally industrious is perfectly ok, and in many cases expected e.g. witness the amount of summer homework assigned for school kids.

A "holiday" in the Western sense is ideally a complete break from your usual routine and doing nothing, travelling with family, relaxing, growing a beard and switching off from the world for a while are all perfectly acceptable activities.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Muddled comments above, Working both on contract or part time workers(60%) have no idea what to do with free time, that's the point! Without guidance (In general) Japanese are at a loss as to what to do? That's the sad really sad reality. Without work, what are their ambitious? Visit the local maul? Ahhh watch Tv? Sleep on the floor? The options taught are so confining and negative it's no wonder the working population are at a loss of what to do with free time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is so ridiculous! Just relax and enjoy it if you don't have to work.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The traffic jams will be a killer for me. To go to the supermarket takes about 10 minutes. In golden week last year, 1-1.5 hours. 

10 minutes by car? Means about a 15 20 minute walk! Think about it!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For those who are getting paid for doing nothing, don't complain!

For those who aren't getting paid for doing nothing, complain!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Too many people on contract jobs etc., will lose a weeks pay that they can ill afford.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A survey by the Asahi Shimbun daily showed 45 percent of Japanese "felt unhappy" about the long vacation, with only 35 percent saying they "felt happy".

I am floored by this... I'd be dancing out the door, into my car and laughing like the Joker all the way home. Hell, I love getting ONE day off let alone 10. Imagine if they were faced with a three week break like I have when I go to Japan on holiday... I know my Japanese friends are shocked. :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Being born in Japan you really draw one of the developed world’s short straws. Few holidays and a life of relentless work to achieve so little. And when they are given an actual period of holiday they don’t know what to do with it. Quite sad.

Excuse me? Few holidays? Sounds to me that you really don't know anything about Japan to make a statement like this! Japan has double the number of holidays in any given calendar year than the US!

Damn near one every month! Except from this year, December 23rd will no longer be a holiday, and it changes to February 23rd being an off day starting next year, so in effect the number doesnt change.

June and December are the only two months without a national holiday in Japan!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

criticism of the emperor is anathema

You can criticise the emperor if you don't mind being murdered by fascists. That such a situation exists demonstrates the failure of the authorities to combat extremism.

My uni is actually giving us the days off. but making us teach on other holidays. technically we are supposed to get make up holidays. When I asked about they said no one uses and they don't even know the procedure or paper work.

At this university they always insist we complete the paperwork, although most people still work during their substitute day off. I would prefer to work during golden week and take the holidays when it's less busy, but they won't allow that unless there is some reason I have to work during that period.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A survey by the Asahi Shimbun daily showed 45 percent of Japanese "felt unhappy"

This is astonishing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is not that theJapanese don’t have time off, it’s just that they don’t take the time off they have-that is the problem here

Look, it's all an image. Articles like this just perpetuate the image of a country of workaholics. Call it stereotyping or whatever.

Articles like this are born from a select few idiots who dont have a life, and then are over-exaggerated here and the readers think it's the rule!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the 31st has always been a Bank Holiday.

I've never heard of a bank holiday in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The traffic jams will be a killer for me. To go to the supermarket takes about 10 minutes. In golden week last year, 1-1.5 hours. As the highway is gridlocked, cars also gridlock the main road. Unfortunately for me, GPS systems send cars on the shortcut along my single lane road, in both directions! Then there is the BBQs, noise and litter.

usually I try to run away to the Japanese sea coast. Last few years ¥12000 a night for 2 people. Now ¥30000. Plus, everywhere is fully booked.

as I couldn’t find a hotel, I started looking for a flight. Dream on. There is only a couple of business class seats which include stopovers. They are probably gone now.

as I mostly work from home, 10 days at home seems like no holiday. Also my partner has to work smack bang in the middle.

Thinking about camping, but thanks to the success of Abenomics, campgrounds are full. Families can’t afford anywhere. Also they buy all the food from the supermarket. Nothing left.

I wish I could be working in the hospital, but that is closed. Luckily I don’t live in Tokyo, olympics will make this seem like I’m a whinging old pomme.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seems Like brainwashed.

In western world, employees (rail, bus, tube etc) strike that 45 paid holidays per year is not enough.

Here, even 10 days a lot to them, for nothing they say? Make a list, then these Japanese will understand about the holidays.

Well, i'm even thinking of working 4 days a week instead of 5 and getting 35 paid holidays per year instead of 28 days.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do find it quite comical that people are complaining about this for many reasons. Who on earth in their right mind would complain about having 10 days off work when you don't have to take any vacation days? Several people I have spoken who WILL have to work have been given holidays in lieu, yes they are all in the service industry.

Also, what I find even MORE comical is the number of people who post all the time on Japan Today, and therefore read it that are complaining about the cost of going anywhere, either domestically OR internationally! This extension of holidays was very well rumored prior to the official announcement and MANY people I know, myself included managed to get flights at normal prices. For all the leftie/liberals who read this website I find it quite embarrassing to be a foreigner here. Am I surprised about the Japanese reaction? No. Been here long enough to laugh about it. For the rest you..get a life. Enjoy it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ThonTaddeo:

Er..We DO have 10 4 day weeks this year!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Days off means white collar. Blue collar is there to serve the white collar. Of course. That’s the system.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

On a point of order - its only June. December 31st is a National Holiday.

Point of order; December 31st is NOT a National Holiday in Japan!

https://www.officeholidays.com/countries/japan/index.php

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I never refuse 10 days of consecutive hiking and climb mountains

0 ( +0 / -0 )

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/japan/

Yubaru - I don't think that deserved a thumbs down. You are better than that, and as long as Ive been here, the 31st has always been a Bank Holiday.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru - I don't think that deserved a thumbs down. You are better than that, and as long as Ive been here, the 31st has always been a Bank Holiday.

Do you know the difference between a bank holiday and a national holiday? December 31st is not a national holiday.

And FYI, here in Okinawa there is a prefectural holiday in June, so only December has no holiday's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to one of my Japanese friends, she is worried about taking long holidays from work in case they find they can get on without her. What sort of situation is that to be in?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On a point of order - its only June. December 31st is a National Holiday.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I do apologise - NATIONAL HOLIDAY. As long as you are happy to be so Pedantic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Meh! People baby crying for everything. They don't have time for themselves nor loved ones, they complain. You give them time off, they baby cry even more.

The guy working at the pizzeria saying he won't be off? Well, boohoo! Should think about changing jobs then. The service industry has different hours than the office hours businesses. That's universal knowledge.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Maybe there's something I'm missing, but what is so great about having lots of days off in a row, like the new labor laws seem to be pushing? It feels like all they want is for people to go on trips and spend lots of money.

The same thing happened with the push to make holidays be on Mondays so that people can have three days off in a row.

As a company employee, I feel pretty refreshed after any single day off, but I don't feel twice as refreshed after two of them, or ten times as refreshed after ten of them.

I'd much rather have ten random days throughout the year. And I'd rather have single holidays on Wednesdays, breaking up the long and arduous week, than on Mondays. Imagine getting to work a nice short four-day week ten times a year! Wouldn't that be great for health and productivity?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

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