national

Golden Week holiday rush begins

31 Comments

Trains and planes were full Friday as the Golden Week holiday exodus got under way. Expressways were also congested with traffic.

Around 650,000 Japanese people are expected to travel abroad during the Golden Week holiday period from Friday through May 8, travel agencies said. Many workers are taking Monday May 2 and Friday May 6 off, turning Golden Week into a 10-day break.

JR said trains on its shinkansen lines leaving Tokyo were full Friday morning, Fuji TV reported. Passenger capacity on the Hokuriku shinkansen from Tokyo to Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture was 150 percent, JR said.

Airline officials said most domestic flights leaving Tokyo and Osaka were fully booked, while Narita and Haneda airport officials said about 77,000 passengers will head overseas Friday, with Southeast Asia, Hawaii and Australia the most popular destinations.

Meanwhile, the Japan Road Traffic Information Center warned motorists to expect traffic congestion on the Tomei, Kanetsu and Meishin expressways through Saturday night. Traffic along the Tomei Expressway linking Tokyo and Nagoya was backed up for about 30 kilometers as of 2 p.m.

The return rush is expected to peak on May 8.

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31 Comments
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Japanese people do things together. Year after year. Not many people seem to question the logic in having the whole country do this routine, all at once, every damn year. They just follow along.

A couple years ago, somebody proposed that the country take the GW different weeks. That would have been a great idea, but, of course, because this ship is standing still, nothing came out of it.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

My company encourages the 'mass exodus' by ordering compulsory holidays that we have to take attached to Golden Week, Obon, and Oshogatsu. They are non-national holidays that we have to take. They reward this decision making by also giving us free holidays attached to those Golden Week, Obon, and Oshogatsu compulsory days.

Not many people seem to question the logic in having the whole country do this routine, all at once, every damn year. They just follow along.

The labour unions sign up to this mass routine. Blame them.

I would like to see the government order hotels and ryokans to standardise their pricing. During Golden Week, Obon, and Oshogatsu the prices are ridiculous and these hotels and ryokans are totally taking advantage of the situation.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Golden Week is centered around a string of four national holidays. I find it hard to blame companies or labour unions for this, and makes it impossible to take GW different weeks. Not to mention the disruption this would cause for everyone. Can you imagine if one spouse gets one off one week, the children get school off another week, and the other spouse another week still? The idea doesn't make any sense.

My company gives an extra holiday to make it a week long holiday, and I see no reason to complain. And why complain about Obon and Oshogatsu? Virtually every country has a time or two a year where there are a string of holidays, very often for the sake of tradition rather than national holidays. Why can't Japan have them?

If there is anything to blame, it's how the Japanese mashed themselves up into a few mega-cities, which leads to a massive exodus during these extended vacations. But, alas, there is nothing to be done about that and we have rivers of people flowing around the country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan has many national holidays, my company has several paid Obon and Shogatsu holidays, and my paid holidays are so plentiful that I can hardly use them all. It is a much better situation than when I worked in the US with very few national holidays and 2 weeks paid vacation during which you were still expected to be available. On the other hand, working in a JP company has made me brain dead. Safe travels.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I assume this is the equivalent to the Easter break?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Just finished about 6 hours of driving going west from Osaka and not one traffic jam- it was a breeze!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Safe travels!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

it is a wonderful time off and I am glad to see others enjoying themselves and that companies understand the need for it. Happy Golden Week to all.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hope every1 has a great golden week and gets enough rest in. Me and the Mrs will be taking out week as ever after the return of the masses. Then off for a nice quiet cheap holiday. Being self employed has its down side but also its up sides, this help remind me, enjoy!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Guess I should go back to work in France - where one (at least to) gets a whole month off whenever one chooses to do so...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Have a great Golden Week holidays everyone!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Can someone explain why they don't give us four days in a row or all week? We have to work Monday and Friday. So no one at our university can go anywhere. The students are either faced with skipping class, which will impact their grades, or not go anywhere.

Worse than "everyone doing the same thing" is having golden week split up like this. Talk about asinine. If not the j-gov then the school could just as easily do a little scedule magic and give the kids a whole week off.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sigh. I always get fairly jealous of everyone this time of year because my husband works for the government and ironically doesn't get Golden Week off. Or Obon. Or shogatsu. Bitter little me.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Can someone explain why they don't give us four days in a row or all week? We have to work Monday and Friday. So no one at our university can go anywhere. The students are either faced with skipping class, which will impact their grades, or not go anywhere.

I can't explain it as such, but I can guess, without knowing if I'm correct as I don't spend much time thinking about universities, that you have holidays when other people don't. Perhaps between terms?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Glad to avoid the rush...I'll relax close to home and avoid the gouging.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Virtually every country has a time or two a year where there are a string of holidays, very often for the sake of tradition rather than national holidays. Why can't Japan have them? but what about paid holidays, most western countries give there worker paid holidays 3~6 weeks depend where you are, and your allowed to take them WHENEVER YOU WANT, not when the company tells you when you can go.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not many people seem to question the logic in having the whole country do this routine, all at once, every damn year. They just follow along. For most people who has family, taking the GW different week is just a pain. and JAPANESE PEOPLE DONT things together

1 ( +1 / -0 )

most western countries give there worker paid holidays 3~6 weeks depend where you are, and your allowed to take them WHENEVER YOU WANT, not when the company tells you when you can go.

America doesn't. I was shocked when we moved here just how little holiday people get. And they were equally shocked when they heard about the UK, Europe, Australia and Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In Canada, we have no guaranteed holidays except for national holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter and these are often reduced to being 3 day weekends. If these national holidays didn't exist, I am sure we would be expected to work every single day, only to give half of our income in taxes. The Japanese should hold onto these national holidays, because if they were split up as suggested, I am sure that they would eventually disappear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

America doesn't. I was shocked when we moved here just how little holiday people get. And they were equally shocked when they heard about the UK, Europe, Australia and Japan.>

Yup, the US is one of the stingiest country when it comes to public holidays. Pathetic, really.

most western countries give there worker paid holidays 3~6 weeks

3-6 weeks? Not in the US, unless you have worked for like 30 years for the company. Even then, maybe, maybe not. Most people get 1 week vacation per year when they start with the company. Two weeks if you have a generous boss.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most people get 1 week vacation per year when they start with the company. Two weeks if you have a generous boss. Ok the US is a bit stingy on holidays but I doubt they make there employees work long hours without overtime pay and they pay better than what Japanese get. J salaryman compare to a US salaryman its not hard to guess which one is closer to slavery

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My question is, where do people get the money to travel? Having a family of four, we can afford to rent a car for 12 hours. To actually travel domestic or international just seems amazing that folks can afford it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ok the US is a bit stingy on holidays but I doubt they make there employees work long hours without overtime pay and they pay better than what Japanese get. J salaryman compare to a US salaryman its not hard to guess which one is closer to slavery

Pay depends on what job you're doing, no?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

nice to hear, enjoy and release some stress, even stay home and rest is nice

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The students are either faced with skipping class, which will impact their grades

Since when has slacking off meant students' grades will be affected in Japanese universities?

What I've never understood is why public holidays sometimes fall on a Saturday? Who the heck does this benefit?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not to mention the disruption this would cause for everyone. Can you imagine if one spouse gets one off one week, the children get school off another week, and the other spouse another week still? The idea doesn't make any sense.

The disruption? Oooh, we wouldn't want to 'disrupt' anything in Japan now, would we? Change things up? No, no, no. Don't do that.

The idea had to do with different regions taking time off different weeks. That way, it wouldn't be so horribly crowded, plus the service industry could rely on a steadier flow of cash. Anyway, that was the idea.

I am well aware of these being National holidays, but those can be changed and switched around. "Greenery Day", for example is a fairly new construction (and also subsequently moved).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Have a nice holiday everyone

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ Robert Dykes

"If not the j-gov then the school could just as easily do a little scedule magic and give the kids a whole week off."

Far to much logic mate, remember where you are. Another example is my nearest vending machine is still selling hot drinks as its not officially warm yet and its no ones job to think or suggest any change but just to follow.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Enjoy it, I stay at home and enjoy the less crowded trains durin my commute(if I were back in Japan).

Anyway usually stay away from all the Tourist destinations year round.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Be safe out there guys! Enjoy your golden week! Unfortunately some people only get US holiday (sucks to be me).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unfortunately some people only get US holiday (sucks to be me).

Its better that way Mha Ann. Because when you accumulate vacation leave, you can take a holiday anytime. And not when the entire country suddenly wants to go somewhere during GW.

I think it is terrible how they just threw in a "work day / school day" today (Monday) yet from tomorrow thru Thurday folks will be off again. Why not just have the 6-days straight off?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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