national

Japan marks first Mountain Day national holiday

13 Comments

Japan on Thursday celebrates its newest national holiday, "Yama no Hi" (Mountain Day).

Legislation to create the new holiday on August 11 was enacted in the Diet last year. It came after the Japanese Alpine Club and other mountain-related groups lobbied for the bill, claiming that Japan -- where Shintoism's animistic beliefs have shaped the culture -- needed to celebrate its mountains.

The legislation states that the day is designed to share "opportunities to get familiar with mountains and appreciate blessings from mountains."

A large chunk of Japan's land mass is mountainous, and walking or trekking in the mountains is a popular pastime, particularly among older Japanese. The mountains also offer excellent skiing throughout the winter.

With Mountain Day, Japan now has 16 official holidays a year, the highest tally among the Group of Eight major powers.

Most of Japan's national holidays celebrate something specific. These include the emperor's birthday, Children's Day, Coming-of-Age Day, Constitution Day, National Foundation Day and Marine Day, which is celebrated on the third Monday of July.

June is the only month without a national holiday.

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13 Comments
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Happy Mountain Day everyone! For those folks who are often too busy, hopefully they can spend some much needed down time with family and friends.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I really wish they would've put this holiday in June.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Happy Mountain Day!

However, I'm sure that many people would like not to be told when to take time off from their jobs so why does the government feel as though it has to decide?

How about a little bit of personal choice about when to take holidays? It would be a good way of avoiding overcrowded and expensive trains, planes and hotels and it would make our precious time off a little more special.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Will there be U-turn rush or people are not taking O-bon holidays this time and just happy with Mountain Holiday?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Speech: "I really wish they would've put this holiday in June."

Actually, the holiday was originally planned to be on August 12th in order to extend the consecutive holidays that come with Obon, and also to mark Mt. Fuji being granted UNESCO World Heritage status (during the climbing season), but fortunately someone realised that tomorrow, August 12th 2016, is the 30th anniversary of the world's worst single airplane disaster, JAL flight 123, which crashed into the mountain Takamagahara, killing 520 and which is still plagued in controversy over the handling of the incident. So, out of respect, and the fact that it would be extremely poor taste to celebrate mountains on such a day, they changed it to August 11th. Unfortunately that means holiday, work day, holidays -- a pattern common here -- so it might mean some have consecutive holidays while others do not. Not sure if that's good or bad. June would be nicer in terms of weather, but they chose the day for a reason.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Emperor's birthday: birthday of present emperor

Showa day: birthday of Showa emperor. Yes, Hirohito's birthday is still a bank holiday (got renamed "Greenery day" for a while until Abe and his goons could put that back on)

Culture day (bunka no hi): another hidden one: this is actually the birthday of Meiji emperor

Doesn't seem to be one for Taisho emperor.

National Foundation Day is pretty much the day of the first emperor, Jinmu.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Spent the day at Koya-san, a very memorable first Mountain Day holiday!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I went to the Takao mountain last month on sea day, and to the Kamakura beach today on mountain day.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@smithinjapan

JAL flight 123, which crashed into the mountain Takamagahara, killing 520 and which is still plagued in controversy over the handling of the incident. So, out of respect, and the fact that it would be extremely poor taste to celebrate mountains on such a day,

I'm glad to see you DO know the meaning of "respect" in spite of thinking the Hiroshima Peace park is a good place to "run around and enjoy oneself"...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think everyone who works in Japan would agree that more summer holidays like "Yama-no-hi" matter. Oops. Gomen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This year was extra special since our work gave us yasumi on Aug 11th. We usually are off on US holidays.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Happy mountain day!

Hope to climb Mt. Fuji soon!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ah, nice

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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