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Do you think Japan has too many or too few public holidays, compared to other countries?

22 Comments
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22 Comments
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This weekend we had a national holiday on Saturday but no day off on Monday, today.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Too many. That's deliberate, because in most Japanese workplaces, choosing one's holidays is either highly discouraged or impossible.

So nearly the entire nation is on the move for short periods three times a year. I find the situation unbearable. I hate the crush, jacked up prices, and lack of available seats and hotel rooms. So I choose my own travel schedule, thank you very much, or holiday overseas while "bookending" the big travel periods, ie, starting Golden Week on April 26 and coming back around May 10 when flights are cheap.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

I agree with JeffLee. Having national holidays encourages inflexibility in the workplace. What Japan needs is flexibility. Not just to holidays but things like sabbaticals, maternity/paternity leave, work for home, etc.

Workers should not all have to move in the same direction at the same time.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Having a "holiday" on a Saturday or Sunday and no observance day is NOT a day off.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

But several in a year are made void by falling on a Saturday. Many universities now seem to ignore them in their desperate, Monkasho-ordered effort to get in the full number of class per semester. Having to work on labour thanksgiving day seems to miss the point entirely.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I believe the average is ten and Japan has a lot more than that…; personally, I would prefer to have a few national holidays (the ones that really matter) and four weeks *(a real vacation) instead of these long weekends (golden week, obon and new year), *like in Austria and other European countries.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

On a national level, Japan has more than many other countries. One difference is that many countries have regional (state, province) holidays, and Japan does not.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

VrethToday  01:33 pm JST “ I'll never forget my disappointment during my first year working in Japan, finding out 'Golden Week' was not really a full week. I thought there was something wrong with my schedule. “

Hahah…(!), same.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Well, I mean, it depends. Saw my neighbors daughter in school uniform last Saturday and talked to her a bit while we were waiting at the crosswalk.

Me: How's it going?

Her: Not bad.

Me: Where are you going?

Her: School.

Me: Isn't it a holiday?

Her: Yes, but we have school in the morning.

In other words, while Japan may have as many or more than a lot of countries, it has very few holidays that are actually just that.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ditto most of the above - the problem in Japan is the inflexibility meaning not many people can take time off outside of these national holidays and other set holiday periods like obon and new year. It means that on the set national holidays that most people have off work, it becomes super expensive to travel anywhere, hotels and flights are three times the normal price, hard to get bookings and everywhere is crowded. It would be better if there were fewer of these set holidays and people could take time off more or less when they wanted, but if they got rid of any of the holidays, people would just end up working more. So, it has to be "too few national holidays" for me.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Too many public holidays and too few vacation days. People should be able to schedule their own vacations so they can get at least 10 days a winter and 10 days a summer to go on vacation. Not all these pre decided holidays where you can't go anywhere because everyone's holiday is on the same day.

I think companies here needs to learn that people will perform better if they get longer vacations and have something to look forward to. Just had one of my employees have a 1 month vacation to his home country, I think he probably already made up for by being more efficient after coming back. At least for creative work, having tired and unmotivated employees slows things down greatly, better to just let them recharge.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan has many public holidays but only few take advantage of it because they feel ashamed to take vacation as a result of shame (that they can cause inconvenience to their coworkers etc...)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They made to work on holiday, made to work overtime, made to work for very bad pay, make to work period, only the Japanese elite get to celebrate the holidays.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Canada has paid 13 stat holidays. If one falls on the weekend then you get Monday off with pay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why should Japan be compared to other countries? The question should be do we have enough holidays for the culture involved? I think Vesak and Japanese New Year should be a public holiday in Japan for traditional/cultural reasons.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm with the posters above. I remember when my daughter was at JHS, she had Band Practice almost every day of the long summer holidays, meaning she (and therefore we) couldn't get a proper rest, take a longer trip to visit relatives overseas, or do anything at all unless it was officially sanctioned.

Great way to inculcate the mindset in the young that life is unquestioning routine, and joy is to feigned at the appropriate occasions.

And national holidays on Saturdays defeat the purpose.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too few as it's the only way to push Japanese employees to get rest as paid holiday are not enough allowed by companies.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

If it was too many or about the same as other places, we wouldn't have people dying of Karoshi all over the place

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

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