The Japanese Golden Week falls around the end of April and beginning of May every year where there is cluster of national holidays during this time. The “week” starts on April 29, a national holiday celebrated as the birthday of Emperor Showa, who passed away in 1989.
Golden Week is golden because it’s the longest holiday period of the year! Japanese employees aren’t usually granted a lot of vacation time. In combination with well-placed weekends, Golden Week becomes one of the country’s three busiest holiday seasons, besides New Year and Obon.
You’ll notice it’s Golden Week when you see all the koinobori (carp streamers) hanging everywhere. At home, families also display samurai dolls that represent strength and success to to pray for a healthy and successful life for their children (see our doll feature on page 26).
Golden week is also golden because it typically has some of the best weather in Japan out of the whole year! If you’re willing to negotiate crowds and queues, and pay the inflated prices, GW is a fabulous opportunity to bask in the sunny spring weather and explore some more of Japan. If you’d rather avoid the masses and just stay inside, though, well that’s understandable too!
However you end up spending the time, there’s no escaping discussing what you did during GW in Japanese. Even if you do nothing at all, at least you’ll get a chance to practice your nihongo!
|How was your Golden Week?||ゴールデンウィークはどうでしたか？||Goruden weeku wa dou deshita ka?|
|I went to Guam with my family.||家族とグアムへ行きました。||Kazoku to guamu e ikimashita.|
|I went to Okinawa with my boyfriend.||彼氏と一緒に沖縄に行きました。||Kareshi to issho ni okinawa ni ikimashita.|
|I went camping in the countryside with friends.||田舎で友達とキャンプをしました。||Inaka de tomodachi to kyampu wo shimashita.|
|I didn’t do anything much.||別に何もしなかった。||Betsu ni nanimo shinakatta.|
|I couldn’t afford to do anything so I stayed at home.||お金がないから家にいました。||Okane ga nai kara ie ni imashita.|
|Hotels were all booked out.||ホテルは全部満室でした。||Hoteru wa zenbu manshitsu deshita.|
|Everywhere is always very crowded during GW.||ゴールデンウィークはいつもどこへ行っても人がいっぱい。||Goruden weeku wa itsumo doko e ittemo hito ga ippai.|