- Japan public holidays calendar 2023
- New Year’s Day
- January 1 (Sunday)
- Coming of Age Day
- January 9 (Monday)
- National Foundation Day
- February 11 (Saturday)
- The Emperor’s Birthday
- February 23 (Thursday)
- Vernal Equinox Day
- March 21 (Tuesday)
- Showa Day
- April 29 (Saturday)
- Constitution Memorial Day
- May 3 (Wednesday)
- Greenery Day
- May 4 (Thursday)
- Children’s Day
- May 5 (Friday)
- Marine Day
- July 17 (Monday)
- Mountain Day
- August 11 (Friday)
- Respect for the Aged Day
- September 18 (Monday)
- Autumnal Equinox Day
- September 23 (Saturday)
- Health and Sports Day
- October 9 (Monday)
- Culture Day
- November 3 (Friday)
- Labor Thanksgiving Day
- November 23 (Thursday)
The Year of the Rabbit is just around the corner. As Japan fully opened its doors to global visitors from October 11 2022, the country is now trying to re-attract more global travel lovers.
To help you make the most of your 2023 public holidays, Trip.com has put together a handy quick-reference long weekend guide for where you should be taking annual leave to maximize the time you have off and take more of those ultra-long weekends!
Japan public holidays calendar 2023
|January 1||Sunday||New Year's Day|
|January 9||Monday||Coming of Age Day|
|February 11||Saturday||National Foundation Day|
|February 23||Thursday||The Emperor's Birthday|
|March 21||Tuesday||Vernal Equinox Day|
|April 29||Saturday||Showa Day|
|May 3||Wednesday||Constitution Memorial Day|
|May 4||Thursday||Greenery Day|
|May 5||Friday||Children's Day|
|July 17||Monday||Marine Day|
|August 11||Friday||Mountain Day|
|September 18||Monday||Respect for the Aged Day|
|September 23||Saturday||Autumnal Equinox Day|
|October 9||Monday||Health and Sports Day|
|November 3||Friday||Culture Day|
|November 23||Thursday||Labor Thanksgiving Day|
New Year’s Day
January 1 (Sunday)
New Year's Day marks a new beginning of the year. Since 1873, the official Japanese New Year has been celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar, on January 1 of each year, New Year's Day.
New Year's Day is definitely the most popular time for travel in Japan. At this time, many shopping streets, areas and even outlets will launch a series of shopping discounts. In addition, all large and small shrines attract sincere prayers. The whole country is full of holiday vibes.
Coming of Age Day
January 9 (Monday)
Many countries across the globe have a special day or a certain age that represents the change from an adolescent to an adult, and Japan is no exception. In Japan, the Coming of Age Day falls on the second Monday in January every year to celebrate and congratulate those who will turn 20 between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current year.
A coming-of-age ceremony marks the introduction of young people into the world of adults. After young people complete their ceremony, they are seen as adults.
National Foundation Day
February 11 (Saturday)
National Foundation Day, also known as ‘Kenkokukinen-no-Hi’, is a Japanese public holiday which occurs annually on February 11.
Originally called the Empire Day, the National Foundation Day is to celebrate the foundation of Japan and accession of Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan to the throne in 660BC.
Usually there is a National Foundation Day parade in Tokyo’s Meiji Jingu Shrine, with patriots waving flags and carrying portable shrines.
The Emperor’s Birthday
February 23 (Thursday)
The Emperor's Birthday, also known as ‘Tennou Tanjyobi’, is an annual public holiday in Japan, celebrating the birthday of the reigning Emperor, which currently falls on February 23 as Emperor Naruhito was born on that day in 1960.
On the day of the emperor's birth, it is a tradition for the emperor, empress and the rest of the imperial family to make about three appearances on the veranda of the Chowaden hall in the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace.
Vernal Equinox Day
March 21 (Tuesday)
In Japan, Vernal Equinox Day is a public holiday that people will have the day off work. This day marks the start of spring and the end of winter, and is normally held on March 20 or March 21 each year. And in 2023, the day falls on March 21.
The term “equinox” means “equal night” in Latin, and there are two points in every year that it is observed, the second one being the autumn equinox.
April 29 (Saturday)
The Showa Day is a specific public holiday in Japan that commemorates the birthday of the Emperor Showa, who reigned from 1926 until 1989. Emperor Showa is also known as ‘Hirohito’. It is observed annually on April 29.
Constitution Memorial Day
May 3 (Wednesday)
Constitution Memorial Day, or ‘Kenpo kinenbi’, is a public holiday in Japan. It takes place on May 3 in celebration of the enactment of the 1947 Constitution of Japan and is part of the Golden Week.
On this day, many newspapers and magazines publish articles about the Japanese government. The National Diet Building in Tokyo, where the constitution was created, is also open to the public on this day only.
May 4 (Thursday)
The Greenery Day, or commonly known as ‘Midori no Hi’ in Japan, is celebrated as a public holiday day to appreciate nature and be grateful for its blessings. It is observed on May 4 every year.
The sitting emperor Naruhito gives a speech each year on this day, and people then go out and plant trees. There are also parades and decoration of public streets with colorful paper lanterns. Some people do some gardening, visit a local park, or spend time hiking or strolling out of doors.
May 5 (Friday)
In Japan, Children's Day (or ‘Kodomo no Hi’) is to mark the final national holiday of the period known as Golden Week. This has been a traditional celebration in Japan for centuries, but it only became an official public holiday in 1948. It falls on May 5 annually.
(Photo credit to @deany)
In Japanese animated cartoons, the common carp flag is usually shown to celebrate the Children's Day. Almost everyone consumes special rice cakes on Children’s Day.
July 17 (Monday)
The Marine Day takes place on the third Monday of July and is a public holiday day in Japan. This holiday is designed to direct attention to the great blessings and economic prosperity that Japan has derived from its surrounding oceans over the centuries.
There are also special events at various aquariums throughout Japan on this day. In 2023, this day is celebrated on July 17.
August 11 (Friday)
Mountain Day, also known as ‘Yama no hi’ is Japan’s newest public holiday. It falls on every August 11 and is meant to honor the mountainous terrain and ecosystems of Japan’s islands and the ancient cultural traditions that are connected with that geography.
Mountain Day is one of the perfect days for people to go hiking or trekking in the country’s scenic mountain landscape.
Respect for the Aged Day
September 18 (Monday)
Respect for the Aged Day is a public holiday in Japan, which is celebrated annually to honor elderly citizens of the country for their contributions to family and society throughout their long lives.
(Photo credit to @deany)
On this day, many will visit their elderly parents, grandparents, and other relatives while some will also offer free lunches for the elderly or put on special performances for them. TV and radio will be full of programs dedicated to honoring the aged of society throughout the day.
Autumnal Equinox Day
September 23 (Saturday)
The Autumnal Equinox Day occurs between September 22-23, and indicates the astronomical arrival of autumn. It is at the point of the autumn equinox that days start getting shorter and nights getting longer, and thus, this holiday is a harbinger of cooler weather ahead.
It has become a public holiday since 1948.
One of the most traditional foods served for Autumnal Equinox Day is botomachi rice balls rolled in azuki sauce.
Health and Sports Day
October 9 (Monday)
Sports Day, formerly known as ‘Health-Sports Day’, is celebrated in Japan on the second Monday of October annually. In 2023, the day falls on October 9. The day is to encourage people to take care of their health and practice sports.
(Photo credit to @ZIMO)
For years one of the most popular activities in schools and academies for Sports Day in Japan are the well-known 'Undokai'.
November 3 (Friday)
Culture Day, or the ‘Bunka no Hi’, is celebrated every year in Japan on November 3. The constitution of Japan established this day as a national public holiday. The day is specifically dedicated to celebrating Japanese culture, the arts, and excellence in academics.
（Photo credit to @vivian.ting)
On this day, local governments throughout Japan host art exhibits, put on parades, and honor scientists and scholars with special awards. In addition, many colleges in Japan will unveil their finest research papers and projects.
Labor Thanksgiving Day
November 23 (Thursday)
Labor Thanksgiving Day is an annual public holiday in Japan, dedicated to being thankful for the hard work of the workers of Japan of all walks of life.
On Labour Thanksgiving Day, there are labor-focused events held all over Japan. The most famous among them is probably the Nagano Labor Festival. Trade unions will hold huge rallies in Tokyo and other major cities as well, making the voice of labor clearly heard.
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