Back to LCJ homeAbout UsYour PageContact English TreeEnglish Tree Company PolicyVisit the Business PortalVisit our English School Site
  About Japan
  Fast Facts
  Holidays and Important Days
  Helpful Information
  Embassy Details
  Useful Guides
  Computer Resource Guide
  Shopping Guide

Holidays and Days of Importance in Japan
  • January 1st - New Year’s Day
    Many companies will close their doors around New Years day. This can happen from the 29th of December until the 3rd of January. From mid December to mid January is one of the times of year where business slows down to a crawl in most sectors; although recently retail based businesses have remained open to capitalize on the festive season.
  • January 8th - Coming of Age Day (Second Monday in January)
    A time when it is common to see young ladies dressed in intricate kimonos. A great deal of preparation is undertaken and for industries which cater to beauty and fashion; a boom time. Each local community usually puts on an event. This is a holiday with particular significance in Japan.
  • February 3rd - Coming of Spring
    Not considered a holiday but a time where the Japanese household prepares for spring. A time when evil spirits are expelled and good fortune welcomed, by throwing roasted soy beans about the house.
  • February 11th - National Foundation Day
    Commemorates the rule of Jimmu; Japan's first Emperor and celebrates the founding of the Japanese nation.
  • February 14th - Valentine’s Day
    Although not recognized as a holiday, Valentine’s day is widely celebrated. Unlike western countries, Japanese women are expected to give their male friends and colleagues chocolate whereas White day (March 14th) is when men are expected to be the givers.
  • March 3rd - Doll Festival
    Not considered a holiday by widely observed. Girls are the focus of this day and it is common to see displays of miniature dolls and furniture.
  • March 14th - White Day
    Not considered a holiday but allows the men to repay the women for gifts given on Valentine’s Day.
  • March 20th - Vernal Equinox
    One of two days in the year where both day and night are equal. An important day for Buddhists and a time where families may visit the graves of their loved ones.
  • April 1st
    Not a holiday but the beginning of the school year. The government’s fiscal year starts on this day as well as many businesses.
  • April 29th - Greenery Day
    This day was originally celebrated as Emperor Hirohito’s birthday but after his death it’s name was changed to signify the Emperor’s love of nature. This day also marks the beginning of Golden Week; a week long spring break that see many families traveling and enjoying the outdoors.
  • May 3rd - Constitution Memorial Day (always May 3)
    This day is used to celebrate Japan’s modern constitution implemented in 1947 after World War 2.
  • May 4th - People’s Day (always May 4)
    this holiday is dedicated to the people of Japan as a nation.
  • May 5th - Children’s Day
    In the past this was recognized as Boy’s Day but has evolved into a day where prayers of health and happiness for the nation’s children are made. This marks the end of Golden Week.
  • Second Sunday in May - Mother’s Day
    Not considered a holiday but has gained popularity recently and is recognized widely as a day of importance.
  • June 17th (Sunday) - Father’s Day
    Not considered a holiday but as with Mother’s day has recently become more recognized.
  • July 7th - Tanabata
    Not considered a holiday but is widely celebrated. It comes from a Chinese legend telling of the two stars Altair and Vega breaking away from the Milky Way to met.
  • July 20th - Marine Day (always July 20th )
    A relatively new holiday to mark the previous Emperor’s love of the ocean as well as to display the Japanese peoples appreciation of the sea.
  • August 6th
    Not a holiday but a sober day commemorating the lives lost when Hiroshima was A-bombed in 1945. Nagasaki was bombed 3 days later.
  • August 13th - Obon (always Aug 13-15)
    Not considered a holiday, but an important time in the Buddhist calendar where ancestor’s souls can return to earth to visit their living relatives. Most families will make time to visit their ancestor’s graves during this time and companies usually allow employees time off to observe this belief.
  • September 15th - Respect for the Aged Day (always on September 15th)
    A day used to pay respect to Japan’s elderly and to celebrate their longevity.
  • September 23rd - Autumnal Equinox
    This is the second day of the year where night and day are equal; an important time in the Buddhist memorial period.
  • October 8th (Monday) - Sports Day Taiku no Hi (always on second Monday)
    This day is was used originally to celebrate the 1964, Tokyo Olympics but is more widely recognized today as a day to celebrate physical and mental health through exercise. Schools all over the country will have athletics days.
  • October 31st - Halloween
    Not recognized as a holiday but commercially, Halloween is becoming bigger each year.
  • November 3rd - Culture Day Bunka no Hi
    A holiday celebrated with cultural activities marking the Japanese love of freedom and wish for continued peace.
  • November 15th - Shichi-Go-San Festival
    Not considered a holiday but a traditional festival. Especially important for boys aged 5 and girls aged 3 and 7.
  • November 23rd - Labor Thanksgiving Day (always on Nov 23)
    This is a holiday used by people for expressing appreciation for one another’s hard work and the rewards of that hard work.
  • December 23rd - Emperor’s Birthday
    This day celebrates the birth of the current Emperor; Akihito.
  • December 25th - Christmas Day
    Not considered a holiday in Japan but due to Christmas’s commercial appeal has become popular with children who, like their counterparts in western countries, expect to be given presents by their parents.