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Golden Week In Japan

Discussion in 'Asia' started by amelia88, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    A friend of mine was meant to be in Japan this week, and had booked flights at a super cheap price - but she ended up cancelling her trip not long after she booked it because she realized that it was apparently a week long vacation in Japan...which apparently means very very congested roads, domestic flights and train schedules.

    It made me curious I guess - has anyone tried to battle a vacation in Japan during their Golden Week vacation? How did you find it? I think part of me didn't think it would be that bad, but I guess if I wasn't able to do certain things I would have wanted to based on crowd projections then I probably would have canceled and ended up rebooking too!
  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    Oh, this is the first time I've heard of that Golden Week in Japan. And aside from the crowd, I'm sure the prices of commodities are increased because everyone is out of the house for the vacation.

    We have a trip to Osaka in March 2017, the plane tickets are already paid and only the accommodation is missing. But if it hits the Golden Week then we have no choice because our plane tickets are bought on promo and not transferable, cannot be rebooked to another date. Our target is the so called sakura - cherry blossoms which is a famous season for the pink flowers.
  3. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I think you should be fine in March/early April with getting to see the cherry blossoms! Golden week as far as I know is always very late April to May.

    I got to see the cherry blossoms in Japan one year and it's definitely worth it - I think it's just so beautiful and there's also a lot of fun events and festivals on during spring, since I think everyone wants to be out and about enjoying the nice weather! :)
  4. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    Golden Week (April 29th to May 6th) celebrates the Emperor's birthday and is not as horrid with transportation/congestion as people think it is. Yeah, there are A LOT of cultural events (like the Meiji Shrine festival) going on that congest the roadways, but my hour long commute to and from college has actually been less busy than usual...because most companies are on holiday. People generally opt to do nothing special during Golden Week, other than maybe going to the local park for a picnic and enjoying some kite flying. If you do go somewhere special within Japan, it's by shinkansen to Kyoto or Osaka.

    Your friend probably had nothing to worry about. But don't tell her that! Rather, I suggest she comes back at the end of May/beginning of June, before the summer heat really kicks in. It's typically considered "off-season."
    amelia88 likes this.
  5. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Ah! Thanks for the insight Valerie! It's good to get information from someone living there right now! I won't tell my friend - she actually rebooked for September so hopefully that time of year isn't too bad to visit. I think she wanted to get one of the JR passes and do a bit of travel around the country, so I think I she was staying in just Tokyo it wouldn't have been bad, but going on the bullet train may have been difficult given the crowd levels. Although part of me thinks that if she timed it right she would have been okay anyway, especially if she headed out and came back avoiding the first and last days of the holiday week. I imagine those days are probably nuts for travel since everyone would be heading out on the first day and trying to return on the last day to maximize their vacation!
  6. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    I think it depends on where you're going and which days you're going. I live in Japan and went to Shizuoka to see Mt.Fuji last year during Golden Week. I remember going to the Kunozan Toshogu Shrine and having to wait almost 2 hours for the ropeway. There were also no seats on the bus or trains. From what I've heard and experienced, it's pretty bad during Golden Week. Hotels are also booked up early. My friend and I almost couldn't get a hotel in Shizuoka. Golden Week is the ultimate time to travel because both parents and kids are off for 2-3 days in a row. A lot of people go on their yearly family trips during Golden Week because it's the only time everyone has off.

    This year I'm going to Okinawa, but I'll be going after Golden Week (last day of the public holiday + weekends). It should be slightly better... or at least that's what I hope.

    I don't think it's bad enough for me to cancel a trip to Japan, but I probably wouldn't have booked a trip to Japan during Golden Week in the first place XD