Golden Week: What Are These Japanese Holidays?

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Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク) is Japan’s longest and much-needed string of national holidays starting from April 29 through early May. Although there are only four holidays, most people use their allotted paid vacation days to take the entire week or more off. Hideo Matsuyama, the managing director of Daiei Motion Pictures, coined the name in 1951. Matsuyama noticed ticket sales would surge during this holiday week more than any time of the year. He dubbed it “Golden Week” after Japan’s radio and TV phrase “golden time,” which was the point of time with the highest listener and viewer ratings. Durin…

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