The Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays within seven days. In combination with well placed weekends, the Golden Week becomes one of Japan's three busiest holiday seasons, besides New Year and the Obon week.
Trains, airports and sightseeing spots get very crowded during Golden Week, and accommodation in tourist areas can get booked out well in advance.
The national holidays making up the Golden Week are:
Showa Day (Showa no hi):
April 29 is the birthday of former Emperor Showa, who died in the year 1989. Until 2006, Greenery Day (see May 4) used to be celebrated on this day.
Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi):
On this day in 1947, the new postwar constitution was put into effect.
Greenery Day (Midori no hi):
Until 2006, Greenery Day used to be celebrated on April 29, the birthday of former Emperor Showa. The day is dedicated to the environment and nature, because the emperor loved plants and nature. Before being declared Greenery Day, May 4 used to be a national holiday due to a law, which declares a day, that falls between two national holidays, a national holiday.
Children's Day (Kodomo no hi):
The Boy's Festival (Tango no Sekku) is celebrated on this day. Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging up carp streamers and displaying samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power and success in life. The Girl's Festival is celebrated on March 3.
Golden Week 2015
In 2015, the weekends are placed in a way to create an isolated holiday during the first half and a five-day holiday period in the second half of the Golden Week. Travel activity is anticipated to peak on May 2 with people leaving the large urban centers and on May 5 and 6 in the opposite direction.