Japan Public Holidays for 2020

By Kiru | Posted Sep 25, 2019

This is our guide to Japanese public holidays for 2020. We will talk about when the days are, what periods you can take an extended holiday in Japan, and more about what each Japanese national holiday is about.

Japan Public Holidays 2019/2020 - Coming age day cover

Japan Public Holidays for 2020

Wednesday 01/01/2020 Japanese New Year
Monday 01/13/2020 Coming of Age Day
Tuesday 02/11/2020 National Foundation Year
Monday 02/24/2020 Emperor Birthday
Friday 03/20/2020 Vernal Equinox Day
Wednesday 04/29/2020 Showa Day
Monday 05/04/2020 Greenery Day
Tuesday 05/05/2020 Childrens Day
Wednesday 05/06/2020 Constitution Memorial Day
Monday 07/20/2020 Marine Day
Tuesday 08/11/2020 Mountain Day
Monday 09/21/2020 Respect for the Aged Day
Tuesday 09/22/2020 Autumn Equinox Day
Tuesday 09/22/2020 Citizens Day
Monday 10/12/2020 Health and Sports Day
Tuesday 11/03/2020 Culture Day
Monday 11/23/2020 Labor Thanksgiving Day

Long Vacation Periods in Japan for 2020

If you play your cards right, you might be able to align your vacation with several of the long vacation periods in Japan and maximize your time off.

Japanese Public Holidays in New Years

Japanese New year holiday is from January 1 to January 3 where businesses give their employees time to enjoy some quality time with their family.

Japanese Public Holidays - Golden Week

Golden week is a week full of public holidays where you can enjoy a long weekend. Golden week begins from April 29 right till May 5th and within those days, there are a number of public holidays 2020 like:

  1. 04/29/2020 Showa day
  2. 04/30/2020 Normal Work Day
  3. 05/01/2020 Ascension of the New Emperor, Coronation Day
  4. 05/02/2020 Normal Work Day
  5. 05/03/2020 Constitution Day in Japan
  6. 05/04/2020 Greenery Day
  7. 05/05/2020 Children's Day

There are 5 national holidays and 2 work days in that week. Use your work paid holidays on April 30th and May 2nd and enjoy a nice seven day week in Tokyo. However, please be aware that travel prices usually double during this period and that many of your co-workers will want to take time off as well. Make sure to send in your time off request more than 3 months in advance and you will probably be the first person to make the request and hopefully get it.

Based on my work experience in Japan, most people usually start making the request 1 or 2 months in advance, so anyone who makes the request 3 months in advance is ahead of the curb. Good luck taking some time off on these Japanese public holidays.

Check out 10 things to do on Golden Week

Japan National Holiday Explanations

Would you like to learn more about Japanese national holidays and the origins of the day and things to do on that day? Please read below for more information on these holidays and be the only foreigner on the block who knows. You will be surprised that many Japanese people do not know the reasons and origins as well!

Japan Public Holidays 2020 - New year 2020

Japan National Holidays in Winter

The winter season begins December 1 and lasts until February 28. There are 4 public holidays in the winter season.

Japanese New Year - Wednesday 1st January 2020

On the first of January, Japan also celebrates the New Year. Japanese people celebrate the New Year by going to shrines, eating good food from food stalls, and gifting money to loved ones. As well as pray and make wishes at temples and shrines. On the 2nd of January, you can meet the Emperor at the Imperial Palace. Find out about 7 Japanese New Year's Traditions.

Coming of Age Day - Monday 13 January 2020

Coming of Age Day is when people who are 20 years old, become adults in Japan. It is the beginning of their freedom to drink, learn to drive, gamble, smoke and attend bars. On this day, the women wear traditional kimonos while the men wear a suit and a tie. Each city has an event with photographers who will be waiting for them at the main city office. Check out Savvys article about Coming of Age Day.

Japan Public Holidays 2020: National Foundation Day - Tuesday 11 February 2020

The National Foundation Day is Japan's prideful event where they remember the very first emperor Jimmu who was emperor in 660 BC, it resembles an independence day for Japan. There's parades that you can join in, for instance if you go to Omotesando Dori you will be able to see people carrying Meiji Jingu Shrines. Back at the Imperial Palace, they are also celebrating the national foundation holiday, many people visit the Imperial palace to show their respect for Emperor Jimmu. Find out more by checking GaijinPot Blog on National Foundation Day.

Japan Public Holidays 2020: Emperors Birthday - Monday February 24 2020 

Celebrate the Emperors Birthday on the 24th February by visiting the Imperial palace to see the Emperor Naruhito. Please be aware that due to large crowds, many people might not be allowed to be outside and you will have to come early. The day is celebrated by waving Japanese flags to the Emperor and waving hello too. 

Japan Public Holidays 2020 - Coming Age Day

Japan National Holidays in Spring

The spring season begins March 1 and lasts until May 31. There are 5 public holidays in the spring season.

Holiday 2020: Vernal Equinox Day - Friday 20 March 2020

Vernal Equinox Day is the celebration of days and nights being the same length, since Japan is in the northern hemisphere. This bank holiday is announced a month before in February, the year prior due to astrology, they need the specific date. During this bank holiday, families get together and make up for lost time with each other. People also visit the cemeteries and clean up their friends and families graves. Check out Office Holidays Vernal Equinox Day.

Japan Public Holidays 2020: Showa Day - Wednesday 29 April 2020 

Showa Day is to remember the Showa era. (1926-1989) It was the time period when Japan was being remodelled. People remember the WW2 era, and the suffering and difficulties of the Showa era. On the Showa Day, people usually leave the city and visit their families in a quieter city, away from all the noise. Find out about Aglobalworld Japan Showa Day 2019.

Japan Public Holidays 2020: Greenery Day - Monday 4 May 2020

Greenery day is a day to show appreciation to nature. Although this day was represented by the Showa Emperor because he really liked plants, it has become a day where you appreciate all kinds of nature. Find out more about Japan Greenery Day.

Japan Public Holidays 2020: Children's  Day - Tuesday 5th May 2020

Children’s Day is celebrated in Japan by having carp flags outside of the house either on flag poles or roofs. Especially with families that have a boy. You will even be able to see a street full of these colorful carp flags. Families even decorate their houses with samurai armor and miniature helmets which shows their wishes to have strong and powerful boys. For Children's day, families have special foods like Chimaki and Kashiwamochi. Find out what you can do in Children's Day.

Japan Public Holidays 2019: Constitution Memorial Day - Wednesday 6th May 2020

The Constitution Memorial Day is a reminder to the Japanese people that a peace constitution was signed on the 3rd of May in 1947. This was during WW2 where countries were being bombed and cities were in a bad state. This bank holiday, is a reminder for the Japanese people to remember what their country went through and an opportunity to learn about their country’s history by going to lectures in the metropolitan areas. Here is more information on Constitution Memorial Day. 

Japan Public Holidays 2020 - Mountains day

Japan National Holidays in Summer

The summer season begins June 1 and lasts until August 31. There are 3 public holidays in the summer season.

Marine Day - Monday 20 July 2020

Marine day is a public holiday where you appreciate the seas oceans. The Meiji Emperor traveled to Tohoku and Hokkaido and Marine Day; it's a celebration of his safe travel home on the Meiji Maru. You can visit the seas on this day and remember this historical event. Find out more about Celebrating Marine Day in Japan.

 

2020 Tokyo Olympics -  Thursday 23 and Friday 24 July 2020, Monday August 10 2020 

The 2020 Olympics is happening in Japan this year in July. Japan is highly thrilled for the olympics and even have Olympic mascot called Miraitowa and Someity and you will be able to see the mascot posters everywhere in the trains stations and also mascot banners in the airports. Read more about the Tokyo Olympics.

Mountain Day - Tuesday 11 August 2020

Mountain Day gives a chance for citizens to appreciate the mountains. Mountain Day is a newer bank holiday and not many people are aware of it. Some people know the purpose of the holiday and choose not celebrate it in any way.  After many struggles the Japanese Alpine Club successfully lobbied and achieved their goal of creating a day which reminds everyone of Shinto beliefs in nature. They believe everyone should admire the beautiful mountain landscapes they have in Japan. More about Mountain Day.

Public Holidays - Health and Sports Day

Japan National Holidays in Autumn

The Autumn season begins September 1 and lasts until December 22. There are 6 public holidays in the Autumn season.

Respect for the Aged Day - Monday 21 September 2020

In Japan, Respect for the Aged day focuses on the older members of the community. Many families visit their grandparents or parents and speak with them and learn life lessons.  In 1966, when this tradition started people that have become over 100 years old within the last 12 months received silver sake cups. However, now it has been replaced with silver plated sake cups. On this day, many places do special age day celebrations by giving special treatment to the elderly. For example, at Showa Kinen Park, on the 17th September only people over 65 can visit the park. Check out Culture Trip What is Japan's 'Respect For The Aged Day'.

Autumnal Equinox Day - Tuesday 22 September 2020 

The Autumn Equinox Day marks the changing seasons, it is where the days become shorter as the sun crosses to the other side of the Southern hemisphere from the Northern Hemisphere. People also pay respect to those they have lost on this day. Click here to find out more on Autumnal Equinox Day.

Citizens Holiday - Tuesday 22 September 2020

More information coming soon. 

Health and Sports Day  - Monday 12 October 2020

Health and Sports Day is a time where everyone comes together to participate in activities like tug of war, three legged races, and bean bag toss. This is celebrated in companies and Japanese schools alike. It is a chance to be active together, be healthy together,  and have fun together. Look at what else you can do on Health and Sports Day.

Culture Day  - Tuesday 3 November 2020

Culture day is all about embracing Japanese culture. There is also a Culture Awards Ceremony which takes place at the Imperial Palace where awards are given to people that have contributed to Japanese culture. Here you can find more information on Understanding Culture Day in Japan.

Labour Thanksgiving Day - Monday 23 November 2020

Labour Thanksgiving is a bank holiday where people celebrate labour and production. In the past in 660BC, farmers celebrated their crops growing since they put a lot of effort into the harvesting. More information can be found here about Labor Thanksgiving Day.

Find out here about what you could do on the bank holidays:

Japan Public Holidays and Annual Events

Public Holidays Japan Schedule

Paid National Holiday Explanations

Would you like to learn more about Japanese national holidays and the origins of the day and things to do on that day? Please read below for more information on these holidays and be the only foreigner on the block who knows. You will be surprised that many Japanese people do not know the reasons and origins as well!

Paid and national holidays

In Japan, not all national holidays mean that your company will pay you. Only on some paid holidays you will not have to feel guilty about not working. In Japan, you are given 10 days annual paid leave and then depending on how long you have worked for the company you could get more. For instance, if you work for 2.5 years you will get 12 days off, let's look at the paid holidays.

Company Duration        Days off

6 months                         10 days

1.5 years                           11 days

2.5 years                           12 days

3.5 years                           14 days

4.5 years                           16 days

5.5 years                           18 days

6.5 years                           20 days

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