Japan has some fairly major holidays in the year; The Emperor’s Birthday on Dec. 23, Coming of Age Day on the second Monday in January, Ocean Day on the third Monday in July, etc. These are to just name a few.
These holidays, however, pale in comparison to the wonderful Golden Week.
Many holidays happen to fall during the last week in April and the first week in May.
This creates a huge holiday for government workers as it usually amounts to a full week off of work.
This comes as a relief to many people, especially since April is the start of the fiscal year, creating a lot of work and training with very little free time.
During Golden Week, traveling in Japan becomes tiring, and very expensive.
Places like Kyoto and Tokyo are packed with tourists trying to take in the sights leading to long queues, and large crowds.
However, traveling outside of Japan is quite cheap. So during my Golden Week, I traveled to Bali.
This trip was my final holiday while living in Japan, and I was really looking forward to it.
I always find the changing of the fiscal year to be a bit sad, and stressful; saying goodbye to coworkers potentially forever and readjusting to new coworkers way of working with you is a pretty tough task.
I wasn’t the only one looking forward to it either; one friend who joined me on my holiday had worked around 40 days in a row averaging 12 hours a day. So she was definitely long over-due for her time off.
After 10 days filled with scuba diving, kayaking, and swimming, we returned home to Hokkaido.
To our dismay, we had completely missed the cherry blossoms of the year; they started just after we left, and finished just before we returned.
But regardless of our luck, there is nothing better than stepping off a long flight into the refreshing, cool, Hokkaido air.
Instead of sharing a Japanese proverb this month, I’d like to share an English proverb that my school loves, “One for all, and all for one.” One class in the Junior High school uses this as their class slogan.
Anna Marshall is in Summerland’s sister city of Toyokoro, Japan as the assistant English teacher.