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Happy Golden Week!

Akin to our spring break, Golden Week, or Ōgon Shūkan, is one of the most popular travel weeks in Japan. This week consists of four public holidays that span from April 29th to May 5th, and both transportation providers as well as hotel accommodations sell out quickly for this time.  Golden Week is also the biggest week for tourist attractions throughout Japan, and many sites in Asia, Australia, Hawaii and the even the Western coast of the U.S.

These four holidays include:

 Shōwa Day (Shōwa no Hi) –  April 29th

Show Day commemorates the late Emperor Hirohito, and encourages public remembrance of the turbulent 63 years of his reign when Japan witnessed the rise of Fascism, World War II, the post-war occupation, and its rise as an industrial and economic power. On Miyuki-Dori street in Ginza (a district in Tokyo), people enjoy the carpet of tulip pedals that form a mural on the road on Showa Day.

Showa Day flower mural on  Miyuki-Dori street in Ginza, Tokyo

Showa Day flower mural on Miyuki-Dori street in Ginza, Tokyo

Constitution Memorial Day (Kenpō Kinenbi) – May 3rd

On this day Japan remembers the establishment of the Japanese Constitution in 1947, and reflects on the meaning of democracy in Japan. While, there are not any particular celebrations on this day, it is seen as a patriotic day for Japan.

Well-wishers wave Japanese flags as Japan's Emperor Akihito makes a public appearance on a balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Well-wishers wave Japanese flags as Japan’s Emperor Akihito makes a public appearance on a balcony of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Greenery Day (Midori no Hi) – May 4th

Greenery Day celebrates nature and remembers the Emperor Showa’s love of all things green with tree planting and nature walks.

Families stroll a local park on Greenery Day.

Families stroll a local park on Greenery Day.

Children’s Day (Kodomo no Hi) – May 5th
Traditionally known as Boy’s Day, or Tango no Sekku, today Children’s Day celebrates all children’s distinct personalities – boys and girls – and wishes them happiness. On Children’s Day families fly Carp windsocks, or Koinobori, on a flag pole in front of their homes to represent each member of the family. This colorful display stems from the legend that a Carp that swims upstream will become a dragon,  symbolizing the strength and determination the family hopes their children will exemplify.  Today, Children’s Day is celebrated throughout Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam.

Carp windsocks, or Koinobori, fly outside the Morikami every year for Children's Day.

Carp windsocks, or Koinobori, fly outside the Morikami every year for Children’s Day.

Though the U.S. may not officially celebrate Golden Week, we hope you’ll take us up on our invitation to spend at least some of Golden Week here with us! Whether it’s on May 3rd at our first Sushi & Stroll of the Summer, May 4th for Greenery Day (our gardens are a shoo-in for the perfect Greenery Day excursion), or May 5th for Children’s Day to watch our own Koinobori fly, get a taste of Japan right here in South Florida.

Wendy, from our education department, shows off her Koinobori dress on Children's Day 2012

Wendy, from our education department, shows off her Koinobori dress on Children’s Day 2012

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