Reiwa begins with a 10 day golden week holiday

The Reiwa era has begun! Special guest Yumi joins the guys again to talk about the special 10 day Golden Week holiday. Does she like Golden Week? The Heisei era ends on May 1st and a new emperor will be crowned, beginning the new Reiwa era. Listen to some interesting Golden Week stories in Hokkaido and opinions about the long holiday.

Photo by Atul Vinayak on Unsplash

Reiwa conversation highlights


  • Why is Golden Week a 10 day holiday this year?
  • What do Japanese people think of the Emperor?
  • Japanese people stressing out about the long holiday
  • Ben shares his most memorable Golden Week holiday
  • The new Reiwa era and what the name means
  • People getting confused with the Japanese eras and calendar
  • The most popular cherry blossom viewing spots in Hokkaido
  • Barbecuing during Golden Week
  • Barbecuing on the beach during the summer time is a Hokkaido “thing”
  • Making the most out of sunny days.
  • Japanese words that became popular during the Heisei era
  • Golden week plans
  • Ben shares a memorable Golden week story about Burke
  • Yumi shares her worst Golden week holiday
  • The negatives of Golden Week
  • Yumi’s ideal Golden week would be to go to Okinawa

In Hokkaido, Golden Week is a bit different than the rest of Japan because the winter has just ended, meaning that it’s still a bit cold. However, this does not stop the locals from barbecuing down by the river and in the most popular spot, Maruyama Park. In fact, the purported reason for barbecuing in Maruyama park is for cherry blossom viewing, but because of the cold weather the cherry blossoms are not in full bloom, usually there are only a few trees with some level of bloomage. But Hokkaido people love to barbecue and come rain or shine, during Golden Week, it is guaranteed to be a party atmosphere in Maruyama Park. And to be honest, they don’t really care about the cherry blossoms! If you have a chance to visit Hokkaido during Golden Week, going to this park is a must!

It is the first time for the Golden Week holiday to be 10 days long. And, many people are actually complaining that the holiday is too long. Especially, families with young children become stressed and “over-worked” entertaining their kids for 10 days. Some people would actually rather go to work because they can at least relax for a few hours a day! Furthermore, Golden Week is a time when everyone in Japan is on holiday, therefore there are so many people traveling in, out, and around Japan and the prices for travel and accommodation double and sometimes triple! So, it can be a bit of a nightmare travelling during this time, with many many people, including Yumi and the Voices in Japan Podcast hosts preferring to stay home to avoid the crowds during this hectic time.

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