Silver Week: Japanese Public Holidays in September

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    • Japanese culture
  • Update date

    • 2022-09-05

Silver Week is a week in September containing consecutive public holidays. If you travel in Japan during this time, some stores may be closed and public transportation may be crowded, so take a look at these travel tips for ideal destinations.

Silver Week in Japan: Enjoy Early Fall Holidays!

Silver Week is a string of consecutive holidays that often fall in September, depending on the year’s alignment of national holidays. During Silver Week, public transportation is often very crowded, which can have an effect on your trip.

This article introduces the schedule of Silver Week in 2022, how to avoid the rush, and some places to enjoy autumn travels. This set of consecutive holidays is like a shorter version of Golden Week, which occurs in early May.

Public Holidays in September

In 2022, Silver week involves two 3-day weekends. The first starts officially on Saturday, September 17, and continues through Monday, September 19. The second begins on Friday, September 23, and continues through Sunday, September 25.

There are three normal weekdays between the 3-day weekends in 2022, and for those who can take these days off too, it will be possible to have as many as 9 consecutive days off this year!

Silver Week doesn’t happen every year. There are two national holidays in September that must line up correctly to result in Silver Week. Those two national holidays are Respect For The Aged Day, which happens on the third Monday of the month, and Autumnal Equinox Day (*1), which, in 2022, occurs on September 23.

Since normal weekdays sandwiched between national holidays become public holidays as well, a weekday that falls between Respect For The Aged Day and Autumnal Equinox Day becomes a holiday. For example, if Respect For The Aged Day is on a Monday, and Autumnal Equinox Day is on a Wednesday, the Tuesday in-between becomes a holiday. This can result in a five-day holiday Silver Week, including Saturday and Sunday!

*1: The date of Autumnal Equinox Day, when the daytime and nighttime are equal in length, is decided by the National Astronomical Observatory. It is a day to celebrate the fall harvest, and also serves as a day to venerate ancestors.

Important Points About Silver Week

Silver Week is thought of as a time for those who live in Japan to go back to their hometowns or go traveling. Roads, trains, airports, and sightseeing areas will be unusually busy, so you’ll need to plan carefully when making your itinerary. In 2022, travel may be lighter as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections. If you do plan on taking a trip, be sure to exercise social distancing and follow local guidelines.

No matter what form of transportation you use during Silver Week, you’re bound to encounter crowds. If you get trapped in a traffic jam while taking a car or bus, you run the risk of losing a day of travel time. It’s more likely that you will be able to stick to your schedule by taking trains, but you may have difficulty finding a seat.

If you want to save time and avoid the Silver Week crush, pay for a reserved seat or go by plane. Having said that, it’s a popular time for travel, which means that prices will be inflated, so make reservations early.

The Best Destinations During Silver Week

Enjoy the Season with Hot Springs! Shin-Hotaka in Gifu

Attend one of Tokyo’s Three Great Festivals: Nezu Shrine Reitaisai

...... read the rest of the article on the MATCHA website: