Golden Week in Nozawa Onsen
Golden Week takes place over the last week of our skiing season. In fact, this year, it’s a little more than a week but we’ll get to that in a minute.
It’s a great time to be in town for a few reasons. We should still have a bit of snow up top and spring weather suits the vibe. You could even take a few turns on the mountain in the morning and a paddle on the lake in the afternoon! There’s a festive feel during Golden Week and this year it’s extra special.
What is Golden Week and why is it special in 2019?
Basically, it’s a collection of national holidays which occur alongside one another. Usually combined with well placed weekends, Golden Week becomes one of Japan’s three longest holiday seasons, along with New Year and Obon week.
Public holidays which are observed and celebrated include;
Apr 29th – Showa day celebrating the former Emperor
May 3rd – Constitution Day
May 4th – Greenery Day – dedicated to the environment and nature
May 5th – Children’s Day – see the carp streamers flying high
You may have heard or read that the Emperor is set to abdicate on April 30th. The new Emperor will ascend on the 1st of May. The 1st of May then becomes a national holiday too. Because Japanese law states that a day between two national holidays must also be a day off, April 30th and May 2nd automatically become national holidays!
Confused? What it all means is that for the very first time in 2019, Golden Week stretches out to a 10-day holiday.
There are typically very few overseas guests around. However, there will be lots of domestic travellers heading up from Tokyo and other cities to get a taste of mountain life.
Beyond Golden Week
After Golden Week is done, so is the skiing. Not to worry though, as the village transitions from a ski resort town to traditional farming village. Many will tell you that there’s even more to do in the Green Season than in winter. Hiking, yoga and meditation, mountain biking, road biking, SUP, kayaking, etc. The list goes on, and we’re still to mention all the not-so-strenuous pursuits like calligraphy lessons and gyoza cooking classes!
In fact, we’re hearing more people ask about spending time here during summer. So we decided to put together a deal to suit. Essenitally, it means that you can spend a month in Nozawa Onsen cheaper than you can rent at home!
Check it out below.