Surprising holiday habits of Japanese People!
Hi everyone! It’s Golden Week right now in Japan and I’m just at home taking it easy.
When I was living in New Zealand I often heard about the Japanese workforce as one that very seldom took holidays and worked extraordinarily long hours.
Even before I went to live in Japan I had a set stereotype of the Japanese work ethic and environment.
So you can imagine my surprise during the first Golden Week (3 days of public holidays when timed right also joins to a weekend meaning 5 or more consecutive days off) where I found traffic jams left and right, shinkasens full to the brim of people, and plane ticket prices that increased suddenly just during those few days!
It seemed that the Japanese workforce who were allowed or were able to take days off did it all at the same time causing huge impacts on public transport and roads.
Japan has such a huge population that even if only a part of Japan takes time off during Golden Week or other consecutive holidays then it has huge influence on public infrastructure!
Another thing that really blew me away was the special ability to sit quietly and go with the flow in a 10km or even bigger (25km+) traffic jam!
For me and my family coming from Auckland where the traffic jams on the motorway are horrendous, we just do our best to stay away from them where ever possible!
Going to lengths such as taking a normal road on the stretch of motorway that is congested, changing the time we travel and in the worse case scenario if we get caught in a jam on the motorway we just get off at the nearest off ramp asap!
My dad used to tell me that he had heard traffic jams in Japan, particularly Tokyo were so bad that the car were basically idling for hours at a time.
And when used car came to NZ from Japan more often than not the odometers wouldn’t show such high milage but the engines had really heavy wear.
I broke into a cold sweat thinking about his image of crazy impenetrable Japanese traffic jams! Then I came to Japan. Actually I got a HATO Bus tour..I went all around Tokyo, to Chinzanso, to Sumidagawa..to Asakusa..getting on and off the motorway the whole day with the bus tour.
I didn’t see one single traffic jam! I was amazed at the fact that maybe? Auckland traffic was WORSE than Tokyos? That being said, things like accidents on the motorway, public holidays, and work and school travel times lead to natural congestion on roads as they do anywhere.
Another really surprising point was overbooked shinkansen during public holidays and end of the year/start of the new year!
During this time in Japan people go on trips or head to their home town leading to congestion on rail. My friend mentioned that she headed home from Tokyo to Osaka during Golden Week but wait for it…she stood the entire trip there and back!!
I believe its a bit under 3 hours? But standing the whole time? I got such a shock! Over public holidays and long weekends Japanese people decide more often that no to go out leading to long long queues at otherwise not normally busy restaurants.
Even though Kiwis are pretty good with lining up, 2 or 3 hour waits for a bit to eat is just..well.. normal during public holidays here in Japan!
Its like the traffic jams! Here they go with the flow and or just put up with it! Seeing these patterns of movement and holidaying by Japanese people, the airlines and travel agents here have targeted consumers by increasing ticket and hotel prices correspondingly!
I think in NZ we have a high season and a low season, but if prices were increased for 3 days only (around a set of public holidays) I think people would not be happy at all! The last surprising thing about Japanese holiday style is the ability to take a huge overseas trip (to say NZ or Italy etc) and compact it into 3 days over on that country!
Travel time included the trip is done in under 5 days! After going on such an international mission I think I would need a holiday afterwards to recover from my holiday! lol
I remember these surprising points every year as we enter Golden Week holidays. The infamous holiday style of Japanese people!
Of course I’m a Kiwi however so I’m chilled out at home avoiding those traffic jams! Hope you all have a great Golden Week! Cheers!

皆さん、こんにちは! 現在ゴールデンウィークでゆっくりしています!
(すいません、UPが遅くなりGW最終日ですね from DUKE・管理人)
つまり 休める余裕を持ってる日本人は一気に同じタイミングで休んでビックリした! 人口の多さによって一部の方だけ休んでも交通などにも影響ありますね。
父親が昔から: 東京、日本の交通渋滞がひどすぎて、車はほぼアイドリングで、中古車があんまり沢山走ってないのにエンジンが疲れきってるケースが多いっと。。
続いて 満車の新幹線に驚きました! ゴールデンウィークや年末年始特に旅行や里帰りが増え、新幹線やレールでの移動が混雑。 新幹線が満車になっても日本人は乗るんですね!
すごい!! お友達がゴールデンウィーク中移動のために新幹線は東京から大阪のるっと言う。でも行きも帰りも立てた!。。
3時間弱立てました?! 本当にビックリした。 連休になると、出かけよう!っと言う方が増え、レストランの前で沢山の行列賀できて驚きでした。
ニュージーランド人でも「並ぶ」にはそれほど提供はないと思いますが、日本の場合2、3時間平気で並びます! 渋滞と似てて、二つとも我慢や落ち着いた心が必要です(笑)
最後に 三日間だけとか、超短期期間で世界の長距離飛ばす日本人は驚き!! 三日間でニュージーランド遊びに行くとか、イタリア遊びに行くとか、旅行は全部で5日間とか!!ハードすぎて日本に帰ってくると休みからの休みが必要ではないか?!(笑)
毎回連休になると思い出す日本の驚きholiday事情(笑) ニュージーランド人の私は相変わらず、混雑に巻き込まないように家でゆっくり♪ 皆さん、よい連休を!!

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