Are you thinking about what to do during Golden Week in Tokyo? If you’re curious about the top things to do during the golden week holidays in Tokyo, we assembled a list of things to do for you. Of course, we encourage social distancing, mask use and proper sanitation measures to protect others if you plan on going outdoors.
For those of you who don’t know much about Golden Week, it’s known as the longest vacation period in Japan. During the working holiday season, friends and family gather to enjoy the outdoors and spend time together. There are four special holidays within Golden Week: Showa Day, Constitution Day, Greenery Day, and Children’s Day, running from April 29 to May 5. Each day has its special celebrations, so as we’ve mentioned before, we will list things you can do each day in Tokyo. Enjoy!
Top 10 Things to do during Golden Week 2021 in Tokyo
Table of Contents
Showa Day (April 29, 2021)
Known as the starting work holiday of Golden Week, Showa Day (also called, “Showa no hi,” in Japanese) commemorates former Emperor Hirohito’s birthday. He ruled during the Showa period which is why the day is labeled as “Showa Day.” On this day, people tend to either have picnics or visit Shrines. Below are a couple of places you can visit to celebrate the holiday.
Kameido Tenjin Shrine is known for its extravagant purple cascading Wisteria flowers during the Golden Week period. Entering the area is FREE and they even have light-up events at night to experience the sparkling wonders. Please note that the afternoon can get crowded, so it’s better to visit the shrine in the morning. Since their website is only in Japanese, here are the details for you:
- Location: 3 Chome-6-1 Kameido, Koto City, Tokyo 136-0071 (Near Kinshichō Station and Kameido Station)
- Hours: The shrine building is open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the grounds are open 24 hours every day
Known for the colorful Azalea flower bushes filling the landscape, Nezu Shrine is one of the beautiful Shrines to visit during the springtime. If you’re lucky, you can still see the flowers during Golden Week and maybe spend your time at the shrine. Similar to Kameido Tenjin Shrine, you will expect more people in the afternoon versus bright and early in the morning.
- Location: 1 Chome-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0031 (Near Todaimae Station and Nezu Station)
Constitution Day (May 3, 2021)
“Kenpo kinenbi,” also called Constitution Day in English, celebrates the birthday of Japan’s postwar constitution. This historical moment occurred back in 1947. On Constitution Day in Japan, we’ve listed a couple of activities you can do to enjoy the golden week holiday.
If you’d like to go for an easy mountain climb/hike, Mt. Koubou may be the place for you. To celebrate Constitution Day, you can enjoy the outdoors, avoid the crowds and take in some fresh air during your adventure. It takes about two and a half hours, so you won’t need to prepare a full day to do it. Depending on the time of year, the mountain has a variety of colorful and vibrant plants and flowers for you to see and take photos. We found a full guide for you with all of the details including location, preparation information, maps, and photos, so feel free to check it out here for your Golden Week holidays.
If you’re trying to find something to do indoors during Golden Week, you can spend Constitution Day by making Japanese food at home. We found a blog that has easy Japanese recipes with YouTube videos so if you’d like to give it a try, click here.
Greenery Day (May 4, 2021)
Greenery Day in Japan is probably what you think it celebrates: nature. Known as “Midori no hi,” in Japanese, this day is dedicated to the environment since the former emperor loved nature. It used to be on the 29th of April until it was changed to May 4th in 2006. Greenery Day encourages people to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate plants, flowers, and trees, so please take a look at places to visit in Tokyo to love what the emperor also admired.
Since Greenery Day encourages people to enjoy nature, Showa Memorial Park (Showa Kinen Koen) is a perfect place to visit. It’s a wide park that is currently holding a flower festival where they showcase their beautiful plants and flowers such as poppies and tulips throughout the area. For quick details on how to get there and check the hours and fees, click here.
- Location: 3173 Midoricho, Tachikawa City, Tokyo 190-0014 (Near Tachikawa Station and Nishi-Tachikawa Station)
Ashikaga Flower Park in Tokyo is a beautiful and heavenly place filled with luscious greenery which is ideal for the golden week holiday. Wisteria flowers that look like purple petals trickling down like raindrops are spread across the park. To see info instantly about entering the park, hours, etc. please click here.
- Location: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi 329-4216 (Near Ashikaga Flower Park Station)
At the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, you can see the shocking purple and pink moss (which look like flowers in the distance) of shibazakura and even Mt. Fuji in the distance. This is a wide area that will also be great for celebrating Greenery Day during Golden Week. The festival is located a bit far from Tokyo, but it’s easy to get there. To learn more about the event, location, hours and more, click here.
- Location: 212 Motosu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun 401-0337 (Near Kawaguchiko Station)
Children’s Day (May 5, 2021)
Children’s Day (known as “kodomo no hi” in Japanese) in Japan also celebrates Boys’ Day which is called, “tango no sekku” in Japanese. On this particular day, families pray for their sons’ success and hang up the infamous flying carp decorations outside of their homes. Usually, the flying carp (known as “koinobori” in Japanese) are hung in certain colors. The black carp symbolizes the father, the red one represents the mother and the other colors will signify the children (sons and daughters). A great way to celebrate this day is to just spend precious time with family and people that you care about.
A common crafty activity that you can do at home during Golden Week is doing origami. This is an ideal crafting session that you can do on Children’s Day. You can make any kind of shape you want with your friends or family. The classic paper crane is a well-known shape that we challenge you and others to make. If you want to know how to make one or maybe a thousand, feel free to check out the DIY video we discovered for you.
A great place to see colorful carp streamers that look like they’re flying in the sky is next to the Tokyo Tower. As mentioned before, carp streamers are decorated outside for Children’s Day. If you want a picturesque area with the flying carp hung outside, we recommend you to visit Tokyo Tower. You can view them either in the daytime or after the sunset when they’ll be lit up. To learn more about the event, click here.
- Location: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0011 (Near Onarimon Station)
If you just want to indulge the sun rays and have a good home meal outside without being in a crowded park, there’s no need to worry about that. Tokyo has many parks across the city where you will be able to chat and munch with your friends or family. You may visit large well-known parks like Yoyogi Park and Hibiya Park, but they tend to be very crowded. One easy way to see what parks are near you is to check Google Maps, choose “Default” as your layout view (the one without the realistic satellite images), and look for green square patches. They will most likely be public parks. Please make sure you check for their parking details, hours see if you can eat there. If everything looks good, happy picnicking on Children’s Day!
To wrap up everything...
Golden Week is a special work holiday period for many of us. At Smiles, we hope that the list that we curated will encourage you to make the most of your holiday week while taking COVID-19 health measures to secure everyone’s safety.
Want to check out more ways to enjoy Golden Week? Take a look at a couple of other blogs we have for you: