Today (Showa-no-hi) is the first public holiday of the so-called Golden Week holidays that fall at the end of April and the beginning of May.
Golden Week sees a mass exodus from the cities as people may traditionally travel home, or take a short vacation either in Japan or overseas. The mass exit and return ("U-turn") is marked by long traffic jams and packed airports.
Some hotels, onsen spas and ryokan (tradition Japanese inns) may levy a small surcharge at this time.
The national holidays falling in the Golden Week period are Showa Day (April 29), Constitution Memorial Day (May 3), Greenery Day (May 4) and Children's Day (May 5). This year the holidays include April 29th and Monday May 4-Wednesday May 6 as Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi) falls on the Sunday, 3rd.
Japanese carp streamers or koinobori at this time of year especially on Children's Day or Boy's Day on May 5. The carp symbolize the virility and perseverance of the males of the household.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009