In Tokyo, you'll be energised by the frenetic pace of life, dazzled by the neon and entranced by every detail of life there: the amazing politeness, the incredible punctuality of subway trains, the extraordinary vending machines and the super-fashionable teenagers. Enjoy the fantastic noodle and sushi bars, catch a sumo contest and explore futuristic Tokyo Bay.
- Futuristic Tokyo
- Mount Fuji
- Nikko World Heritage Area Beautiful Scenery
- Historic Hiroshima
Important Dates 2013
Jan - 1st New Year (National Holiday), 14th The Coming of Age festival is celebrated on the second Monday of January. Its Japanese name is Seijin no hi. All young people who turn twenty years old in that year are celebrated on Seijin no hi. Twenty is the age considered as the beginning of adulthood. It is also the minimum legal age for voting, drinking and smoking.(National Holiday
Feb - 11th National Foundation Day (kenkoku kinenbi) According to the earliest Japanese history records, on this day in the year 660 BC the first Japanese emporer was crowned. (National Holiday)
Mar – Cherry Blossom Seasons starts. 3rd The Hina Matsuri or Doll Festival or Girl's Festival is celebrated on March 3. On this day, families with girls wish their daughters a successful and happy life. Dolls are displayed in the house together with peach blossoms. The doll festival has its origin in a Chinese custom in which bad fortune is transferred to dolls and then removed by abandoning the doll on a river. On Hina Matsuri, sweet sake is drunk and chirashi suchi is eaten. Around the 20th Spring Equinox Day (shunbun no hi), (National Holiday).
Apr - April 29th Showa Day (Showa no hi) The birthday of former Emperor Showa. Showa Day is part of Golden Week. A collection of 4 National Holidays within 7 days, becoming one of Japan’s three busiest holiday seasons, beside New Year and the Obon week.
May – 3rd Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi), 4th Greenery Day (Midori no hi) A day dedicated to the environment and nature because the former emperor love plants and nature. 5th Childrens Day (Kodomo no hi), The Boy’s Festival, Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging up carp streamers and displaying samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power and success in life.
Jul – 7th Tanabata Festival or Star Festival. takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year, when, according to a Chinese legend, the two stars Altair and Vega, which are usually separated from each other by the milky way, are able to meet. Because the 7th month of the year roughly coincides with August rather than July according to the formerly used lunar calendar, Tanabata is still celebrated on August 7th in some regions of Japan, while it is celebrated on July 7th in other regions. 15th Ocean Day (umi no hi) A day of celebration that marks the return of Emperor Meiji from a boat trip to Hokkaido in 1876. (National Holiday). - 27th Tokyo Sumida River Fireworks , Originally used to ward off evil spirits, fireworks (Hanabi) have a long history in Japan and are an integral part of Japanese summers.
Aug - Obon is an annual Buddhist event for commemorating one's ancestors. It is believed that each year during Obon, the ancestors' spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives. Obon is observed from the 13th to the 15th day of the 7th month of the year, which is July according to the solar calendar. However, since the 7th month of the year roughly coincides with August rather than July according to the formerly used lunar calendar, Obon is still observed in mid August in many regions of Japan, while it is observed in mid July in other regions.
Sep - 16th Respect for Aged Day (National Holiday). 23rd Autumn Equinox (National Holiday).
Oct – 13th Formula 1 Grand Prix at Suzuka. 14th Health and Sports Day. (National Holiday).
Nov - 4th Culture Day (National Holiday). 23rd Labour Thanksgiving Day (National Holiday).
Dec - 23rd Emperor’s Birthday (National Holiday). 25th Christmas Day (not a National Holiday.
Please note: All events listed are for helpful information only and some may be subject to entrance fees and/or prior reservation, and may be cancelled at any time. Please check with the relevant tourist office if you need further information on these or any of the other events in this region.
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Time Difference - GMT +9 hours
Currency - Japanese Yen (JPY)
Visa Requirements - British citizens do not require a visa for travel.
Language - The official language is Japanese.