Pros & Cons of Travelling During the Golden Week in Japan

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Set to travel solo to Japan during the Golden Week? Well, the internet is divided. Some consider the Golden Week the best time to visit Japan like a native. Whereas the rest are of the opposite opinion. 

To be honest, no matter when you visit Japan, every season has its flair. And they all come with their set of pros and cons. The Golden Week, too! While the pros include festivity in the air, there are also cons to travelling during the Golden Week in Japan, like skyrocketing prices. 

With that in mind, as far as I observed, here is a comprehensive list of the pros & cons of travelling during the Golden Week in Japan and what it is all about. 

What happens during Golden Week in Japan?

Celebration, tradition and travel – these three things sum up accurately the Golden Week in Japan. With a cluster of four national holidays from the end of April to the start of May – the Golden Week is the most anticipated holiday in Japan. 

During the Golden Week period, people in Japan unfailingly take breaks to travel around the country and celebrate life. In short, it is the time when the locals turn into tourists. 

The pros of travelling during the Golden Week in Japan

Pro #1 – Japan is in the festive mode

With Showa Day, Constitution Day, Greenery Day, and Children’s Day, Japan is in high spirits during the Golden Week. The vibrant festivals and events are infectious. Be ready to be AMAZED! 

Plus, this is the best time to learn about the culture and traditions of Japan. Attend traditional events like Hakata Dontaku in early May in Fukuoka. Besides parades, live performances, and Japanese delicacies, you also get to shake a leg with the Japanese people.

Pro #2 – The perfect weather 

One of the pros of travelling during the Golden Week in Japan is the weather. It’s neither chilly nor humid – just right between the transitional season – mild and pleasant spring.  

Moreover, the Golden Week dates sometimes even coincide with the Sakura season. So, if the timing is alright, you might witness cherry blossoms in full bloom. Plus, the Mount Fuji views and the coasts are equally stunning.  

Pro #3 – Catch up with the locals

On your solo travel to Japan, this is probably the only time you won’t be alone. During the Golden Week in Japan, people are willing to converse. Even on the TRAIN! Surprising, isn’t it? Generally, it is considered rude in Japan to talk on the train

But with the festive vibe, everyone let their guard down. And you might even end up with local friends. 

Cons of travelling during the Golden Week in Japan

Con #1 – The tourist rush

One of the setbacks of travelling during the Golden Week in Japan is the crowd. Tourists are everywhere. Literally. As the entire country switches their travelling mode on, local tourists flock to all the popular places in Japan. And the foreign tourists just add to it.  

The long queues at major sights, overcrowded transportation, packed restaurants, and the busy streets make travellingduring the Golden Week period in Japan a bit overwhelming. 

Con #2 – Limited availability

While travelling during the Golden Week in Japan, this is for sure – the limited availability. Be it where you stay, eat and visit in Japan, do not keep things for the last moment. Otherwise, executing a smooth solo vacation in Japan will be a hotchpotch. 

As the majority of the locals are on holiday, it is best to book well in advance. If possible, secure reservations months in advance for accommodation and popular attractions. 

Con #3 – Exorbitant prices

If your solo trip to Japan is on a budget, sorry to break the bubble – the Golden Week is not the right time for you to visit Japan. 

Every other cons are still manageable, but this one is unavoidable. With the rise in demand for travel during the Golden Week in Japan, the prices of everything including flights and hotels are on a spike. 

Con #4 – Transportation drawbacks

Especially if you are travelling to Japan for the first time, another stressful con of travelling during the Golden Week is transportation.

Although Japan is known for its efficient transportation system, it becomes difficult to navigate through the jam-packed flights, trains, and buses. You can easily get flustered between the stations and roads while exploring parts of Japan. 

My ultimate 101 advice to travel during the Golden Week in Japan

If crowds make you claustrophobic, stick to TOKYO and experience slow living in this fast-paced capital during the initial days of the Golden Week. Why? Tokyo, being the working hub, tends to remain a little less crowded than other regions of Japan, such as Kansai and Hokkaido.  

Is it good to travel to Japan during the Golden Week?

pros and cons of travel during golden week in Japan

Well, let’s not exaggerate! Whether you should or shouldn’t visit Japan during the Golden Week is subjective. But to put it in a nutshell – it is good to travel to Japan during the Golden Week. Despite the crowd and exorbitant prices, you get to experience Japan in its festive avatar – people are friendlier, temples and shrines exude an enchanting charm, and the weather is perfect travel-friendly.

With that, we have come to the end of this blog. Do not overthink. Plan every detail of your solo trip carefully. And, of course, in advance! 

Pack light, book your stays, bookmark your favourite activities to do during the Golden Week in Japan, and stick to your itinerary. If you are wondering what a solo trip to Japan looks like in 2024, refer to my blog. And remember, Japan never disappoints, even during the Golden Week! Just plan it right.

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Swagachi

An introverted solo female traveller on an adventure around the world.

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