Tag Archives: 敬老の日


19 Jul

Today is 「海の日」 (Sea Day) in Japan.

This is a holiday to remember the sea and all that it provides.
(Click here to read the post I wrote at last year’s 「海の日」 (Sea Day).)

Today is Monday and it’s a national holiday in Japan therefore Japan has a three-day weekend now. 「海の日」 (Sea Day) is always on a Monday, so it’s always a three-day weekend.

But it wasn’t always like this.

Actually when I first came to Japan, there was no 「海の日」 (Sea Day) holiday. There were no holidays in Japan during July at all.

This holiday started a few years after I came here. And it was always on the 20th of July.

Then about six or seven years ago, the Japanese government decided to start what is called the 「ハッピー・マンデー制度」 (“Happy Monday System“) in Japan.

Under this system, all national holidays that don’t fall on a date that can’t be changed (such as the Emperor’s Birthday, New Year’s, etc) now fall on the closest Monday.

So now 「海の日」 (Sea Day) is on the third Monday of July rather than July 20.

There are a few other holidays on the 「ハッピー・マンデー制度」 (“Happy Monday System“) as well.
These are 「成人の日」 (“Adults Day”) in January, 「敬老の日」 (“Respect For The Aged Day”), and 「体育の日」 (“Sports Day”).

Does your country have a system for holidays on a Monday to make three-day-weekends?

Silver week has begun

19 Sep

Today is the first day of a five-day holiday period in Japan that’s being called “Silver Week“.
In late April – early May every year, is a similarly long holiday period called “Golden Week“…but this is the first time there’s a “Silver Week“.

It’s because Monday, September 21 is a holiday called 「敬老の日」 (“Respect For The Elderly Day“) and Wednesday, September 23 is another holiday, 「秋分の日」 (Autumn Equinox).
Since most people have Saturday and Sunday off, and then Monday and Wednesday are holidays…the government made Tuesday a filler-holiday (being called 「国民の休日」 (“Residents’ Holiday“)) to make it a full five days off.

September 2009 calendar

September 2009 calendar

(If you want to read my FAQ about Japan’s holidays, then click here.)

Every year, “Golden Week” in the springtime is good for business for stores, hotels, airlines and bullet trains in Japan…so I heard that if “Silver Week” proves to be as profitable, it may remain as regular holiday period every year.


On a different subject, the oldest elephant in a Japanese zoo, the 62-year old Umeko, died last Thursday.

Umeko having a cake for her 60th birthday two years ago.

Umeko having a cake for her 60th birthday two years ago.

Now, the oldest elephant is Hanako in the Inokashira Zoo in Tokyo. She’s also 62 years old.

Hanako, the oldest elephant in Japan

Hanako, the oldest elephant in Japan

My family saw Hanako two years ago for her 60th birthday celebration.

World’s Oldest Person is Japanese

12 Sep

An American woman named Gertrude Baines was the oldest person in the world.
But, unfortunately, she died yesterday.
She was 115 years old.

The late Gertrude Baines (1894 Apr 6 - 2009 Sep 11), RIP

The late Gertrude Baines (1894 Apr 6 - 2009 Sep 11), RIP

(I wrote a post in which I mention Ms. Baines (and I also mention the world’s oldest man in the post)…click here to read it).

Gertrude Baines was born on 1894 April 6 and lived until 2009 September 11. One hundred fifteen years and 158 days.
She held the world record of oldest living person from 2009 January 2 until she died.

On her last birthday, she was asked what her secret of longevity was and she credited eating bacon, fried chicken and ice cream!

Now, since yesterday, the world’s oldest person is a Japanese woman named 知念カマ (Kama Chinen).
She was born on 1895 May 10. So, as of today, she is 114 years and 125 days old.

The world's oldest person, as of 2009 Sep 11...Kama Chinen of Japan.

The world's oldest person, as of 2009 Sep 11...Kama Chinen of Japan.

It’s a coincidence that the world’s oldest person would go to a Japanese person in September, as September 21st is the Japanese holiday 「敬老の日」 (“Respect For The Aged Day“).
(Click here to read my short FAQ about it).


15 Sep

Today is 敬老の日 (Respect For The Aged Day).
(I wrote a short FAQ about it here).

My kids bought a small gift for their 94-year old great-grandmother. They took it to her house and paid her a visit.

Yesterday we went to 上野 (Ueno, Tokyo).
As we were leaving 上野駅 (Ueno Train Station), we passed the Hard Rock Cafe, Ueno Stn Tokyo. We didn’t go in, but I noticed this poster outside the cafe:

I like the American rock band Mötley Crüe, and I know that they’re coming to this year’s Loudpark Heavy Metal Festival in October (see my “Festivals In Tokyo” page)…but according to this poster, they’ll be playing dates in Japan after the festival, too.

From there, we went to the big 「やましろや」 (Yamashiroya Toy Store), and then we went to a lake that has rental boats.

We rented a boats for our daughters and they had fun paddling around the lake for a half-hour.

Here are a couple of videos of the boats on the lake (none of the videos of my kids are online):

After that, we saw some people feeding the (turtles) and (carp).
It was crazy. They started swarming to get the bread:

A nearby shrine:

At shrines in Japan, you can buy your fortune. After you read it, you tie it to one of these:

You can also buy an 絵馬…which is a wooden board that you write your wish on and then tie it near the shrine so your wish may come true.
Here are some people’s 絵馬 with their wishes written on them:

The shrine was setting up in the evening for the (festival) the next day (today):

My wife and daughters folded bamboo leaves into boats:

We stopped at an Okinawan store in Ueno to buy some Okinawan food. I really like Okinawan food.

This シーサー (Shiisaa) was outside the store. They are Okinawan mythological guardians (usually found in pairs):

And here’s an intersection in Ueno at night:

Open House

13 Sep

Today was my daughters’ 学校公開 (Open School) at their Junior High School.

Today is Saturday, and there’s usually no school on Saturdays…but the school’s open on Saturdays when parents are expected to come (運動会 (Sports Day), concerts, Open School, etc), and then the school is closed the following regular school day (usually the following Monday).

But this Monday is a holiday (敬老の日 (“Respect For The Aged Day” (click here to read my FAQ about it))…so my daughters’ school will be closed on Tuesday, so they can have a three-day weekend like everyone else in Japan (Sunday-Tuesday instead of Saturday-Monday).

I watched my daughters’ English and Art classes. They did very well.

One the way home, my wife and I saw a stray cat with an unusual coat…all brown except for the black fur on his head.

He was a bit mangy…but we still liked him.

Anyways, there are a number of 秋祭 (Autumn Festivals) around Tokyo this weekend, but I probably won’t be going to any of them…we’re pretty busy this weekend. Anyhow, I’ve seen them all at least once each before.