Tag Archives: Silver Week

Silver Week

21 Sep

Today is a Japanese public holiday called 「敬老の日」. In English, it means “Respect For Elders Day“. Sometimes it’s called “Grandparents Day“.
It occurs on the third Monday of September. (When I first came to Japan, this holiday was on September 15th, but was changed around fifteen years ago).

Google Japan's logo shows Japanese bento lunches made for "Grandma & Grandpa" today.

Google Japan’s logo shows Japanese bento lunches made for “Grandma & Grandpa” today.

And, on September 23rd is 「秋分の日」 (Autumn Equinox). In Japan, the Spring and Autumn equinoxes are days to pay a visit to the family grave-site.

So, on years like this year…where these two holidays fall close together, the day between them becomes a “filler holiday” to make a series of consecutive days off similar to Japan’s “Golden Week” in Spring.
Golden Week is an annual occurrence…but a long holiday period only occurs occasionally in September. When it does, it’s called “Silver Week“.

Right now, Japan is in Silver Week. Most people have holiday from last Saturday until Wednesday.
The next Silver Week won’t occur until 2026!

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.