Yup, you read that right.
Starting April 27 (Sat) until May 6 (Mon) 2019, there will be a rare 10-Day non working holiday because of the annual Golden Week celebration and because of the new emperor’s accession to the throne.
This will be the first time in about 200 years that a living Japanese emperor will step down from the throne.
April 27 – regular Saturday
April 28 – regular Sunday
April 29 – Showa Day (Monday; original Golden Week day)
April 30 – Abdication ceremony of the current emperor (Tuesday)
May 1 – Accession of new emperor (Wednesday)
May 2 – Public Holiday (Thursday)
May 3 – Constitution Memorial Day (Friday; original Golden Week day)
May 4 – Greenery Day (Saturday; original Golden Week day)
May 5 – Children’s Day (Sunday; original Golden Week day)
May 6 – Children’s Day (observed) (Monday; original Golden Week day)
This 10-day holiday will definitely be a very busy week for all of us. As of writing, available flights from Tokyo and hotel accommodations are starting to run out of available slots.
- The last enthronement ceremony was held in November 12, 1990 for the current emperor, Emperor Akihito.
- After modern Japanese emperors die, their names are changed to reflect the era in which they ruled. Emperor Akihito will be renamed Heisei (meaning “peace everywhere”).
- The emperor’s birthday is a national holiday in Japan. December 23 is the current Emperor’s Birthday (Akihito). The next emperor’s birthday is February 23 (Naruhito).
- Naruhito will become Japan’s first emperor who was born after World War II.
- Akishino, the younger son of current Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, will be the first in line to the throne after Naruhito’s coronation.
- In 1817, Emperor Kōkaku was the last emperor to abdicate his throne.
UPDATE: The Abdication Ceremony of the current emperor and the start of the Japanese Reiwa Era will happen this Golden Week but the actual Enthronement Ceremony will happen on October 22, 2019.