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Stay Golden (Week)

Golden Week is a group of three national holidays in the space of five days. Many firms designate the remaining two days as company holidays, thereby creating a de facto national week off - and those employees who don't get given the time off just take paid leave themselves. The entire country effectively goes on holiday, clogging roads, shinkansen and flights out of Tokyo on the first weekend, and jamming them solid again a week later as everybody teems back into the capital.

Tokyo is a great place during Golden Week - because it's practically deserted. Silence descends over the normally thronging shopping streets of Ginza and Shibuya... tumbleweeds roll across the deserted thoroughfares of the business district.... well, not really, but close enough.

All the normal tourist places outside of Tokyo will be ram-packed, and I have no desire to jostle packs of schoolchildren on cultural trips and posses of elderly grandmothers with their fierce elbows; I get enough of that on an average day in Shinjuku. Air fares are always sky-high, too, so I'm staying put this week. Time to roam the city and maybe have a go at this "relaxing" thing that everyone always tells me I should try... all reports point to it having something to do with, er, not doing anything for periods of time. How bizarre - that's the one thing which is pretty much guaranteed to stress me out.

Posted by chris at April 30, 2001 04:28 PM | Permalink


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