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Culture Lesson: Golden Week in Japan

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Rightly or wrongly, one popular stereotype of Japanese working culture is long working hours and little time-off. All this changes, or takes a break, with Golden Week at the end of April. Four national holidays make up Golden Week and so many companies decide to shut down for the entire week. Golden Week is an extremely popular time to travel with the whole nation seemingly on the move. Flights, trains, and hotels are often fully booked despite significantly higher rates at this time. Anyone visiting Japan during Golden Week  can expect to find all the sight-seeing areas packed full of people and heavy traffic on the roads. It's also a time when the Japanese like to travel abroad, with Hawaii and Guam being close and popular destinations.

So why is it called Golden Week? Well the interesting thing is that this name is said to have come from the movie industry. In 1951 a movie director noticed that cinema attendances shot up at this time, so it's a 'golden' period for film goers and movie makers!

Do we have any Japanese students reading this? What are your experiences of Golden Week? How about the rest of you, do you have similar vacations in your country?

  1. shut down
  2. despite
  3. rates
  4. traffic
  5. destinations
  6. attendances

Now match the key words to their definitions using the numbers:

Link: Culture Lesson - 'White Day' in Japan

  • Without taking any notice:
  • The amounts of people at an event:
  • The amount of vehicles (cars, trucks) on the roads:
  • To close:
  • Prices:
  • Places people go to: