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How many vacation days do Japanese get?


Japan is a country known for its strong work ethic and long working hours. However, even in this fast-paced society, employees are entitled to vacation time. In this article, we will explore how many vacation days Japanese workers get, including the legal minimum requirements and cultural attitudes towards taking time off.

Legal requirements

In Japan, the legal minimum requirement for paid vacation days is ten days per year. However, this only applies to employees who have worked for the same company for at least six months continuously. The number of vacation days increases with tenure, with some companies offering up to 20 days of paid leave after ten years of service.

Japanese Snack Box

Cultural attitudes towards vacation

Despite the legal minimum requirements, many Japanese workers do not take their full allotment of vacation days. This is largely due to cultural attitudes towards work and a fear of being perceived as lazy or unproductive. In fact, a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare found that only 52.4% of eligible employees took their full ten days of paid leave in 2018.

Golden Week

One exception to this trend is Golden Week, a series of national holidays that occur in late April and early May. Many companies shut down during this time, giving employees an extended break without using their vacation days. However, this can also result in crowded tourist destinations and high travel costs.

Unpaid leave

In addition to paid vacation days, some companies offer unpaid leave as an option for employees who wish to take more time off. This can be particularly useful for those who want to take a longer break or those who have used up their paid leave.

Sick leave

In Japan, sick leave is also available to employees who are unable to work due to illness or injury. However, the number of sick leave days varies depending on the company and individual employment contracts.

Mental health days

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of mental health in the workplace. Some companies have started offering “mental health days” as a way for employees to take time off without needing a specific reason like illness or injury.

Overtime and work-life balance

While vacation time is important, it is not the only factor in achieving a healthy work-life balance. Many Japanese workers also struggle with long working hours and unpaid overtime. Some companies have started implementing policies like flexible working hours and telecommuting to address these issues.

The impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on vacation time in Japan. Many companies have implemented telecommuting policies or reduced working hours, which has made it difficult for employees to use their vacation days. Additionally, travel restrictions have made it challenging for those who do want to take a break to plan a trip.

The future of vacation time in Japan

As Japan continues to grapple with issues like overwork and work-life balance, there may be changes on the horizon when it comes to vacation time. Some experts predict that companies will start offering more generous leave policies as a way to attract and retain talent in an increasingly competitive job market.


Overall, while Japanese workers are entitled to vacation time by law, cultural attitudes towards work can make it difficult to take advantage of these benefits. However, as society changes and new challenges arise, there may be opportunities for companies and individuals alike to reevaluate their approach to work and leisure time.

How many weeks of vacation do Japanese get?

In Japanese schools, there are three semesters with breaks in between. Summer vacation is typically from July 20 to August 31 and lasts around 40 days, while winter and spring vacations are around 10 days each, from December 26 to January 6 and March 25 to April 5, respectively.

Do Japanese workers get vacation days?

Employers are required to give their employees at least 10 days of paid vacation per year, but the amount of paid leave may differ depending on the length of employment.

Which country has the most vacation days?

Iran has the highest number of mandated vacation days in the world, with 53 days per year. This is significantly more than second-place San Marino, which has 46 days. In addition to 26 days of paid leave, Iran also has 27 days of public holidays, making it the country with the most public holidays.

Do Japanese get weekends off?

Japanese husbands demonstrate their affection by working diligently, while weekends are reserved for family activities as they are highly valued. It is uncommon to find Japanese individuals working on Saturdays or Sundays. Even though the number of “career women” in Japan is increasing, it is still customary for most Japanese mothers to remain at home.

Does Japan work 4 days a week?

Japan’s history has been characterized by a rigorous work culture, but new guidelines have been introduced, urging employers to adopt a four-day work week.

Is Japanese school 7 days a week?

In Japan, the academic calendar starts in April, and classes are held from Monday to Friday or Saturday, depending on the school. There are typically two or three school terms, with short breaks in spring and winter, and a six-week-long summer vacation.

Encouraging vacation time

Some companies have started implementing strategies to encourage employees to take their full vacation time. This can include offering incentives like bonuses or extra time off for those who use all of their allotted days. Additionally, managers can play a role in setting an example by taking their own vacation time and encouraging their team members to do the same.

The benefits of vacation time

Research has shown that taking regular vacations can have a positive impact on both physical and mental health. Time away from work can help reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. Additionally, taking a break can increase creativity and productivity upon returning to work, leading to better job performance in the long run.

International vacation time comparisons

When compared to other countries, Japan’s minimum paid vacation days may seem low. For example, in France, employees are entitled to at least 30 days of paid leave per year. However, it’s important to consider cultural differences and the overall approach to work in each country when making these comparisons.

The importance of work-life balance

Vacation time is just one aspect of achieving a healthy work-life balance. It’s important for individuals to prioritize their own well-being and set boundaries around work obligations. Similarly, companies can play a role in promoting work-life balance by offering flexible schedules or mental health resources.

The role of government

The Japanese government has recognized the importance of work-life balance and has taken steps to address the issue. In 2019, a new law was passed that requires companies to take steps to prevent overwork and promote employee well-being. Additionally, the government has launched campaigns to encourage workers to take their full vacation time.

Looking towards the future

As Japan moves towards a more diverse and global workforce, there may be opportunities for companies to reevaluate their approach to work and vacation time. By prioritizing employee well-being and promoting work-life balance, companies can attract top talent and create a more positive workplace culture for everyone.

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