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Is Dec 23 a holiday in Japan?

Is Dec 23 a holiday in Japan?

Japan is a country with unique traditions and customs, and one of the most important aspects of their culture is their holidays. One of the most commonly asked questions by people who are planning to visit Japan is if December 23rd is a holiday in Japan. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on this topic and discuss everything you need to know about it.

Overview of holidays in Japan

Before we dive into the specific question of whether December 23rd is a holiday in Japan, it’s important to get an overview of the holidays celebrated in Japan. Japan has many national holidays, which include both traditional and modern celebrations. These holidays are observed by businesses, government offices, schools and other institutions throughout the country.

Japanese Snack Box

What is December 23rd in Japan?

December 23rd is a national holiday in Japan, known as Emperor’s Birthday or Tenno Tanjobi. It’s a day to celebrate the birthday of the current emperor, who this year is Emperor Naruhito. This holiday has been celebrated for over 60 years now and is an important day for Japanese people.

The history behind Emperor’s Birthday

The history behind Emperor’s Birthday dates back to the Meiji period when Emperor Meiji’s birthday was officially recognized as a national holiday. After World War II, the holiday was renamed to Emperor’s Birthday and has been celebrated on December 23rd ever since.

How do Japanese people celebrate Emperor’s Birthday?

Emperor’s Birthday is a day for Japanese people to show their respect and appreciation for the emperor. The Imperial Palace opens its doors to the public on this day, and people can see the emperor and his family wave from a balcony. Many events take place around the country, such as parades and cultural performances to commemorate this special day.

What happens during Emperor’s Birthday celebration?

The celebration of Emperor’s Birthday starts with a ceremony held at the Imperial Palace where the emperor gives a speech. This ceremony is broadcasted on television throughout the country. The rest of the day involves various events such as music concerts, parades, and traditional performances.

Is December 23rd a public holiday in Japan?

Yes, December 23rd is considered a public holiday in Japan. This means that businesses and schools are closed on this day, and many people use this opportunity to spend time with their families or attend various events that happen around the country.

What are some other holidays celebrated in December?

In addition to Emperor’s Birthday, there are several other holidays celebrated in December in Japan, including New Year’s Eve (December 31st), New Year’s Day (January 1st), and Coming of Age Day (the second Monday of January).


In conclusion, December 23rd is an important holiday in Japan as it celebrates the birthday of the current emperor. It’s considered a public holiday, meaning that businesses and schools are closed on this day. If you’re planning to visit Japan during this time, you’ll have an opportunity to experience some of the unique cultural events that take place on this special day.


To write this article, we consulted several trusted sources including:

Is 23 December a public holiday in Japan?

After Emperor Naruhito took the throne in 2019, the holiday formerly celebrated on Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s birthday on December 23rd was moved to February 23rd to coincide with Emperor Naruhito’s actual birthday.

Is it a Japanese holiday today?

Japan does not have a holiday today, which is March 15th, 2023.

What is Japan’s biggest holiday?

The Japanese holiday of New Year Celebrations, also known as ‘Shogatsu’, is considered to be a highly significant event. It is common for women and girls to dress in elegant kimono to mark the occasion.

Is Japan closed over Christmas?

While Christmas is not traditionally celebrated in Japan, all stores operate on their regular schedules during this time. However, New Year is a significant holiday in Japan and is popular with tourists. Between December 29 and January 4, many stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues may be closed.

Does Japan celebrate Christmas on December 25th?

In Japan, Christmas is celebrated with different traditions than those in the Western world. It is observed more as a day for couples rather than for families, and many couples can be seen going on romantic outings or admiring winter illuminations.

Is Dec 31 a holiday in Japan?

Will December 31, 2023 be a Public Holiday? Yes, it is a day when schools and businesses are closed, and the general population is entitled to a day off.

In addition to the national holidays, Japan also has several regional and local holidays that are unique to particular regions or municipalities. These holidays are not observed throughout the country, but rather only in specific areas. For example, the Sapporo Snow Festival is a popular winter event held in Hokkaido, and many businesses and schools in the region take a holiday during this time.

Another important holiday in Japan is Golden Week, which takes place from the end of April to the beginning of May. During this time, several national holidays occur consecutively, providing an extended period of time for people to take a break from work or school. Many Japanese people use this opportunity to travel or spend time with their families.

It’s worth noting that while holidays in Japan are generally observed by businesses and schools, some essential services such as hospitals and convenience stores may still be open. Additionally, some businesses and schools may choose to operate on holidays if necessary.

In conclusion, understanding the various holidays celebrated in Japan is an important aspect of understanding Japanese culture. Whether you’re visiting Japan as a tourist or living there as an expat, being aware of the different holidays and how they are celebrated can help you better appreciate and integrate into Japanese society.

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