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Crazy to visit Japan during the end of Golden week?

Crazy to visit Japan during the end of Golden week?

Old Jan 20th, 2012, 12:47 PM
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Crazy to visit Japan during the end of Golden week?

We have a wedding in Hawaii (not ours) the last week of April which will wind down about May 2. Since we live in Philadelphia, we're already half way across the world, it seemed a shame to not take advantage of the distance we've already covered. So we wanted to have a vacation in Asia. (A vacation HI is out because I'm from there and it's just not the same thing visiting "home" as it is a new, exciting place, is it?)

Our thoughts were to leave OGG and arrive in Tokyo May 3-6. However this is the tail end of the week, with the main Golden Weekend coming up. My (crazy?) thinking was Golden Week *might* be likely spent in the villages/smaller towns (does the old adage "everyone goes home for the holidays" apply?)... which *might* leave the bigger cities like Tokyo available. *hope.hope* Perhaps I'm being too optimistic. ( I know you all will correct me if I'm wrong)

I take to heart the warnings against visiting japan during Golden Week, esp this late with no hotel reservations yet. But I SO, SO want to go there and have wanted to for a decade. I feel I finally have a chance to and to be thwarted by GW seems like a stiff blow of Fate.

So the questions are, will Tokyo be a mad house during GW too? Will the weekend also be crazy busy/full everywhere we go? How will the week AFTER Golden Week be if we wanted to continue visiting Japan? Should we really just bag Japan entirely since the timing is just ...off (*sob*) and try somewhere else in Asia?
HunyBadger is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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I've never been during GW - above is what japan-guide says about travel direction.....with all the places to go and see how bad can it be esp. if you are not traveling on the worst days....
Mara is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Aloha HunyBadger!

keiki o ka aina i ka pono!

No your not crazy and you won't be alone,lol

Actually you'll be at the end of Golden Week this year as the 2012 weekends are placed in a way to create two separate holidays of three and four days. Travel activity is anticipated to peak on May 3 with people leaving the large urban centers and on May 5 and 6 in the opposite directions. Peak weekend travel is expected to be on 4/28-4/30 and the previously mentioned days after. You might get a crowd of Japanese Nationals returning home to NRT on your entry days of choice 5/3-5/6 as everyone should be returning home that weekend.

Go north if you want to see cherry blossoms at that time this year. Kakunodate should be in your plans as that is the timing this year that I have figured for the cb's to blossom in Kakunodate(May 6-13). Don't ask how I know cause I don't its only a guess.....one of these years.....


Hirosaki is very special at that time too


No, your not pupule kamaaina.

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 07:58 PM
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I was in Japan during Golden Week one year and I can't say I noticed much difference to other visits - Japan is always crowded! I guess a lot depends on how you handle crowds and if you wanted peace and quiet.

It wouldn't be a time to do much travel from place to place but if you are content to base yourself in one place and be flexible with travel plans you certainly don't need to avoid following your dreams.

HT, as usual, has excellent suggestions for catching some sakura and that part of Japan shouldn't be too crowded (beyond the usual hanami crowds); in fact they'd be glad to see you.

eigasuki is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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I'm so envious! The first time we didn't know about GW and now our favorite time in Japan is May and Golden Week or the end of it.

About the only difficulty we had was getting reserved seats on a train sitting together and if you go to a resort just expect to pay the price for a room as the lower rate places might have are all gone.

The azaleas are in bloom on the West side...we go to an Azalea Festival in Fukui and there are lots of matsuris.....Kanazawa has a pottery festival....the weather is awesome. If you go south the wisterias are in bloom. That is unless Cherry blossoms are what you want to see.

We're hoping we will be there in May again. Our last trip we got brave rented a car and drove from Fukui to Noto Peninsula.

How exciting! Good luck....
melen is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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Tokyo is fine at that time.Other spots can be crowded due to all the Japanese tourists taking their vacations.But a lot of good day trip options as well while staying in Tokyo.Remember too since the Earthquake,international tourism has been down

But check sites like booking.com and Agoda.com just to make sure you can find reasonably priced hotels.

I found that the budget hotels in Tokyo are quite reasonable.Just pick one that has good reviews.

Have a great trip.
travelrob is offline  
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