Feb 1, 2019

Long Golden Week - What's going on?

Did a bit of light research into flights during the long Golden Week this year. I knew things would be expensive but I was still surprised by the price of flights -- 400,000 yen + to go back to the UK, 200,000 yen + to Bali (if there are any direct flights left) -- basically I'm resigned to not leaving Japan. Just wondered what everyone else is doing, and if I might be able to steal some of your ideas? And open this up as a chance to air any long-Golden-Week-but-can't-afford-to-go-anywhere frustrations.



Traveler, surfer, and scribe. Based in Tokyo for six years.

8 Answers

  • genkidesu

    on Feb 1

    One Golden Week before kids, my husband and I did a cruise to Taiwan and Korea! Have you looked into that? We departed from Yokohama and it was super stress free compared to air travel. If I was looking at another vacation somewhere over Golden Week, I'd be inclined to look towards that. Honestly though? Our Golden Weeks these days are usually spent at home! Even though this year's GW is particularly long, I can't think of much worse than battling crowds. This introvert is happy to chill out and relax and maybe get some stuff done around the house that I've been putting off.

  • helloalissa

    on Feb 1

    Watching any new-emperor-ceremonies I can find online because we don't own a TV? Enjoying the nice weather and free time at home? Probably working on my business and side hustles. Maybe going on day trips and local outings as it's suburban and not likely to get more crowded than a usual weekend. Ah, research and booking for our summer plans, probably. How about several extra surfing days? Is it going to be extra crowded at your favorite spot? Maybe a chance to explore some not too far new surf areas?

  • TonetoEdo

    on Feb 2

    The cheapest flight From TYO to YVR (Vancouver) is ¥130,000. Manchester, my other choice of destination, is even more more. My partner may not get the full 10 days. We’ll probably just enjoy local parks, putter at home, and relish a rare stretch of time off. I suspect a lot of popular destinations in Japan will be crowded. Usually, Tokyo becomes a ghost town. This GW may be a good opportunity to take in museums, parks, etc. in the capital.

  • Tomuu

    on Feb 2

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! @genkidesu - A cruise hadn't even occurred to me so I'll take a look into that. We also looked at a quick flight to Busan in South Korea which looks nice but had never been on my radar so it made me feel like I was just picking out destinations for the sake of it, rather than really wanting to go. @helloalissa - For sure, I'll be going to the beach if we don't end up going away. Things get a little more crowded in Golden Week but I don't think the extra days will have too much of an extra effect on Chiba's beaches. I think it will just be GW business as usual. Plus, the water is still cold so most people who want to try it out for the first time probably stick to summer season. @TonetoEdo - Yea, perhaps we really should be making the most of Tokyo during this long Golden Week. Could be a rare stint of quiet for the capital with the Rugby World Cup and Olympics on the way. I don't know, I guess I get a little frustrated because my wife has almost no flexibility with holidays so 10 days straight is pretty much unheard of, but it's the kind of time you need to make it worthwhile the pair of us going all the way back to the U.K. so my family can spend a bit more time with her and we still have enough time to show her a bit more of the country other than London and my hometown (which isn't so exciting, even for someone from Japan).

  • Jackson

    on Feb 3

    Not a golden week idea but because ppl are going crazy with the super long golden week we have, we are having our longer vacation with the "just as nice" Obon holiday instead! The tickets are still pretty affordable now!

  • Tomuu

    on Feb 7

    @Jackson - Yep, our attention has turned to the summer!

  • Eli

    on Feb 19

    If you can take vacation days before or after golden week adding a day or two can lead to quite some differences in prices. But in general, everything will be more expensive than ever this year so I think I will use the free time for some overdue cleaning and maybe buy a game or two I have been wanting to play but didn't have the time for.

  • Saitama

    on Feb 25

    Not Golden Week but I am aghast at the summertime prices too. Usually February is the best time for me to buy our tickets home, but man, this year they are almost twice what I normally pay... I may have to leave the kids with the hub and have a solo vacation of lifetime. Ahem, I mean unfortunately and regrettably I may have to leave the poor kids behind in Japan and miss them like crazy for a couple of weeks while I make the long journey home all by my lonesome!!


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