In Japan, public holidays are essential and numerous. Compared to New Zealand, it seems people take their work way too seriously; although Japanese people are allowed to take paid holidays, people who don’t tend to get promoted faster and get on better with their colleagues (who won’t have to take up the slack while the person is away). Because of this, many people don’t take holidays at all unless they’re actually mandatory.
So for many people Golden Week is the longest holiday they get all year — it’s formed by the combination of four public holidays (April 29th and May 3-5th) and it is busy. I planned to go to a whole lot of places (art galleries, museums, shrines) but I ended up giving up on that idea because everywhere was just too crowded.
Still, I managed to go to a few places, and also went on a trip to Hakone (a lake in the mountains southwest of Tokyo) last weekend. I haven’t had the time or energy to write anything for the past couple of weeks, and to be honest I don’t feel like writing much now either, so here’s my backlog of photos from that period …
That’s about all for now. Apologies if this didn’t flow as well as my other posts, I’m tired out from lack of sleep and constant Aikido training (which I’ll get to in my next article!)
Just one final thing: If someone could tell me the name of this flower I’d be grateful! I’ve never seen it before and it’s purty.
Weird things (note these are more subjective and theoretical than sometimes — this is just what I’ve heard and inferred)
- Aside from what I said about work at the start of the article, I’ve heard a lot about how Japanese companies expect to take students fresh out of university and keep them for 40+ years. This means that if you want a good job, the university holidays are the last long holidays you’re likely to get until retirement, and it puts massive pressure on fourth-year students to find a company they’ll be happy with for their entire working life
- Japanese companies tend not to worry about what sort of a degree you have as long as you have a degree — they just expect to spend a few months training you when you arrive. In contrast to the last item, I think this is an awesome idea: students can study what they are interested in without worrying about whether it’ll make them employable
- Tokyo is quite a small city given how many people are there. Driving across my home town of Christchurch takes the best part of an hour, but driving across Tokyo only takes a couple of hours even though it has 20-30 times the population