Holidays in Japan 2023 (unofficial and public)

In this publication, All-Holidays.Info will consider the following topic: holidays in Japan 2023. We will provide the exact dates of public and unofficial Japanese holidays. We have added a short description to some of them. At the end of the article you will find a list of traditional local festivals in Japan.

You might be interested in this:

What holidays are there in Japan?

All Japanese holidays can be divided into two types: public and unofficial. Public holidays in Japan are governed by Law No. 178 of 1948 (National Holidays Law) and its amendments. Unofficial holidays are more often traditional or religious.

On public holidays, most people in the country do not work. On unofficial holidays, ceremonial or memorial events and festivals are held. Below are the public and unofficial holidays in Japan 2023. Although the schedule of public holidays changes periodically, all dates listed are current.

Holidays in Japan 2023

Below are the 2023 holidays in Japan in chronological order. For convenience, we have divided them by month. For each holiday, we indicated the type to which it belongs. We have added short descriptions for some Japanese holidays in 2023.

January 2023

  • January 1 (Sunday) 2023 – New Year (national public holiday).
  • January 2 (Monday) 2023 – Postponement of the New Year (national public holiday).
  • January 3 (Tuesday) 2023 — Banking holiday (non-working day).
  • January 9 (Monday) 2023 – Coming of Age Day (national public holiday).

February 2023

  • February 3 (Friday) 2023 – Setsubun (unofficial holiday).
  • February 11 (Saturday) 2023 – National Foundation Day (national public holiday).
  • February 14 (Tuesday) 2023 – Valentine’s Day (unofficial holiday).
  • February 14 (Tuesday) 2023 – Valentine’s Day. (unofficial holiday).
  • February 23 (Thursday) 2023 – Emperor’s Birthday (national public holiday).

Setsubun is a traditional Japanese festival that marks the boundary between winter and spring. It is celebrated on February 3, although in some regions it is celebrated the day before. One of the main rituals of Setsubun is the mamemaki ceremony, during which roasted soybeans are thrown into or outside the home. This is done to drive away evil spirits and welcome good luck in the coming year. At the same time, people shout: “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!” (“Demons away, good luck!”).

March 2023

  • March 3 (Friday) 2023 – Doll Festival / Girls Festival (unofficial holiday).
  • March 14 (Tuesday) 2023 – White Day (unofficial holiday).
  • March 20 (Monday) 2023 – Minion Day (unofficial holiday).
  • March 21 (Tuesday) 2023 – Spring equinox (national public holiday).

White Day occurs exactly one month after Valentine’s Day and serves as a complement to it. On Valentine’s Day, women in Japan give chocolate to men. White day is a time when men can reciprocate. Common White Day gifts include cookies, decorations, white chocolate or marshmallows, often presented in attractive packaging.

The name comes from the color white, which symbolizes purity in Japanese culture. Initially, only men gave return gifts. Nowadays, women also exchange chocolate or other treats with their girlfriends. White Day gifts tend to be more expensive and impressive compared to Valentine’s Day gifts.

April 2023

  • April 18 (Tuesday) 2023 – Invention Day (unofficial holiday).
  • April 20 (Thursday) 2023 – Post Day (unofficial holiday).
  • April 23 (Sunday) 2023 – Children’s Reading Day (unofficial holiday).
  • April 29 (Saturday) 2023 – Showa Day (national public holiday).

Showa Day is held annually on April 29 to honor the birthday of Emperor Hirohito. He ruled Japan during the Showa era from 1926 until his death in 1989. This made him the longest-reigning monarch in the country’s history. For some, especially the older generation, Hirohito remained a revered figure who was considered a deity. Others are more critical of his legacy because of his connections to Japanese imperialism and World War II.

May 2023

  • May 3 (Wednesday) 2023 – Constitution Remembrance Day (national public holiday).
  • May 4 (Thursday) 2023 – Greenery Day (national public holiday).
  • May 5 (Friday) 2023 – Children’s Day (national public holiday).
  • May 9 (Tuesday) 2023 – Goku Day (unofficial holiday).
  • May 14 (Sunday) 2023 – Mother’s Day (unofficial holiday).
  • May 27 (Saturday) 2023 – Dragon Quest Day (unofficial holiday).

June 2023

  • June 5 (Monday) 2023 – Environment Day (unofficial holiday).
  • June 10 (Saturday) 2023 – Time Day (unofficial holiday).
  • June 23 (Friday) 2023 – Okinawa Memorial Day (unofficial holiday).

Time Day is celebrated annually on June 10th. According to Japan’s oldest history textbook, the country’s first water clock was installed on this day in 671. This holiday has been celebrated since 1920 to this day.

July 2023

  • July 7 (Friday) 2023 – Tanabata / Star Festival (unofficial holiday).
  • July 17 (Monday) 2023 – Sea Day (national public holiday).
  • July 22 (Saturday) 2023 – One Piece Day (unofficial holiday).

Tanabata, known as the “Festival of the Stars”, originates from a Chinese folk legend about two stars – Vega and Altair – estranged lovers who are only allowed to meet once a year. The Japanese version is based on the story of Orihime, a weaver princess, and Hikoboshi, a shepherd, represented by two bright stars. Legend has it that if it rains on Tanabata, lovers will not be able to meet on the other side of the Milky Way.

August 2023

  • August 6 (Sunday) 2023 – Hiroshima Memorial Day (unofficial holiday).
  • August 9 (Wednesday) 2023 – Nagasaki Memorial Day (unofficial holiday).
  • August 11 (Friday) 2023 – Mountain Day (national public holiday).
  • August 14 (Monday) 2023 – Happy Summer Valentine Day (Prince of Tennis, unofficial holiday).

September 2023

  • September 6 (Wednesday) 2023 – Little Sister’s Day (unofficial holiday).
  • September 13 (Wednesday) 2023 – Polar Star Day (unofficial holiday).
  • September 18 (Monday) 2023 – Respect for Older Persons Day (national public holiday).
  • September 23 (Saturday) 2023 – Autumn equinox (national public holiday).

October 2023

  • October 1 (Sunday) 2023 – International Music Day (unofficial holiday).
  • October 9 (Monday) 2023 – Sports Day (national public holiday).

November 2023

  • November 1 (Wednesday) 2023 – Classics Day (unofficial holiday).
  • November 3 (Friday) 2023 – Culture Day (national public holiday).
  • November 11 (Saturday) 2023 – Pocky & Pretz Day (unofficial holiday).
  • November 15 (Wednesday) 2023 – Day 7-5-3 (unofficial holiday).
  • November 23 (Thursday) 2023 – Work Appreciation Day (national public holiday).

7-5-3 Day in Japan is an occasion to congratulate children and wish them future growth and success. The numbers 7, 5 and 3 have special meaning: children aged 7 are in “go” (five) years of primary school and have “san” (three) years left before they turn 10. Ten years is an important age marking the transition into pre-adolescence. On this holiday, families with children can buy toys, snacks or new clothes to mark the occasion.

December 2023

  • December 1 (Friday) 2023 – Cinema Day (unofficial holiday).
  • December 25 (Monday) 2023 – Christmas (unofficial holiday).
  • December 31 (Sunday) 2023 — Banking holiday (non-working day).

Japanese local festivals

  • Wakakusa Yamayaki: on the fourth Saturday of January (Nara).
  • Hadaka: February (Okayama).

  • Honen: at Tagata Shrine in March (Komaki).
  • Kanamara: at Kanayama Shrine in April (Kawasaki).
  • Kanda: at Kanda Myojin Temple in May (Tokyo).
  • Dontaku: May 3-4 (Fukuoka).
  • Aoi: at Shimogamo and Kamigamo temples in May. (Kyoto).
  • Sanya: At Asakusa Shrine in May (Tokyo).

  • Yotaka: in Tonami, Toyama, in June (Toyama).
  • Sanno: at Hie Temple in June (Tokyo).
  • Atsuta: At Atsuta Shrine in June (Nagoya).
  • Gion: July (Kyoto).
  • Kumagaya Uchiwa: July 19-23 (Saitama).
  • Tenjin: to Osaka Tenman-gu in July (Osaka).
  • Hakata Gion Yamakasa: in Kushida-jinja in July (Fukuoka).
  • Yosakoi Matsuri: in August (Kochi).
  • Awa Odori: in August (Tokushima).
  • Kanto: August 3-7 (Akita).
  • Nebuta: August 2 to 7 (Aomori).
  • Neputa: in the first week of August (Hirosaki).
  • Ojima Neputa: August 14-15 (Gunma).

  • Kishiwada Danjiri: in September (Kishiwada).
  • Nagasaki Kunchi: October 7-9 (Nagasaki).
  • Miki: at Omiya Hachiman Shrine in October. (Miki).
  • Nada no Kenka: at Matsubara Hachiman Shrine October 14-15 (Himeji).
  • Jidai: October 22 (Kyoto).

In this publication, we talked about holidays in Japan 2023. We provided the exact dates of national and unofficial holidays and local festivals. You will find more information about holidays and school holidays in different countries on the All-Holidays.Info website . Don’t forget to share this post with your friends!