Japanese Gov’t Weighs New National Holiday—Mountain Day

Golden Week officially began yesterday—the perfect time for hard-working Japanese and expats to lay off work for a few days—but some of us are already looking forward for the next chance to put our feet up and take it easy.

Well, we may get just what we’re wishing for.

The Japanese government may designate a special day to honor the nation’s scenic mountains.

On Friday, the Lower House of Parliament passed an amendment to Japan’s Holiday Act to designate August 11 as Mountain Day (Yama no Hi). The public holiday is aimed at “giving opportunities to get close to mountains and to appreciate the benefits of mountains.”

Japan’s topography is highly mountainous—peaks cover 70% of the island nation. Of course you can’t talk about mountains in this country without bringing up the iconic Mount Fuji. The nearly perfectly shaped, 3776-meter-high mountain is celebrated the world over and attracts mountain climbers and tourists from around the globe.

If approved, Mountain Day would begin on 2016, becoming the 16th national holiday in Japan and joining the ranks of holidays commemorating the environment, such as Greenery Day and Marine Day.

It would also be the first national holiday in August and would coincide with Obon season, leaving June as the only month where Japanese can’t take at least one extra day off.

The bill is still awaiting final approval from the upper house so don’t plan your dream vacation ahead just yet!

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: “Mount Fuji” by David L. Haeni/Flickr

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