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Golden Week

London
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70 posts
22 reviews
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Golden Week

Hi

I would like to go to Japan for my honeymoon next year - however we would be there over Golden Week and with all the comments on the website about travelling being so bad - I'm beginning to feel a bit more sceptical about going.

Is travel all that bad - particularly if you book well in advance?

Are there any plus sides to Golden Week such as festivals etc?

Do the touristy places (outside Tokyo) feel overcrowded?

I would very much appreciate some advice - I wouldn't want to visit Japan when it's at its relative "worse".

Thanks

Eve

Cambridge, MA
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791 posts
12 reviews
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1. Re: Golden Week

A positive side to "Golden Week" is that there's additional transportation service throughout most of the country...but that's about the only positive. Every sightseeing landmark is overloaded with visitors, many hotels and restaurants jack up their prices to take advantage of the crush, etc. There are no special festivals per se (although there's one going on somewhere most of the time) because this week has only been around since maybe the 1970's. It's a workaholic nation's answer to the month(s) many European countries recognize as vacation time.

Putting it all into perspective, however, Japan is one of the most densely-populated countries in the world. Many weekends and school-break periods also bring out the mobs. You can still have even the most renowned places "all to yourself" if you go early enough in the day.

Booking well in advance is definitely advised! "Golden Week" happens when it does because the weather is some of the best out of the whole year, so bring along some elbow and knee pads (half-kidding) and have a great time.

London
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70 posts
22 reviews
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2. Re: Golden Week

Thanks Spensworld... on that advice maybe I'll wait until April/ May 2007 before/ after Golden Week and use it as an excuse to celebrate my 1 year wedding anniversary!!!!

Washington DC...
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63 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Golden Week

I spent this Past Golden week in Japan (Tokyo, osaka, Nagoya, Nara, Kyoto and Iga). It was the best trip I have ever been on. It was crowded in some places, but not overly so. there were 6 of us traveling and everyone was able to get around easily (but we did make reservations ahead of time (only really needed the reservations once).

The Aichi expo was too crowded, but from what i've read, it's always too crowded.

Besides that I don't know that it was that bad. I'd go during golden week again if the opportunity presented itself...but then I'd go again anytime!

New York
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2,143 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Golden Week

Hi Tabitha2000,

To visit Japan during Golden week is similar to traveling around Christmas. You just have to make a plan well in advance.

A plus side to Golden Week is that Tokyo will be less crowded for the entire week. This is because many Japanese people travel from Tokyo to other towns.

Most hotels/ryokans outside of Tokyo will have special rates during Golden Week, which is usually 20-30% (or more) higher. Try to avoid traveling from Tokyo on April 29th, and to Tokyo on May 6th/7th.

Well, I would recommend that you visit Japan a week before or after, if possible. Good luck!