The Silver Week holidays are a breath of fresh air at the start of the beautiful autumn season in Japan. They are also the only public holidays from mid-August until early November. They’re the perfect time to reward yourself and spend quality time with your family and friends.
GoConnect has put together some unique ways to enjoy your time off while remaining connected and productive. Whether you decide to take a lengthier trip or stay closer to home, here are some ideas for how to spend your time off.
Planning Your Vacation
Silver Week does not technically happen every year. The break consists of two public holidays, with Respect for the Aged Day on the third Monday of the month and Autumnal Equinox Day on September 23. Japan has a rule that if any single weekday falls between the two holidays, that day automatically becomes a public holiday.
This year, Autumnal Equinox Day falls on Thursday, which is two days after Respect for the Aged Day. So unfortunately there is no extra public holiday this year linking the two. However, some people will take paid vacation days to make the holidays part of a longer vacation.
This break often serves as a way for people to return to their hometowns or travel around Japan, so it’s best to be wary of crowded transportation. However, there are options for planning a quality break without going too far or spending too much.
One way to make the most of the time off is to recharge with some quality eats. Food tours let you support the local businesses of a city or neighborhood while potentially introducing you to your new favorite restaurants. Some tours focus on specific dishes such as Tokyo Ramen Tours, which takes its guests around Tokyo to try various such shops while expanding their knowledge of the culture behind this popular noodle soup. Other tours are less focused on one type of food and offer a window into overall dining experiences such as all-you-can-eat restaurants or street food. Check out Arigato Japan Food Tours for great tours in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and more.
Alternatively, if you want the gourmet experience without having to leave your home, there are now more options than ever to have fantastic food and drink sent directly to your door. Sometimes, taking it easy at home allows you to unwind and catch up on anything you were behind on such as work, chores, or reading. Enjoying a quality meal like one from gourmet delivery service Food-e or a bottle selected from Mikuni Wine is an easy, relatively affordable way to make your staycation a bit more special.
Another option to get away from work and routine without completely going offline is to try some outdoor activities. Getting out of the house to exercise helps to refresh both the body and the mind.
Before we head into the colder autumn weather, you can enjoy the water with SUP, or stand up paddleboarding. It’s a fun way to enjoy nature and your surroundings from a different perspectiveーstanding over the water. Atop what is basically a large surfboard, you can paddle through rivers, bays, or even the ocean. Because it is less demanding than surfing, it is easier to chat with friends as you paddle along. It’s easy to learn and how fast you ride is completely up to you.
There are several locations in and around Tokyo that offer rentals and lessons. Yokohama SUP Club takes its guests out with an instructor around Ooka River towards Minato Mirai for a scenic tour that is easy to access. There are various types of sessions, from normal lessons and tours to river-cleaning and SUP yoga.
Even without taking a paid vacation, there are ways to work and take a trip all at the same time. Remote work has given rise to the workation, or work vacation, which allows you to make a trip to a beautiful location with the benefit of staying productive in your work.
Good Working Zaimokuza is a coworking space located in Kamakura that gives you the best of work and play. At only ¥3,000 per day and less than a minute’s walk from the ocean, you can be productive in your work, go for a relaxing walk on the beach, and enjoy Kamakura’s best restaurants all in one day.
This is a great way to boost creativity and avoid burnout, and there are even options for after Silver Week ends. A long-term plan might be developing a “third office.” This is a place separate from your company’s headquarters or a home office that allows whole teams to experience a new environment together as they work. It is also the perfect environment for team-building activities, brainstorming, and fun collaboration. Many third offices also offer great access to nature such as this space in Karuizawa. Be sure to check it out!