The third week of September every year is known as Silver Week. That’s because there are two public holidays during this period, Respect for the Aged Day (this year on September 19) and the Autumnal Equinox (this year on September 23). Thanks to these public holidays falling so close together, there are two long weekends this month. While many people take extended vacations around these dates, you can enjoy plenty of fun activities on shorter notice. Whether you’re considering taking a short trip this September but aren’t sure where to visit—or if you have friends or family who might not be able to get time off from work so easily—you’ll find everything you need here to make the most of your Silver Week.
Enjoy Tokyo to the Fullest
If you’re staying in the city, you can visit some of the country’s most famous landmarks and enjoy fantastic cuisine. The Imperial Palace is a cultural and architectural wonder that is less busy during Silver Week, so you can explore its gardens and buildings with fewer crowds. The iconic Senso-ji in Asakusa is one of Tokyo’s most famous temples to check out; it might be far less busy during this period. If you enjoy thrift shopping, you could spend the day in Shimokitazawa, where you can find the coolest second-hand stores in the city, cafes, and art galleries. If you want to experience incredible views of Tokyo, you can visit Shibuya SKY, located on the rooftop of Shibuya Scramble Square. Tokyo also has numerous cultural festivals during Silver Week—Nakanobu Nebuta Festival 2022 in Shinagawa on September 17, Akasaka Hikawari Matsuri from September 16 to September 18 or the Fiesta Mexicana festival from September 23 to September 25.
Take a Day Trip to the Shonan Coast
The Shonan coast is a stretch of land that starts near Tokyo and ends in the city of Odawara. It’s just a short train ride away from the capital, and is known for its sandy beaches and laid-back vibe. It’s also a place where you can enjoy traditional Japanese culture, with plenty of temples and shrines. It’s one of the best places to go during Silver Week if you want to enjoy surf, sand, and seaside resorts without traveling too far. The stretch of land is stunning in autumn when the leaves turn red, and the weather is cool and pleasant. The best place to start your day trip along the Shonan coast is by visiting Kamakura. The city was once the capital of Japan and boasts many landmarks, temples, and shrines. From there, you can continue your trip along the coast to places like Fujisawa and Ito.
A Weekend Away in Osaka During Silver Week
Osaka is one of Japan’s most famous cities and a place you can visit any time of the year. During Silver Week, you can take advantage of Osaka’s rich culture, including its many art museums, such as teamLab Botanical Gardens or Abeno Harukas Art Museum and the famous Osaka Aquarium KAIYUKAN. You can also enjoy Osaka’s numerous shopping districts, like Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street, which is filled with international brands and local products. If you’re hungry, you can enjoy some of the city’s specialties: takoyaki (octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes). The Nanba area of Osaka is one of Japan’s most visited nightlife destinations. If you fancy a night out, you’ll find it far less busy and hectic during Silver Week. Kuromon Market is one of the oldest and most authentic markets in Osaka, and this time will be a great opportunity to enjoy it with fewer crowds. You can also catch one of Osaka’s major cultural events, the Danjiri Festival.
Enjoy the Autumn Foliage Anywhere in Japan
The colors of Japan’s legendary autumn foliage start appearing in September, peak in October, and linger into November. The best months for enjoying the breathtaking autumn foliage in Japan are September and October. One of the most popular spots for viewing autumn foliage is Koyo, located an hour’s train ride from Kyoto Station. Farther afield, Hokkaido is also one of the most beautiful regions in Japan, and you can explore its mountains, forests, and coastlines when most residents are at home enjoying their long weekends. Other popular destinations for viewing autumn foliage include Lake Ashinoko, Mount Fuji, Hakone, Ibaraki, Okayama, Takao, Takayama, and Senjojiki Cirque.
Silver Week is the perfect time to explore Japan, as it is generally a quieter time of the year compared to Golden Week and the end of the year. Traveling during this time gives you the best opportunity to experience all that Japan has to offer, from its rich culture and breathtaking scenery to its delicious food and famous landmarks. Remember to check the dates and times of various events and festivals when planning your activities. You’ll want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the best things to do in Japan during Silver Week. Have a great one, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures to capture those special moments!
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