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Chigusa: 第十五回日本文化レッスンでございます。
Peter: Peter here. Back with another addition of Japanese culture class. Okay we are back after our week long break.
Chigusa: I missed you Peter.
Peter: Thank…! Chigusa, I don’t know what to say. I missed you too Chigusa.
Chigusa: Thank you.
Peter: It is great to be back in the studio with you.
Chigusa: It’s always great to be here.
Peter: Okay so we had our one week break.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Which is kind of the topic of today’s conversation right?
Chigusa: Right.

Lesson focus

Peter: What are we going to talk about this week?
Chigusa: This week, we are going to talk about ゴールデンウィーク.
Peter: Which is?
Chigusa: Golden week.
Peter: How do we explain this in English Chigusa?
Chigusa: It’s a week in Japan characterized by days off.
Peter: Days off. What days?
Chigusa: There are four national holidays and three of them are consecutive.
Peter: Plus if we add in the weekend, it usually winds up that you have a bunch of days off in a row.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Hence the name
Chigusa: Golden week.
Peter: But I don’t get the golden. I just don’t get it Chigusa. Help me out, where does this name come from?
Chigusa: Okay Golden week in Japanese is 黄金週間
Peter: And what does this mean?
Chigusa: Golden week but the name originates from the movie industry.
Peter: The movie industry.
Chigusa: Yes the movie industry which saw sales increase during this period.
Peter: Now I got it.
Chigusa: Good.
Peter: I know Chigusa. I am a slow learner. Be patient with me and you know what Chigusa, I just thought of something. Apparently like the entertainment industry is in love with this word golden. What is prime time in Japanese?
Chigusa: ゴールデンタイム
Peter: English please
Chigusa: Golden time.
Peter: Yeah so the entertainment industry loves this word.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Golden week, golden time.
Chigusa: Time.
Peter: So that’s where golden week comes from.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: This is a time I can say なるほど right?
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: なるほど Okay なるほど and 勉強になりました。
Chigusa: 勉強になりました。
Peter: So you said that there are four holidays in there, three consecutive. What are the holidays?
Chigusa: One is みどりの日 which is April 29.
Peter: And what’s this in English?
Chigusa: Greenery day.
Peter: And is this because we appreciate something green?
Chigusa: Not at all. Its birthday of the….
Peter: Thank you Chigusa for letting me down easily.
Chigusa: Not at all Peter. It’s the birthday of the former Showa Emperor and incidentally it is the last year this will occur on April 29th.
Peter: What do you mean?
Chigusa: Because next year, it’s going to be switched to May 4th.
Peter: Really?
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: So we still have the Golden week right?
Chigusa: We do.
Peter: Ah all right. Chigusa, don’t go scaring us.
Chigusa: But it’s a bit controversial.
Peter: Controversial, okay let’s get out of here. Let’s go to next one. We want to keep away from the sticky conversations right?
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Okay so the 29th it’s a holiday. Then the 30th is a regular day.
Chigusa: Regular day.
Peter: May 1st, 2nd regular days.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Then May 3rd is
Chigusa: 憲法記念日
Peter: English please.
Chigusa: Constitution Memorial Day.
Peter: And can you tell us something about this day?
Chigusa: Sure. This day marks the constitution coming into effect in 1947.
Peter: Okay next we have Between Day 国民の休日 on May 04th and this gets its name from the fact it falls between Constitution Day and the next day which is
Chigusa: May 5th is こどもの日
Peter: Which is?
Chigusa: Children’s Day.
Peter: All right.
Chigusa: It’s a Japanese National Holiday. It’s a day to appreciate Children.
Peter: Wait! Isn’t this known as boy’s day?
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Our day has arrived. I remember you girls had the ひなまつり
Chigusa: ひなまつり
Peter: Yes. Our day has come.
Chigusa: 良かったね。
Peter: 良かったです。 Now I am in a good – now I am in a great mood. Okay so we have these three days together plus the day on April 29th. Now this year, what’s the schedule like? What day is April 29th?
Chigusa: April 29th is a Saturday.
Peter: Wooo yes. Yes this happened sometimes.
Chigusa: I know.
Peter: The National Holidays fall on a weekend.
Chigusa: I know it sucks.
Peter: Yes. Well I haven’t heard that word in a while. Okay April 29th on a Saturday. So it would have been perfect if it was on a Friday.
Chigusa: I know.
Peter: Sunday is a regular day. Monday, Tuesday regular days. Wednesday is?
Chigusa: Constitution Memorial Day.
Peter: Thursday, the 4th is Between Day and Friday is?
Chigusa: Children’s Day.
Peter: Okay and then Saturday, Sunday.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Five days off in a row.
Chigusa: Right. So that means if you take Monday and Tuesday off, then you will have nine consecutive holidays.
Peter: Chigusa, don’t give anybody working here any idea. We can’t have people leaving for 9 days. You are a bad influence. Yes but Chigusa is right. Nine days off.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: You can really do some traveling with that.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: And since they are National Holidays, this is for everybody?
Chigusa: For everybody.
Peter: Wow!
Chigusa: Because Japanese people work too hard.
Peter: Yes they work long and hard.
Chigusa: Right. They need a break.
Peter: Now the whole country vacationing together doesn’t make for a too convenient travel. What’s going on with the trains, planes, buses, hotels? The prices stay the same?
Chigusa: No way!
Peter: What’s going on with that Chigusa, tell us what’s going on?
Chigusa: The rates go up and up and up and everything is so crowded. Everywhere you go, it’s just people, people, people. You can’t make reservations anywhere. So you got to work fast.
Peter: Got to work fast.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Got to work in advance.
Chigusa: Really in advance and you got to be prepared if you want to enjoy the golden week.
Peter: Now a few things. If you are traveling in Japan during this period, it’s going to be
Chigusa: Expensive.
Peter: Really expensive. Now, we kind of calculate everything triples in price.
Chigusa: That’s correct.
Peter: There are three travel seasons in Japan and this is the first we are going to discuss. The other is in August and then it’s the end of the year. Now during these periods, prices are just through the roof as Chigusa said, all the main attractions are crowded. Now if that’s what you like, then this is the time to come but if you are more off beat and you want to enjoy things not too hectic, then I can’t really recommend coming during golden week, right?
Chigusa: No.
Peter: But for people inside Japan, yes this is the time to take the family. It’s quite nice because you know, everybody gets the vacation together for the first time out of three during the year.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: So during this period, a lot of people go on trips overseas.
Chigusa: 海外旅行
Peter: That’s the one. Now some of the popular destinations are
Chigusa: Hawaii, Guam…
Peter: Yes we would like to say hello to everybody in Hawaii and Guam. Yes we think that maybe right about this time, you should be expecting a lot of Japanese tourists.
Chigusa: A lot of Japanese tourists…アロハ~!
Peter: アロハ! Also US, China, Europe, lots of Japanese going overseas.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: This is the travel season. Also lots of Japanese running around inside the country.
Chigusa: 国内旅行
Peter: Domestic trip. What are some of the popular locations?
Chigusa: 伊豆. 伊豆 is one of the famous 温泉地 in Japan.
Peter: Woo…and what’s that?
Chigusa: It’s a place where they have hot springs.
Peter: Okay.
Chigusa: And it’s famous for the hot springs and being near the ocean.
Peter: Yeah isn’t 伊豆 a peninsula?
Chigusa: Yeah it is.
Peter: Yes and it is beautiful. I’ve been there twice and wow, gorgeous! You are about 30 minutes from hot spring. The hot spring – from the hot spring, you can actually see the ocean.
Chigusa: Right in some places yes.
Peter: Good point. In some places, the one I was at, you could get in the hot spring, feels amazing plus see the ocean and run down to the ocean. Where I was, it would probably take about 20 minutes to run to the ocean. So I don’t know if you really want to do that plus yes, we should let everybody know that Japanese 温泉 is how can we put this delicately? What is the proper attire for a Japanese hot spring?
Chigusa: Nothing.
Peter: Yes, that’s the one.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Nothing as in a towel the size, well actually girls can have a big towel, right?
Chigusa: But not – I don’t think so.
Peter: Yeah I don’t know so. I know, for the guys we have a towel the size of a tissue. So it really doesn’t work out while the point it is being that if I try to run from the Onsen to the ocean, I don’t think it would work out too. I think the police would catch me a couple of minutes into my run.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: But we are going to get into the hot springs in a different lesson. So the proper attire for the Onsen or the hot spring is nothing.
Chigusa: Nothing.
Peter: So…
Chigusa: No swimsuits.
Peter: No T-Shirts.
Chigusa: No T-Shirts, nothing.
Peter: Yes. So it does take some getting used to. I won’t deny that but once you are used to it, it is very great experience.
Chigusa: Right. It’s worth trying.
Peter: Yes and 伊豆 is renowned throughout Japan for this. The hot springs, the ocean, the food. One of the most popular destinations during golden week.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: It used to be a lot more popular but in recent years, actually it’s declined a bit but still very popular. Okay any other popular destinations you could think of?
Chigusa: Maybe Okinawa.
Peter: Ah Okinawa and have you been to Okinawa?
Chigusa: Yes once.
Peter: What did you do there?
Chigusa: I swam in the ocean with my grandma.
Peter: How was that?
Chigusa: It was fabulous.
Peter: How is the water down there?
Chigusa: So blue, so transparent.
Peter: Amazing. Okinawa is really beautiful. Did you have a great time there?
Chigusa: Of course I did. The food was great too.
Peter: Yes Okinawa, another popular destination. We will have some more destinations up on the site but yes so much to do inside Japan too. We will see if we can get a list of like the top destinations during golden week. We will see!
Chigusa: We will see.
Peter: All right. Now Chigusa, where are you going? You are not going anywhere hah!
Chigusa: Right. Can you tell?
Peter: Well – well we didn’t really tell you that. You won a nine consecutive day recording session.
Chigusa: Oh jeez!
Peter: But let’s say if you could go somewhere, where would you go for golden week?
Chigusa: If it’s not crowded, well I am sure it is but if it’s not, I want to go to Tokyo Disneyland.
Peter: Really?
Chigusa: Really.
Peter: You like it there?
Chigusa: I love it there.
Peter: How many times have you been?
Chigusa: I go there twice a year at least.
Peter: Yeah Tokyo Disneyland, it’s very convenient and if you go after 6 PM, it’s half price right?
Chigusa: Right but I am not sure if it works on holidays.
Peter: Not on holidays.
Chigusa: Maybe just on weekends, I mean weekdays.
Peter: It’s quite nice though if you spend a day in Tokyo, you can catch the train, shootout to Disneyland. After 6 o'clock, everything is half price and also it’s less crowded. You can see the whole park.
Chigusa: And you can see the parades.
Peter: Yeah.
Chigusa: And fireworks.
Peter: Yeah all right.
Chigusa: It’s really good.
Peter: So I saw a flyer a couple of weeks ago and recently that during golden week, they are going to have double the amount of bullet trains.
Chigusa: Shinkansen.
Peter: Yep and I guess increased flights. During this period, a lot of Japanese will go abroad, a lot of people will be traveling inside Japan. All right.
Chigusa: Today is April 29th. Greenery Day.


Peter: What we are going to do is we are going to stop the show here because that’s it.
Chigusa: Right. We have to go to Disneyland.
Peter: This is golden week and it started for us. So we are going to cut you short here.
Chigusa: Aha we can’t work any longer.
Peter: I like that attitude Chigusa. All right, that’s going to do for today.
Chigusa: See you next week.
Peter: See you next week.


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