If you’re wondering whether Golden Week is a good time to visit Japan, here’s some travel tips for you!
Plan your trip
If you’re here you already know that Golden Week is one of the busiest holiday periods in Japan. This doesn’t mean that everything is closed: it just means it’s more crowded than usual. Some businesses close and the top choices for Japanese are traveling to a foreign country, going back to their family in the countryside or traveling around Japan. This means that it’s a lot better for you to already have train and bus tickets if you think of moving a lot outside major cities. The same goes for museums and attractions: if you already decided to visit a particular place, your best choice is to buy tickets online.
Stay in Tokyo
One of the first things you should ask yourself is if you have problems with crowds, or with standing for long periods. If the answer is yes, then it’s probably better for you to just stay in Tokyo and do a little exploration. Rest assured that there will be tons of things to do. However, if you travel with a tour, your guide will bring you to the usual tourist spots. So think about the reason why you’re here: is this a once in a lifetime trip? Then enjoy every single thing and cherish each moment and forget about crowds. Is this one of many trips? Focus on an historical period, or a neighborhood, or on food or art. There is always something to do in Tokyo.
During Golden Week banks will be closed, but ATMs operate with the usual schedule. Most banks have made more cash available through their ATMs and also have a security alarm if the level of cash drops under a certain level. They want to avoid cash shortages as much as you; however your best option is to bring more cash that you would normally do. You can do bank transactions, but remember that they become effective after the end of Golden Week, on May 7.
Traveling with kids
You probably don’t want your kids to stand for longer periods, especially if they’re very young. You can try museums (refer to the plan ahead above for tickets) and planetariums; if you love shopping, try Tokyo Midtown and you’ll catch two birds with a stone. In fact this year Roppongi’s Tokyo Midtown is hosting the Midtown Open the Park 2019 event, with outdoor activities for the entire family. Check the official website here for the list.
The activities listed in my article on 5 things to do in Tokyo during this year’s Golden Week are family friendly too.
Search for festivals
There are lots of festivals going on in and around Tokyo during Golden Week. Check here my article about unmissable festivals in the Tokyo area.
So, yes, Golden Week is a good time to visit Japan, just be informed on what’s going on, use these travel tips and you’ll be fine!
If you have any question that’s not covered here, leave a comment!