Mountain Day in Japan Date in the current year: August 11, 2024

Mountain Day in Japan Mountain Day is one of Japan’s newest public holidays. It was officially proclaimed in 2014, but the first celebration took place only in 2016. Mountain Day in Japan is observed on August 11.

Japan is famous for its numerous mountains. Almost three quarters of Japan is mountainous, and each of the main islands has a mountain range running through it. Mount Fuji (3,776 m) is the highest mountain in Japan, one of the country’s “Three Holy Mountains”, and one of the most recognizable symbols of Japan. Other notable mountains include Mount Kita, Mount Hotaka, Mount Yari, Mount Tate, Mount Haku, and Mount Kumotori. Some of them are active volcanoes.

The campaign to have a Mountain Day was initiated by tourist and nature protection organizations, including the Japanese Alpine Club, and supported by legislator Seishiro Eto. The legislation states that the main goal of the new public holiday is to provide “opportunities to get familiar with mountains and appreciate blessings from mountains.”

It was decided to celebrate Mountain Day in August for several reasons. First, the kanji (Chinese characters used in written Japanese) for “eight” looks a bit like a mountain. Second, before the adoption of Mountain Day there were no public holidays in August, so this month seemed like a logical choice.

Despite Japan’s high levels of urbanization, many Japanese people are more in touch with nature than people in other developed nations. That’s why for some of them Mountain Day is a perfect occasion to take a trip to the mountains. Nevertheless, nearly a third of Japanese people see Mountain Day as just an extra day off work.

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Mountain Day in Japan, public holiday, holidays in Japan, Japanese holidays