Daily Life

Japanese Calendar & National Holidays

1. Gengo (Name of an Era)

Japan uses Era names when referring to years. The year an Emperor ascends to the throne would be the first year of an era, and it continues until he passes away. Each era has a unique name (Gengo).
When you encounter a situation in which you have to write your year of birth using Gengo, refer to the table below. For example, 1985 is Showa 60 (S60), and 2013 is Heisei 25 (H25).

Year Gengo
1971 Showa(S) 46
1972 47
1973 48
1974 49
1975 50
1976 51
1977 52
1978 53
1979 54
1980 55
1981 56
1982 57
1983 58
1984 59
1985 60
Year Gengo
1986 Showa(S) 61
1987 62
1988 63
1989 Heisei(H) 1
1990 2
1991 3
1992 4
1993 5
1994 6
1995 7
1996 8
1997 9
1998 10
1999 11
2000 12
Year Gengo
2001 Heisei(H) 13
2002 14
2003 15
2004 16
2005 17
2006 18
2007 19
2008 20
2009 21
2010 22
2011 23
2012 24
2013 25
2014 26
2015 27

2. National holidays

Many schools and public offices are closed on national holidays.

Date Holiday
Jan.1 New Year’s Day
Second Monday of Jan. Coming-of-Age Day
Feb. 11 National Foundation Day
Mar. 21* Vernal Equinox Day
Apr. 29 Showa-no-Hi
May 3 Constitution Day
May 4 Greenery Day
May 5 Children's Day
Third Monday of July Marine Day
Third Monday of Sep. Respect-for-the-Aged Day
Sep.23* Autumnal Equinox Day
Second Monday of Oct. Sports Day
Nov. 3 Culture Day
Nov. 23 Labor Thanksgiving Day
Dec. 23 Emperor’s Birthday

*Dates slightly vary every year.

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