Named after Golden Week, one of Japan’s longest and busiest holiday seasons that occurs over April and May, Silver Week is a series of back-to-back holidays in September in Japan that only happens in some years and has become increasingly popular as people have come to appreciate the opportunity to take a break from work and school during this time of year. It is a five-day holiday period in Japan that typically falls in late September, consisting of Respect-for-the-Aged Day on the third Monday of September, Autumnal Equinox Day on September 23, and two general holidays (Saturday and Sunday). If a weekday falls between two national holidays in Japan, it is also converted into a holiday, which is why Silver Week can sometimes be a five-day weekend (the next one is slated to be in 2026!).
Weather during Silver Week in Japan
The weather during Silver Week is generally mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 20-25 degrees Celsius and humidity lower than in the summer months. In contrast, the weather in the northern prefectures, such as Hokkaido, ranges between 15-20 degrees Celsius, with temperatures dropping below freezing at night in Hokkaido’s northern regions.
Things to do during Silver Week
Despite the relatively short length of consecutive holidays, there are still things to be done during Silver Week. You can catch sight of crisp autumn foliage at Mount Daisetsu, located in Daisetsuzan National Park in central Hokkaido and one of the first places in Japan to catch stunning views of crimson leaves.
If you’re near Tokyo, seeing the red spider lilies in Kinchakuda Manjushage Park in Saitama Prefecture during Silver Week is highly recommended. This iconic flower park features over five million red spider lilies in bloom, creating a stunning spectacle that is sure to leave you breathless. A festival is held in the park to signal the start of the blooming period of the lilies, and features food stalls, live music, and other activities, making it a great place to experience Japanese culture and traditions. Although a festival is scheduled to begin on September 16th, the best time to see the red spider lilies is typically around the end of September.
Gazing at the beauty of a full moon is also a favourite pastime during Silver Week. Called otsukimi in Japanese, this event entails enjoying the night by viewing the mid-autumn full moon that usually occurs in mid-September to early October and initiating a customary offering of tsukimi dango (dumplings for moon viewing) as a symbol of gratitude for a bountiful harvest and to pray for equally great harvests in the future.
The comfort that a luxury accommodation brings can help elevate your Silver Week vacation, and hence a property like The Setsumon in Hokkaido’s Niseko area comes highly recommended – with stunning views and world-class amenities in a prime location, this accommodation features modern architecture wrapped around designer interiors, and private balconies with views of the surrounding mountains.
Filled with opportunities for relaxation and exploration, Silver Week is a great time for rest and relaxation – despite the crowds, careful planning can help you make the most of this unique time of year.