Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Everyone loves a day off, right?: Japan’s newest holiday Mountain Day gets approval from Lower House

Japan’s newest holiday Mountain Day gets approval from Lower House

Well, not everyone if the comments attached to this story are any example.  But they do make some good points.  O-Bon (and Golden Week) tend to turn very hectic when everyone hits the roads and rails and airways at the same time.  Adding this day in there doesn't do anything to alleviate the travel congestion, and may just add to it.  Shoot, I don't know.  One comment I definitely agree with is the one about how they should have chosen to make it the third Monday or Friday of August so we could look forward to a regular three-day weekend.  Another is the one about doing something about June now.  June needs a holiday, too.

I suggest Rain Day.

Yesterday was Showa Day, a holiday dedicated to the Showa Emperor.  Next week we have several holidays in a row, hence Golden Week.  If you're lucky, you have the whole of next week off.  I could be mistaken but it seems Showa Day usually comes attached to the rest of the Golden Week.

Do we need a day celebrating mountains?  The way I look at it is, if you're going to have Ocean Day, you might as well have Mountain Day.  Japan has both geographical features in abundance, so at least it's not as if someone suggested Desert Day or Iceberg Day.  Does Japan have any deserts?  Icebergs?  I don't think so, but I love how you can climb a mountain here and see the ocean, or swim in the ocean and see a mountain.  We can't do that in Georgia.  You have to choose one or the other, never both at the same time.

Speaking of days off, I'm doubly lucky.  For one thing, I have flexible paid holidays.  As long as I give notice and don't choose an irresponsible day-- such as one of our pre-test days where I'm expected to record listening tests for students-- I have my choice of time off along with regularly-scheduled vacation time.  For another, I'm a foreigner, so everyone expects me to take those days.  It's what we do.  Oh, I complain and moan about long hours and six-day weeks, but compared to my coworkers, I have it pretty easy.  Expectations of me are lower, therefore I try to give a bit more.

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