Also known as Greenery Day or 'Midori no Hi', this national holiday began life as a non-holiday. The Japanese holiday law states that a day that falls between two holidays will also be a holiday, and since this day falls between Constitution Memorial Day and Children's Day, it too is a holiday.
Until 2007, this date was known as 'In between day' and completed Golden Week. Greenery day was celebrated on 29 April, but that has changed to Showa Day. Before 1989, 29 April had been a holiday to mark the birthday of Emperor Hirohito. After his death in 1989, Greenery Day was established to honour his love for plants and nature.
National Arbor Day is the National Land Afforestation Campaign's main event. It is attended by His Majesty The Emperor, and Her Majesty The Empress.
People come from all areas throughout Japan to participate, the event has been held each year in the spring since 1950.
The festival is jointly held by the National Land Afforestation Promotion Organisation and the hosting prefecture. The main events of the festival include The Emperor's greetings, the planting of a tree and the planting of seeds by The Emperor and Empress, commemorative tree planting by participants from both within and outside the prefecture, and the presentation of awards such as the National Land Afforestation Promotion Organisation movement poster competition.
According to the National Land Afforestation Promotion Organisation which presides over National Arbor Day, the history of the festival dates back to the Arbor Day festival which was restarted after the war, held in Tokyo in 1947 and 1948, and in 1949 in Yokohama. His Majesty The Emperor, and Her Majesty The Empress first attended in 1948.