Mountain Day in Japan in 2024

Mountain Day in Japan in 2024
Image by Mohamed Hassan , via Pixabay
  How long until Mountain Day?
Mountain Day
  Dates of Mountain Day in Japan
2025 Japan Mon, Aug 11 National Holiday
2024 Japan Mon, Aug 12 National Holiday
2023 Japan Fri, Aug 11 National Holiday
2022 Japan Thu, Aug 11 National Holiday
2021 Japan Mon, Aug 9 National Holiday

A new holiday since 2016, celebrating the nation's mountains. Mountain Day is intended is to provide “opportunities to get familiar with mountains and appreciate blessings from mountains".

  Local name
Yama no hi

When is Mountain Day?

Mountain Day is also known as 'Yama no hi' and is Japan's newest public holiday.

Since 2016, it has been celebrated on August 11th. If August 11th falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be observed as a holiday.

History of Mountain Day

A revision to the Law on National Holidays was enacted in a parliament session on May 23rd 2014 to be enforced from January 1st 2016.

The legislation states that Mountain Day is intended is to provide “opportunities to get familiar with mountains and appreciate blessings from mountains".

The holiday was established after the Japanese Alpine Club and other groups lobbied for the bill, arguing that Japan, where Shinto beliefs in nature have shaped the culture, should celebrate its peaks and mountains.

This is fitting as around 70% of the landmass of Japan is mountainous, and activities such as hiking and skiing are popular. All of Japan's primary islands has a mountain range running through it. Mount Fuji (3,776 m) is the highest mountain in Japan, one of the nation’s "Three Holy Mountains", and one of the most recognizable symbols of Japan. Other prominent mountains incorporate Mount Kita, Mount Hotaka, Mount Yari, Mount Tate, Mount Haku, and Mount Kumotori. Some of them are active volcanoes.

August 11th was chosen as the date for Mountain Day as some local authorities in mountainous regions of the country had already set that date as a day to honour their mountains. It has been said that the date is fitting as eight, written in kanji (characters used in written Japanese), looks like a mountain and that the number 11 looks like two trees.

How is Mountain Day celebrated?

As it is a modern holiday, there are no particular traditional ceremonies associated with the day.

The inaugural National Ceremony for Mountain Day was held in the Japanese Alps at Kamikochi in Matsumoto, Nagano.

In 2016, a survey by the Japan Weather Association showed that only 68% of people were aware of the new holiday. It will take some time for Mountain Day to become established as a national holiday - in the same survey nearly 10% of people said they were not aware of Marine Day which was introduced in 1996.

International Mountain Day

The United Nations observes a day for International Mountain Day on December 11th each year.

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