Mountain Day is Japan’s newest national holiday
August 11th is a Japanese national holiday called ‘Yama-no Hi’ or ‘Mountain Day.’ The day was named as a national holiday in 2014, and 2016 is the first year it is observed.
The Japanese Alpine Club had advocated creating a holiday for a long time, and through the efforts of the club finally led to the legislation of the holiday to provide “opportunities for the public to get familiar with mountains and appreciate the blessings they provide.”
Some local authorities in mountainous regions of the country had earlier set the Mountain Day independently, and in 2014, the government set up a council to decide a proper day for the Mountain Day. The council decided on Aug. 11 and also decided that observation of the new holiday would begin this year, 2016.
After the Mountain Day becomes a national holiday in August, June remains the only month in Japan with no national holiday.
Although Okinawa has no mountain to speak of, some Mountain related events will be held. Some groups are setting up picnics and treks to the hills where people can enjoy and touch the forest and nature on the day. Specifically, a hiking experience, mushroom picking and study opportunity, forest quiz, wood craft workshop, park golf tournament and other nature related events will be organized in the Prefectural Forest Park in Onna Village. The event takes place from 13:00 to 17:00. The park is located at 2028 Afuso, Onna village.
As kids both in Japanese and U.S. schools are in the summer vacation, the Mountain Day is a prefect reason to see and touch the forest with the whole family.