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Monthly Feature Story-August 2018-Mountain Day

Cultural Tips-Mountain Day (August 11th)

Mountain Day is Japan's newest public holiday and was first introduced in 2016. This holiday was created in order for people to become familiar with Japan's mountains and show appreciation for their natural blessings.

Why this date?

It is said that the "Kanji", or Chinese character, for eight 八, resembles the shape of a mountain and the number 11 also looks like two standing trees.

In fact, the Japanese government initially wanted to make this holiday on August 12th to encourage people to take longer summer vacations (typically from the 13th to 15th of August). August 12th, however, is also the anniversary of a tragic plane crash in 1985. That day, a Japan Airlines passenger flight crashed into the mountains 100km northwest of Tokyo.

Therefore, taking into account the sentiment of the bereaved families and survivors, the government ended up designating August 11th, the day before, as Mountain Day.

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