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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Mountain Day, New Holiday In Japan

Above, Mount Fuji, as seen from a shinkansen. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Did you know that Japan has a new national holiday?  

Up until recently, neither did I. But it is true, the new national holiday is Mountain Day. The first Mountain Day will be celebrated this Thursday.

According to Skift.com:
As Japanese prepare to head for the hills Thursday for their inaugural Mountain Day holiday, retailers and tourism operators are gearing up for an $8 billion windfall. 
They’re counting on customers like school teacher Ayako Kobayashi. The 33-year-old spent more than $700 on a sleeping bag, mattress, backpack and trekking food to climb Mount Kita near Nagano last weekend. She’s looking to buy a two-person tent and a bigger backpack next, which would set her back another $1,000. The high price tag is worth it, she says. 
“I can’t find words to describe the feeling of achievement that I get at the top of the mountain,” Kobayashi said. “It makes me more confident.” 
While the holiday is aimed more at encouraging people to appreciate Mount Fuji and the country’s other natural attractions, businesses are counting on Mountain Day to bolster an economy threatened by a strengthening yen and weak consumer spending. The national holiday comes days before a week-long Obon festival period in which many workers take their summer vacation.
To read more, go here

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