Greenery Day used to be celebrated on April 29, but since 2007 the date was moved to May 4.
It is one of the days that makes up the holiday period of Golden Week in Japan. If you're visiting Tokyo during this time, make sure you are prepared for crowded places and fully booked hotels! Our advice - plan ahead and you'll be fine.
Midori no Hi
In Japanese, "midori" means green and "hi" is day. Midori no Hi, as you might expect, celebrates all things green!
Parks and gardens in Tokyo are worth a visit as there are often local events taking place to honor nature and, in selected areas, trees are planted to commemorate this event.
The term "green" is often associated with environmental issues these days and this is also the case on Greenery Day. There are initiatives to clean up local areas including parks, beach areas, and so on.
Don't be surprised if you see a group of people madly sweeping, polishing and otherwise employed to bring the sparkle back to a particular spot. In my opinion, it's a great idea!
History of Greenery Day
From 1989 until 2007, Midori no Hi was celebrated on April 29. Here's the story behind it...
We already mentioned on our Tenno no Tanjobi page that, whoever is the current Emperor of Japan, their birthday becomes a national holiday.
When Emperor Hirohito was alive, this day was April 29 and known as Showa no Hi. With his death in January 1989, it was decided to keep this day as a national holiday in memory of his contributions to Japan.
Hirohito was, himself, a big fan of environmental and green issues. During his early years as Emperor, he was responsible for the construction of a biological laboratory at Akasaka Palace along with the establishment of the Imperial Biological Research Institute. He constantly promoted research in the field of biology, with a particular interest in marine biology, and has been credited as the author of a number of books.
It was decided to honor his interest in this area of study by naming the national holiday Midori no Hi.
In 2007, the ruling government decided to reinstute the name of this particular national holiday (April 29) to Showa no Hi to pay respect to Hirohito and Greenery Day was moved to its current spot on the calendar of May 4.