These five days, from Saturday last weekend until tomorrow (Wednesday) have become Japan's first ever Silver Week (シルバーウィーク), which gets its name from Golden Week (ゴルデンウィーク), which is a long holiday in May every year.
It has happened for the first time this year because Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日, keirou no hi) and Autumnal Equinox Day (秋分の日, shuubun no hi) have fallen one day apart, and Japanese law stipulates that if there is only one day between two national holidays then that day also becomes a holiday (国民の休日, kokumin no kyuujitsu).
This has meant that from last Friday night, Japanese people have crowded into trains and airports, heading for resorts or their hometowns, enjoying the five-day holiday.
Unfortunately, I didn't have the full Silver Week experience, because I had to go to University yesterday for lessons. But then I have today and tomorrow off. I don't know why they decided to do it that way, but I'm just glad I have two days off!
Yesterday afternoon, Rob and I went to our local big park, Koganei Park (小金井公園, Koganei kouen) to practice the routine for our Soul Run performance. The first thing that struck me was how busy the park was, and then how nice it was to see Japanese people having fun as a family. I don't see it often, so it was a bit of a surprise, but a very nice surprise.
Rob and I tried to find the most secluded spot in the park, but we still got some stares as we were jumping around and being traditional Japanese fisherman dancers. The section I call "the bouncing starfish" (don't ask) was particularly embarrassing, but I think I've remembered the order a little better now, which is good!
Today I spent the day sleeping and catching up with laundry and things like that. Tomorrow I need to do some homework, and enjoy my day off!