Important events in 2019
The Emperor (Tenno) with his wife the Empress (Kogo) Michiko
The Japanese scrum (in red) versus the French team (in white)
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The artist Yayoi Kusama
At the Moomin cafe not far from the Tokyo Dome, a cute character offers company to lonely travelers.
Credit: Guillem Vellut
A year full of twists and turns
New and important events are in the works this year in Japan! Here are the top 5 dates to remember in 2019.
The beginning of a new era
The date of the abdication of Emperor Akihito has been set for April 30, 2019. After 30 years of rule, the 85-year-old Emperor will step down, leaving the throne to the Crown Prince, his son Naruhito. This is the first time in more than 200 years that an emperor has been allowed to give up his title.
The Heisei Era will end and a new era, the name of which will be announced on April 1, will begin the day after the abdication. The ceremony and parade will take place a few months later, on October 22nd. This will undoubtably be the most important event you can attend in Japan, so mark your calendars!
To read: The abdication of the Emperor
A longer Golden Week
In direct connection with the handover, the Japanese Parliament has granted an exceptional period of leave to citizens. Golden Week is a week during which there are four national holidays (April 29 and May 3rd, 4th and 5th). The Japanese take advantage of this week to go on vacation.
In 2019, to properly celebrate the advent of Naruhito, three more holidays have been added! So in 2019, Golden Week will be 10 days long instead of 7. If you're planning to go to Japan at this time, be prepared because the prices will adapt to the high demand and there will no doubt be huge crowds at the biggest tourist sites in the country.
The Rugby World Cup™
From Hokkaido, to Kyushu, to the must-see capital of Tokyo, the Rugby World Cup™ is taking place in all corners of the country this fall. It's a great opportunity to explore Japan while supporting your favorite team!
By hosting the first Rugby World Cup in Asia from 20 September to 2 November 2019, Japan is aiming to prove that it has the capacity to welcome many tourists from around the world for the occasion. A crucial test before the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games.
Read more: The 2019 Rugby World Cup™
The reopening of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
From Yoko Ono to Andy Warhol to Yayoi Kusama, the return of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo heralds a great year for art in Japan! Closed for renovations since 2016, the museum reopens at the end of March 2019 in the east of the capital, in Kiba Park near the historic district of Edo.
Two simultaneous exhibitions will be on display for visitors from March 29 to June 16. First of all, "Weavers of the Worlds - A Century of Changes in Modern and Contemporary Art of Japan" as well as "Pleased to meet you. New Acquisitions in recent years "). These are retrospectives of the most beautiful works collected by the museum since its creation in 1995 .
The opening of Moomin Valley Park
The moomins, gentle Finnish trolls who have been beloved by the Japanese for 50 years, are at long last getting their own Moomin theme park in Japan, exciting news for young and old alike! The Moomins will welcome visitors in Hanno, northwest of Tokyo, with many attractions and an exhibition on the author Tove Jansson's works.
It's a perfect place for relaxation and discovery, especially for families! In addition to the Moominvalley Park itself, set to open on March 16th, 2019, the large Metsä Village space next door, complete with restaurants and shops, will allow visitors to stroll through nature in a very Scandinavian atmosphere.
Tickets for the park are on presale from January 12th (online here, but only in Japanese).
See also: Moomin Bakery & Cafe