Marine Day

The third Monday of July is cerebrated as Marine Day in Japan.

Marine Day is a national holiday which is relatively new to us. Being established in 1996, originally held on July 20. As Japan adopted Happy Monday System by the revision of the National Holidays Law, Marine Day has moved to the third Monday in July since 2003. It is the day appreciate for the ocean and prosperity of maritime Japan.

The Meiji Emperor sailed on a steamship in 1876.

The holiday has its origin in the fact that the Meiji Emperor had an Imperial tour to Tohoku (North part of main island of Japan) and sailed back from Hokkaido to Yokohama on a steamship called Meiji-maru. On July 20 in 1876 the Meiji Emperor was safely back to the port of Yokohama on Meiji-maru.

So some people think Marine Day should be stick to July 20 as used to be rather than changing to the third of Monday.

Meiji-maru is displayed in the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology in Koto ward in Tokyo now. Free of charge.


What is on the Marine Day?

Some events like “Ocean Festival” are held in July in some regions.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force holds the special display called “Man-kan-shoku” (満艦飾)on special holidays including Marine Day. They display special flags on their ships. Kan(艦) means “battleship” and shoku(飾) means “display or ornament”.

In Yokohama, Nippon-maru(日本丸) which is the first sail training ship displays “Man-sen-shoku” (満船飾)with many flags on Marine Day. Sen(船)means “ship or boat”.

Odaiba holds “Umi-no-hi-matsuri”, or Marine Lantern Festival. It’s becoming a summer tradition for Odaiba in Tokyo. Candles are lit in the paper lanterns that color the night view of the Port of Tokyo.

What is Happy Monday System?

In order to guarantee a long weekend and stimulate the economy, Japan revised the National Holidays Law around 2000. As a result, some national holidays have moved to the designated Monday.

Representative one is the Coming-of-Age Day. It used to be Jan 15th but has moved to the second Monday of January. It used to be difficult for the people to go back hometown to join the ceremony of the Coming-of-Age Day, though it is an important event of one’s life. Marine Day has been also moved since there used to be no consecutive holidays in July.

Happy Monday makes it easier for us to enjoy holiday, as it gives us a longer weekend including a national holiday.

Author Profile

A national government licensed tour guide in English loves to introduce Japanese life with unique photos📸. Mainly Tokyo🇯🇵 and surroundings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *