Golden week is one of Japans biggest holidays. Three separate national holidays are all in this one week in early May. Most japanese people either get work off or take this time for themselves to travel. So working in a guesthouse in a tourist destination like Hiroshima means a lot of work.
I came to Hiroshima in late April and after being completely alone in Tokyo for two weeks before, I was happy to find some new friends very quickly.
The two other workaways in Hakuba and in Kyoto were „booked“ a long time before I even came to Japan so it was a little weird looking for another one that I would visit that soon. I wrote to a few in Fukuoka and in Hiroshima and panicked a little bit after nobody had responded after two days (I only had two more days left in Tokyo at that point). But then luckily Santiago Guesthouse answered my Email and I was off to Hiroshima.
The day I arrived it was just pouring without an end in sight. I made it to the Guesthouse completely drenched in water. Even though the weather was crazy, I went back out to look at the city. The guesthouse is only a couple of streets away from the Hypocenter of the atomic bomb, the famous A-Bomb dome ruins and the accompanying Peace Park and Museum.
It was an incredibly impressing thing to see and the weather very much helped set the mood.
After working around two weeks and seeing more of the city, I was starting to really like it. Spring was in full season and everything around the Main Island (the Peace Park) was incredibly green and full of flowers.
Then came Golden Week.
For this whole week the city was filled to the brim with people. And just when you thought it would not get any more crowded, the city started to set up for the Flower Festival. All along the Promenade that accompanies the Peace Park there were hundreds of stands being set up. If you would stand in the middle you would not be able to see either end of the festival, despite it being a completely straight road.
It all started with a parade
It was unlike anything i’ve ever seen. Not because of the scale of it, but by the content of the whole parade. Here are some examples.
Everyone had their act well rehearsed, the bands that were playing were all playing by heart and everyone had a smile on their face, which was a nice difference to what I’m used to, even though it most definitely was a strict requirement and well rehearsed.
The biggest part of the show was Mickey Mouse.
From what I’ve been told there apparently is only one „Mickey Mouse“ in Japan, so it’s a real special thing to see him. I don’t know whether thats true or not but the Disneyland float definitely got the most cheers and waves from the audience by far.