Japan New Year Holiday Schedule 2019-2020: When will shops, banks, and post offices be closed?

In Japan, the end-of-the-year and beginning-of-the-year holidays are combined into one long holiday, called nenmatsu-nenshi oyasumi (年末年始お休み).  Businesses, government offices, banks, and the post office will all be closed for a stretch of about nine days at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020.

Here is what to expect in terms of holiday closures.

Government Offices (City & Ward Offices)

  • Closed: Saturday, December 28th to Sunday, January 5th
  • First day of business in 2020: Monday, January 6th

Post Office

  • Regular mail delivery (including international mail and registered mail) and package delivery (including EMS): Will take place everyday between Saturday, December 28th to Sunday, January 5th, except for Sunday, December 29th and Thursday, January 2nd.
  • No delivery: Sunday, December 29th and Thursday, January 2nd
  • First day of business in 2020: Wednesday, January 1st

Banks (Including Japan Post Bank)

  • In general, banks will be closed from December 31st through January 4th or 5th. ATMs will be open over the holidays, but you may have to pay an additional service fee for some transactions. Also, some transactions may not be available between December 31st and January 3rd.
  • For details, please see this post: Japanese bank holiday schedules for end-of-year holidays 2019.
  • First day of business in 2020: Monday, January 6th

Many Businesses (Including small retail shops)

  • Same as government offices
  • Closed: Saturday, December 28th to Sunday, January 5th
  • First day of business in 2020: Monday, January 6th

Real Estate Agents

  • Will vary by the specific agency and branch.
  • However, most real estate agencies will be closed from around Friday, December 27th or 29th to Friday, January 3rd or Saturday, January 4th. Some agents will be closed until Sunday, January 5th.
  • If you make an inquiry to an agent during this time, you may not receive an immediate response from them.

Department Stores

  • Will vary. Please check directly with the specific store and branch.
  • However, most major department stores will closed from about 5PM to 6PM on December 31st and all day January 1st.
  • First day of business in 2020: Thursday, January 2nd, from 10AM. Most major department stores will close between 7PM and 8PM on January 2nd.

Package Delivery Couriers (Takyubin)

  • Will vary by the company.
  • Many couriers will not be making any deliveries on January 1st.
  • Expect possible delivery delays between December 28th and January 5th.

Supermarkets

  • Will vary by the specific branch.
  • Some supermarkets will close earlier than usual on December 31st and be closed on January 1st or open a few hours later than usual.

Conbini (Convenience Stores)

  • Will be open throughout the end-of-the-year and new year holidays.

You may also be interested in: Top 8 places to watch the first sunrise of the year: 2020 Edition

New Year decorations in Japanese homes

Top image: iStock