Life in Japan

Japan New Year Holiday Schedule: 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 glorious agglomeration 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 six days so that people can properly celebrate the end-of-the-year and welcome in the new year.

Here is what to expect this year (December 2018 to January 2019) in terms of holiday closures.

Government Offices (City & Ward Offices)

  • Closed: Saturday, December 29th to Thursday, January 3rd
  • First day of business in 2019: Friday, January 4th

Banks & the Post Office (Including the Japan Post Bank)

  • Same as government offices
  • Closed: Saturday, December 29th to Thursday, January 3rd
  • First day of business in 2019: Friday, January 4th
  • ATMs will be open during 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.

Many Businesses (Including small retail shops)

  • Same as government offices
  • Closed: Saturday, December 29th to Thursday, January 3rd
  • First day of business in 2019: Friday, January 4th

Real Estate Agents

  • Will vary by the specific agency and branch.
  • However, most real estate agencies will be closed from around December 28th or 29th to January 3rd. Some agents will be closed until January 6th.
  • 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 branch.
  • However, most major department stores will close from about 6PM on December 31st through January 1st and will re-open with regular business hours from 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 27th and January 7th.

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: How to stay warm at home in Japan

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