Marine Day (海の日 Umi no Hi?), known as ‘Ocean Day’ or ‘Sea Day’ is a Japanese national holiday celebrated on the third Monday in July. Many people take advantage of the holiday and summer weather to take a beach trip in honor of Marine Boy.
July 20 was actually designated Marine Commemoration Day way back in June 1941 to mark the return of Emperor Meiji to the port of Yokohama in 1876 from a trip to northern Japan.
But it was not a national holiday, and so a number of ocean-related organizations got together in 1991 to seek a holiday for the sea. Thanks to strong public support for the idea, July 20 was finally declared a national holiday in 1995 after several years of debate in the National Diet.
Until then, there were no holidays in the months of June, July, and August. The Japanese public was happy to gain a day off in the summer months, but the kids were probably the happiest of all, since they could now start their summer vacation – which frequently starts on July 21 – one day earlier.
Source: Kids Web Japan
This is a modern national holiday so there are no traditional events associated with it. However, many aquariums and swimming pools in and around Tokyo will have special events and discounts on this day. Turn this to your advantage if you have children and have a cheap and fun day out.
If you’re feeling the heat, there’s also numerous beach parties that Tokyoites will flock to – it’s hot in July! Check our Tokyo events calendar for upcoming fun!
Popular areas include Kamakura, Enoshima, and Zushi, as well as the man-made beach in Odaiba.