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From this Year, August 11th Shall be “Mountain Day”

On returning home, Celine, an exchange student, finds her host father, Hisaya, in the living room. There he seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself while using a PC.

From this Year, August 11th Shall be “Mountain Day”

Celine

Hisaya, you seem to be enjoying yourself. What are you looking at?

Hisaya

Hello there Celine. These photos are ones that I took last week when I went trekking. I am thinking of organizing them to make them easier to keep track of.

Celine

They’re beautiful! There seems to be an abundance of nature depicted. So what about these mountains, did you travel far to get to them?

Hisaya

No, not at all. The one you see here is called Mount Takao, it is located about an hour from the center of Tokyo. Living in the city, such phenomena might not seem that familiar, however, there are actually many mountains in close proximity to Tokyo. Moreover, it should be remembered that approximately 70% of the Japanese archipelago is comprised of mountainous terrain.

Celine

Talking about mountains, I have heard that a new public holiday has been established for the purpose of allowing people to feel both more familiar and more appreciative of the nation’s mountains.

Hisaya

You are well informed! Commencing this year, August 11th has been designated “Mountain Day.” What is more, in commemoration of this new public holiday, throughout the country there are plans to hold events at which participants can both enjoy the mountains and the natural habitat of Japan’s different regions. Let’s do a bit of an Internet search and see what we can find.

Celine

There seem to be some talk shows, some introductory mountain-climbing classes, and some events for families about enjoying walking in the mountains and recreation in streams, etc. There are a great variety of events planned. There are also events where participants will be given the opportunity to think about the environmental protection of the nation’s mountains and forests.

Hisaya

Mountain Day will give us an opportunity to show our appreciation for the blessings that the mountains bestow. Moreover, it is also a day on which we shall be able to reflect on how to go about protecting and preserving the beautiful environment which is nature’s bounty, and also how to go about being able to pass the nature that surrounds us on to future generations. Another thing that Mountain Day will offer is the opportunity to think about safety measures when climbing mountains.

Celine

I see, so that is why there are also plans to hold introductory mountain-climbing classes and courses for people who wish to go trekking in the mountains.

Hisaya

Yes, that is the case. More than anything, Mountain Day is a day that will give everybody the opportunity to become more familiar with the mountains that surround us. You can go and try your hand at climbing a mountain, camping out, or even enjoying a barbeque with friends. It’s up to everybody as to how they use this opportunity to experience the mountains or to come in contact with nature.

While talking with Hisaya about “Mountain Day,” something pops into Celine’s mind.

Celine

Talking about national holidays, in July we have “Marine Day.” Meanwhile, in September there is “Respect for the Aged Day” and “Autumnal Equinox Day.” As such, it strikes me that Japan has rather a lot of national holidays.

Hisaya

Yes, with the establishment of “Mountain Day,” Japan will have some 16 public holidays each year. Thus, if you look at the situation around the world, it would seem that we are blessed with numerous public holidays.

Celine

Then again, there is also the image of Japanese people not really taking holidays normally.

Hisaya

Yes. Among Japanese the rate at which annual paid vacations are used tends to be rather low. Many people feel rather guilty if they use their paid vacation entitlements while their colleagues continue to work.

Celine

Although such an argument does highlight the diligent nature of Japanese people, I wonder if people could manage their work-life balance a little better. In France, although we only have 11 public holidays which is less than the number in Japan, more than a few people take a long summer vacation of three or more weeks. I think that being able to take a vacation and also being able to recharge the mental batteries also has benefits at work.

Hisaya

I think that is true. When I was young as well, I barely took any holidays but instead chose to work. These days, however, I have come to think that it is important that a clear effort be made to distinguish between work and taking a break. As such, as you can see through these photos, when I have time off work I make an effort to fully enjoy my passion for the mountains.

Celine

Yes, when you talk about the mountains, you seem to be full of life. The next time you go trekking, can I tag along?

Hisaya

Of course!