For the Emperor's abdication on April 30, Japanese workers will enjoy an unprecedented 10-day holiday as a rash of special days off combine with the traditional "Golden Week" in May. But not everyone is popping the champagne corks in famously workaholic Japan.
"To be honest, I don't know how to spend the time when we are suddenly given 10 days of holidays," said 31-year-old finance worker Seishu Sato. "If you want to go travelling, it's going to be crowded everywhere and tour costs have surged... I might end up staying at my parents' place," he said.
A survey by the Asahi Shimbun daily showed 45% of workaholics of Japanese "felt unhappy" about the long vacation, with only 35% saying they "felt happy". Others who have to work over the period complain about childcare. "For parents in the service sector, the 10 days of holiday is a headache. After-school care, nurseries - everything is closed," tweeted a parent.
Still, if people are curiously indifferent to the idea of extra holidays as a result of the emperor, the imperial family remains as popular as ever. A poll by public broadcaster NHK found almost no one would admit to a "feeling of antipathy" towards the emperor.