Some businesses simply give everyone the extra days off and close down. Some people do have to work, however, especially those in the transportation, hospitality and entertainment industries who make sure everybody else can have a holiday.
This means almost everybody's going somewhere, tickets to anything or anywhere will be hard to get, lodging reservations must be made months in advance, traffic will be dreadful, and -- surprise -- almost everybody Japanese will have a wonderful time.
People rarely use up their vacation time in Japan, so tacking a day here and there to national holiday periods is the most vacation time most people get.
Today, it's beautiful here in the mountains. It's a great day to get outside, and I will. We'll have snow later in the week and over the weekend, so I'm going to take advantage.