This year, the string of holidays has come pretty nicely, giving most regular salarymen and office ladies a possible 11 days off in a row by just taking three paid holidays, pretty good deal, huh? Never mind that actually going anywhere, especially overseas, is a complete nightmare considering the crowds and the unreasonable price raises that the travel agencies take the chance of charging now that basically all of Japan is on vacation.
These somewhat pointless and odd holidays that the Golden Week is made up of is basically remains of past Emperor's birthdays here in Japan. The birthday of the Emperor becomes a holiday (current Emperor Heisei is born on December 23, something that is good for us Christmas celebraters!) but when an Emperor passes, and a new one is crowned, they do not remove the previous holiday since it would be a sign of disrespect; instead they have been "re branding" it like this, resulting in these odd holidays.