What is the difference between 休日, 休暇 and 休み? When each should be used?

4 Answers 4


休日 and 休暇 mean a day off. 休み sometimes means a day off, but also means taking a rest.

It seems 休日 is a day off under the company/school's regulations: Like Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. 休暇 is a day off that is not stipulated by your school/company's regulations, but you apply for a day off and they approve it.

From my personal experience, people don't distinguish between 休日 and 休暇 strictly. They just mean a day off.


Adding to @Takashi's great answer, you need to note that [休]{やす}み has a lot of meanings (take a look at the link) that include both 休{きゅう}日{じつ}, 休{きゅう}暇{か}. For example:

[夏休]{なつやす}み: summer vacation, summer holidays.

If you want to use 休{きゅう}暇{か}, you have to use [暑中休暇]{しょちゅうきゅうか} which is not as broadly used as [夏休]{なつやす}み and サマー・バケーション. As commented below, [夏期]{かき}休暇 and [夏季]{かき}休暇 are used, too.

[休日]{きゅうじつ} could be the opposite of [平日]{へいじつ} which means weekday (non-holiday, Monday to Friday).

They might look similar, but their usages could be different. You should check example phrases and sentences in the dictionary and learn them.

  • 2
    暑中休暇 -> 普通は「[夏期]{かき}休暇/[夏季]{かき}休暇」っていいますね・・
    – chocolate
    Oct 16, 2016 at 3:35
  • @chocolate Thanks for the comment. I edited my answer. Please feel free to edit it.
    – Rathony
    Oct 16, 2016 at 9:03
  • Thanks for answers indeed. The 夏期休暇 and 夏季休暇 raises another question :) - can I simply translate them as "Summer season vacation" and "Summer time vacation" respectively? Is it the main difference (season vs time/period)? Oct 16, 2016 at 9:47
  • @ErnestasGruodis They basically have the same meaning and I don't think you need to include "season" and "time/period" as they seem redundant.
    – Rathony
    Oct 16, 2016 at 11:04
  • Maybe I just digging too deep :) Oct 16, 2016 at 14:32

休み: a rest
休暇: a day (or days) off work when it is not a holiday.
休日: a day off or a holiday



I would like to add that 休み is more informal than 休日. You can also say 休みます = I'm resting

  • I guess "I'm resting" is 休んでいます? Aug 21, 2020 at 15:40

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