Numerous ports of departure overflowed Saturday with people traveling for the summer holidays, as many shinkansen (bullet trains) reached over 100 percent occupancy for unreserved seating and highways saw traffic jams of more than 30 kilometers long.
According to railway operators, the rate for unreserved seating areas on the Tohoku shinkansen line from Tokyo to the northeastern city of Morioka reached 150 percent in the morning, while the shinkansen from Nagoya to Hakata saw an occupancy rate of 180 percent.
A section of the Sanyo Expressway in the western prefecture of Okayama was backed up for 40 km, while other areas on western, central and eastern Japan expressways saw traffic jams of over 20 km, according to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center.
On the Shin-Tomei Expressway in Shizuoka Prefecture, a truck rammed into a line of cars stuck in traffic at around 6 a.m., killing one and injuring six others, and causing the section of the expressway in Numazu to be closed for over four hours.
The holiday exodus also led to congestion at airports. Airlines said travelers’ departures on international flights would peak between Friday and Saturday, while those on domestic flights would continue through Monday.
The rush of people returning home by bullet train and on expressways is expected to peak on Thursday.
Source : Japan Today