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Train stations, airports crowded as travelers head home, overseas

Holidaymakers packed trains and airports on Saturday as they headed back to their hometowns and overseas for year-end and New Year holidays.
Train companies and airlines said they expected Saturday to be the peak day for departures while next weekend will be the peak day for the U-turn rush.
Shinkansen (bullet trains) departing Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations were all full, Fuji TV reported. JR said Tokaido shinkansen trains heading for Hakata were running at 200% capacity Saturday morning, while the Hokuriku shinkansen bound for Kanezawa was at 150% capacity. The Tohoku shinkansen to Morioka was running at 120% capacity.
Narita international airport officials said 55,200 travelers are expected to head overseas on Saturday, while Haneda officials said 29,000 people were booked on international flights for the day. But many domestic flights from Osaka and Tokyo to the Tohoku area and Hokkaido were canceled due to heavy snow closing airports in those regions.
In all, the number of people traveling overseas from Narita and Haneda for the year-end holiday period, which for some people began on Dec 22, is expected to be about 5 percent more than last year.


© Japan Today
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