Transport packed as Golden Week U-turn begins

Kyodo

Holidaymakers crammed bullet trains, flights and highways bound for Tokyo and other cities Sunday as the Golden Week holidays began to wrap up.

Heavy congestion was expected on expressways Sunday evening, the Japan Road Traffic Information Center warned.

A 50-km bottleneck was expected on the northbound lanes of the Tomei Expressway between Nagoya and Tokyo starting at the Yamato Tunnel in Kanagawa Prefecture, while a 45-km traffic jam was forecast on a southbound stretch of the Kanetsu Expressway around the Takasaka service area in Saitama, the center said.

Meanwhile, almost all bullet train reservations to Tokyo had been snapped up as of Sunday afternoon, the Japan Railways group said.

The situation was little better in the skies, with more than 80 percent of airline seats already reserved for domestic flights bound for Tokyo’s Haneda airport on Sunday, Japan Airlines Corp. and All Nippon Airways Co. reported.

The traffic information center expects congestion on the nation’s highways to peak on Monday, the final day of Golden Week.