The departure rush for travelers looking to exploit this year’s unusually convenient Golden Week holiday period peaked Friday at Narita and Kansai airports, Japan’s two major international gateways.

Golden Week this year includes national holidays on Friday, Tuesday and Thursday. This is good news for those who wish to travel abroad, as it effectively encompasses two weekends.

Narita International Airport Corp. expects about 58,000 passengers to depart for overseas destinations Friday, a record high for overseas departures on a single day from Narita airport.

It also forecasts that 442,000 passengers will use the airport during the holiday period from April 28 to May 9, up 7 percent from a year earlier.

Kansai International Airport Co. also estimates that some 20,600 passengers will leave Kansai airport on Friday and that some 330,000 will depart for overseas destinations during Golden Week, marking a daily average increase of 6 percent from a year before.

The return rush is expected on May 7 at Narita and on May 5 at Kansai.

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