• Kyodo News


The annual rush of travelers heading to their hometowns and resorts for the Bon summer holiday peaked Thursday, with people packing roads, railways and air transportation facilities.

Expressways were congested across the country before dawn with a 23-km traffic jam on an outbound section of the Tomei Expressway in Shizuoka Prefecture and a 10-km jam on an outbound section of the Chugoku Expressway in Osaka Prefecture, according to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center.

Almost all reserved seats on bullet trains from Tokyo were booked for the morning on the Tokaido, Tohoku, Joetsu and Nagano lines.

Some seats were still available on the Tokaido and Tohoku lines for the afternoon, railways said.

Almost all reserved seats on the Yamagata and Akita shinkansen lines were booked for the day, they said.

Domestic flights departing from Tokyo were booked close to capacity for morning departures, Japan Airlines Corp. and All Nippon Airways Co. said. Some afternoon flights were also fully booked.

Traffic congestion on expressways could be among the worst in history during the holiday due to a trial toll-free program that began in late June and a discount program allowing motorists to travel expressways with a maximum toll of ¥1,000 for an unlimited distance on weekends and national holidays.

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