• Kyodo

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Expressways and train stations across the country struggled to cope with a Golden Week exodus Thursday, as travelers took advantage of the beginning of a four-day holiday to escape from the daily grind but in the process brave massive downpours.

Traffic jams clogged myriad outbound lanes on expressways heading out of Tokyo, including a 55-km stretch on the Kanetsu Expressway in Saitama Prefecture, 43 km on the Tohoku Expressway in Fukushima Prefecture and 22 km on the newly opened Shin Tomei Expressway in Shizuoka Prefecture, the Japan Road Traffic Information Center said.

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