The New Year’s holiday exodus from Tokyo and other urban areas peaked Tuesday, with travelers packing major train stations and airports throughout the day.
Domestic flights departing from Tokyo’s Haneda airport were almost fully booked, according to Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co.
Bullet trains departing from Tokyo were also nearly fully booked in the morning, with all nonreserved seats occupied on some trains and people standing in the aisles.
Outbound expressways were clogged, with vehicles backed up for 27 km on the Tomei Expressway in Kanagawa Prefecture, according to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center.
The rush of travelers returning from the New Year’s holidays is expected to peak on Friday and Saturday on highways, while flights and trains will likely be most congested on Saturday and Sunday.