The rush of travelers returning from domestic and overseas trips during the Golden Week holidays peaked on Sunday, with holidaymakers packing shinkansen trains, airplanes and expressways as they headed back to Tokyo and other major cities.
At Shin-Osaka Station, Toshiaki Hirai, 46, who went to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka with his wife and daughter, said, “It was a tough Golden Week as I had to take care of my family. I will work hard from tomorrow after having fun.”
Also at the station, Rintaro Fujiwara, 6, who visited his grandmother in Osaka, said, “I enjoyed playing in a swimming pool and catching insects.”
Seats on domestic flights of All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines headed for Tokyo’s Haneda airport were almost fully reserved, the airlines said. Returning travelers also crowded Haneda’s international terminal.
A 50-year-old woman returning from South Korea said, “I bought dried laver, sesame and cosmetics. I might have lost some weight as I had a massage.”
The number of travelers at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture also peaked Sunday, with the airport operator expecting international passengers to reach a record 643,000 during the Golden Week holidays.
Traffic jams were also seen on several highways. Vehicles were backed up for about 31 kilometers on the Tohoku Expressway in Tochigi Prefecture, according to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center.
Japan Railway companies said shinkansen trains were also packed, with the occupancy rate of nonreserved cars reaching 110 percent in the morning on services from Hakata to Tokyo. Reserved seats on many of the trains in the afternoon as well were almost fully booked.
The Golden Week period includes four public holidays. Those who took two weekdays off during this year’s Golden Week enjoyed a holiday period lasting nine days from April 28.