Business

Domestic travelers dropped during Japan's Bon summer holidays thanks to typhoon

JIJI

People who traveled in Japan by rail, air and road decreased from a year earlier during the Bon summer holidays due to a heavy storm.

The six passenger service companies of the Japan Railways Group said 13.56 million people used bullet and other express trains between Aug. 9 and Sunday, down from 13.58 million a year before. East Japan Railway Co. and Central Japan Railway Co. enjoyed an increase in passengers, while the other four, including West Japan Railway Co., saw a decrease. JR West stopped its Sanyo Shinkansen services between Shin-Osaka and Kokura stations throughout last Thursday when severe tropical storm Krosa crossed western Japan. Many other train services were also halted, mainly in the Chugoku region.

Since the suspensions were announced in advance, the number of passengers using JR West’s inbound services peaked Aug. 14.

The number of people traveling on domestic flights during the 10-day holiday period fell 1.1 percent from a year before to 3.59 million, according to data from airline companies. Meanwhile, the number of international passengers came to 727,000, almost unchanged from last year.

ANA Holdings Inc.’s All Nippon Airways Co. reported brisk demand for flights to and from Hokkaido, the Tohoku region and the Hokuriku region, as well as international flights to and from Hawaii and North America. Japan Airlines Co. saw increases in passengers to and from Tohoku and Hokuriku. Its Oceanian routes also fared well, according to JAL.

Total vehicle traffic volume on expressways across the country decreased about 1 percent between Aug. 8 and Sunday from a year ago, according to four major expressway operators including East Nippon Expressway Co., or Nexco East.

Average daily traffic on major sections during the 11-day period stood at 47,600 vehicles, down from 48,300 last year. Traffic volume fell markedly Thursday.

The number of passengers of high-speed ferries between Fukuoka Prefecture and Busan, South Korea, Busan slumped 46.6 percent from a year before to 3,728 over the 10 days through Sunday, according to JR Kyushu Jet Ferry Inc.

South Korean passengers decreased by about 70 percent amid deteriorating relations between the two countries, said the subsidiary of Kyushu Railway Co., or JR Kyushu.