• Kyodo

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People looking to get out of the capital for the New Year’s holidays crowded train stations, airports and roads in the Tokyo metropolitan area on Saturday.

On the Tokaido Shinkansen line, the occupancy rate of unreserved seats hit 180 percent when the day’s first train departed Tokyo for Fukuoka at 6 a.m., according to Central Japan Railway Co.

“I look forward to seeing my cousin after a while and eating New Year’s dishes prepared by my grandmother,” Yuina Fujita, an elementary school girl from Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, said at Tokyo Station before heading for Kagawa Prefecture.

Reserved seats on the bullet trains are almost fully booked through Tuesday morning, the company said.

Similarly, domestic flights from Tokyo’s Haneda airport were heavily booked through New Year’s Eve.

The number of people traveling abroad was expected to peak on Saturday.

Major expressways in the country were also congested. Traffic jams up to 30 kilometers long are expected on the Tomei Expressway in Hadano, Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, through Monday.

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