Obon holiday exodus peaks

TOKYO —

Trains were packed and highways congested on Wednesday as the Obon holiday exodus peaked in Japan.

Many people are taking five days off this year for the Obon summer holiday period.

According to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center, at 12 noon, traffic was backed up for 43 kilometers on the Kanetsu expressway in Saitama Prefecture, while traffic was bumper to bumper for about 37 kilometers on the Tohoku expressway in Tochigi Prefecture, TBS reported.

Meanwhile, JR officials said shinkansen trains were running at 120% capacity on the Tokaido and Tohoku lines.

Airlines reported all flights leaving Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Osaka airport were full on Wednesday.

The U-turn rush is expected to peak on Aug 16 and 17.

Japan Today

  • 2

    TumbleDry

    It should be Obon everyday! Almost empty trains, less people in restaurants during lunch.

    Or maybe I should leave Tokyo...

  • 0

    AKBfan

    Time to go to the beach for some sun, ice cream and beach bunnies.

  • -5

    onagagamo

    Jesus.

  • -1

    some14some

    ....and local weather conditions do not seem favorable during Obon Holidays.

  • 1

    CrazyJoe

    Like New Years, the Obon season is a time for family reunions and a chance for people to return to their native places to reestablish contact with the traditions and values of the past.

  • 1

    FightingViking

    While I respect the "reason" for the O-bon holidays, I still think people should be able visit their families and/or family tombs whenever they want to and not be expected to do so all at the same time. In Europe we always had one month holidays every year to be taken either "all at once" or "split up". In Japan, most people don't even take "sick leave" for fear of "losing their place" at the office.

  • 1

    It"S ME

    No one is forced to travel during obon like no one is forced to travel over thanksgiving, Easter, etc.

  • 1

    jerseyboy

    Many people are taking five days off this year for the Obon summer holiday period.

    Not really true, since two of the days are Saturday and Sunday.

    According to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center, at 12 noon, traffic was backed up for 43 kilometers on the Kanetsu expressway in Saitama Prefecture, while traffic was bumper to bumper for about 37 kilometers on the Tohoku expressway in Tochigi Prefecture,

    Not a very relaxing way to start your holiday. And then you just have to trun-around and face the same thing returning on Saturday or Sunday. No wonder everyone will still be sound asleep on the trains/subays on Monday morning. Not like they're going back to work all refreshed.

  • -1

    kaimycahl

    For what ever reason it may be I say to the travelers leave the work behind visit your family, friends and home town. Be happy, stay safe and enjoy!!

  • 0

    Viki Lyn Paulson-Cody

    Sure nobody is forced to travel during Obon but if they don't see their relatives then they won't have another chance since taking the kids out of school and taking 5 days off in June is not possible! It's truly a shame

  • 0

    Serrano

    "The U-turn rush is expected to peak Aug 16 and 17"

    I bet all flights into Haneda and Osaka will be full.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    taking the kids out of school and taking 5 days off in June is not possible!

    Sure it is - I've taken the kids out of school for days at a time to do other stuff.

  • 3

    sighclops

    The only time of the year when Tokyo's trains are almost bearable. Almost.

  • 1

    Novenachama

    Obon season is a time to express our gratitude to loved ones who have passed on before. Without them we would not be who we are today. We not be where we are and we would not be able to do the things we do to enjoy life. It's a time to celebrate the most important thing in the world, relationships.

  • 1

    FightingViking

    Maybe not so easy to take days off in June for school children but certainly no problem in July, August and half of September - if they attend (at least) one of the International schools here ! (I don't know about all the others).

  • -1

    Pukey2

    Obon season is a time to express our gratitude to loved ones who have passed on before

    So you never think of your loved ones outside O-bon. My grandmother's tombstone is thousands of miles away and I'll visit only when I can, and that won't include O-bon. That doesn't mean I think any less of her.

    As for my summer holidays - I'm taking them in Sept.

  • 1

    hereforever

    Still can't understand why the government needs to control the entire country's summer vacation.

  • 1

    Leigh Ivan Quintellio Wighton

    Still can't understand why the government needs to control the entire country's summer vacation.

    They don't. There are no national holidays during Obon. I don't know why they don't just make a few days holidays though. There are quite a few people who don't get any time off for obon.

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