Trains, planes full as holiday U-turn rush peaks
The New Year holiday U-turn rush peaked on Thursday as thousands of holidaymakers crowded airports, train stations and expressways on their way home.
Narita Airport officials estimated that 44,000 people would return on Thursday alone. Haneda airport said most domestic flights were at 98% capacity. Low budget carriers reported full loads on flights to short-haul destinations in Asia.
JR companies said Tokyo-bound shinkansen trains from Kyushu, Osaka and the Tohoku were fully booked.
Meanwhile, Fuji TV reported traffic congestion up to 44 kilometers on the Tomei Expressway near the Yamato Tunnel in Kanagawa Prefecture as of 6 p.m. Thursday.
Since many companies have also given their employees Friday off, the next U-turn rush is expected to peak on Saturday afternoon.