Year-end exodus begins in Japan
NHK -- Dec 29
Highways, airports and train stations around Japan are busy on Saturday as year-end travelers head for their hometowns and holiday destinations.

Japan Railways companies say that non-reserved cars on Shinkansen bullet trains from Tokyo were filled to capacity. The most crowded trains reached 180 percent capacity.

Almost every reserved seat on Shinkansen trains leaving Tokyo and other major cities are fully booked for Sunday. Non-reserved cars will likely be packed, too.

Airline officials say most flights leaving Tokyo and Osaka are fully booked through Sunday.

Many expressways around the country were congested on Saturday. According to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center, vehicles at the Isehara Junction in Kanagawa Prefecture were backed up for 25 kilometers a little after 8;00 a.m.

No marked congestion was reported as of 8:00 p.m.

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Traffic congestion on expressways is forecast to be greater for Sunday. On the Tomei expressway in Kanagawa Prefecture, a traffic jam is expected that will stretch more than 30 kilometers.

News source: NHK
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