JR train reservations up 81% during holiday period

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of seat reservations for Shinkansen bullet trains and other Japan Railways Group trains during the year-end and New Year’s holiday period increased 81% from a year before, the six JR Group passenger service firms have said.

A total of 2.32 million seats had been booked as of Monday for the period from Dec. 28 to Jan. 5, the JR companies said Tuesday.

Demand for trips, including to hometowns, is seen recovering as the COVID-19 infection situation has become calm in the country.

But the train seat bookings for the winter holiday period stood at only 60% of the level marked two years ago, or before the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The number of Shinkansen seats reserved for the upcoming holiday period jumped 89% from a year earlier to 1.91 million, and 410,000 seats were reserved for conventional JR express trains, up 53%.

Seat reservations for trains from and to Tokyo will peak on Dec. 29-30 and Jan. 3, respectively, according to the JR firms.

The number of reservations for Akita and Yamagata Shinkansen seats more than doubled. Tokaido Shinkansen seats are about to be fully booked for the peak times. The JR companies are calling for customers to try to avoid congested periods.