JR Express Train Users Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Passengers take off a Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train at JR Tokyo Station on Saturday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Passengers on Shinkansen and other Japan Railways Group express trains during this year’s Golden Week holiday period returned to 94% of the 2018 level before the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Monday.

The combined passenger number in the period between April 28 and Sunday totaled about 11,001,000 for 46 train line sections operated by the six JR Group passenger service companies. The total grew 1.32-fold from the previous year.

All six companies saw their figures increase from the previous year, sending the total to the seventh-highest level since the start of the data in 1990.

East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, logged the largest year-on-year growth of 1.4-fold, marking about 3,785,000 passengers. The number of passengers at Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, returned to the 2018 level.

According to JR Group officials, people who had refrained from going out seem to have felt safer now to travel by train as the government was about to lower the legal classification of COVID-19 on Monday.