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Competition High for Non-reserved Seats on Outbound Shinkansen Trains; Year-End Rush Causes Crowds at Tokyo Station

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Station

The rush of people returning home to spend the year-end and New Year holidays in their hometowns continued Saturday.

There was noticeable congestion for non-reserved seats on outbound Tohoku, Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen trains, according to an announcement by East Japan Railway Co. (JR East).

By 10 a.m., most of the non-reserved cars on outbound Shinkansen trains at Tokyo Station were at 80% to 100% occupancy. The Hokuriku Shinkansen “Hakutaka No. 553” departing at 7:52 a.m. for Kanazawa Station recorded 110% occupancy in the non-reserved section.

Tokyo Station was reportedly crowded with people with large luggage and families.

JR East expects outbound travel to peak on Sunday.