Railways and air carriers say more people have been on the move in Japan during the mid-August summer holidays, called Obon.
Officials at the JR Group of railway operators say more than 12 million travelers rode the Shinkansen bullet trains and express trains during the 9-day holiday period. That’s 4 percent more than in 2015.
The number surged more than 50 percent for the route between Aomori and Hakodate in northern Japan.
That’s thanks to a new Shinkansen service launched in March that extended an existing line. Travel on other sections also rose.
Many travelers also took to the air. Officials at 12 airlines say about 4.2 million people flew on domestic flights during the 12-day period through Sunday. That’s nearly 5 percent more than a year earlier.
The number of passengers who flew internationally on 6 Japanese carriers also rose 11 percent to about 800,000.
Airline officials attribute the robust figures to a new holiday established during the Obon period. They say a stronger yen also encouraged tourists to head overseas.
Source and image: NHK