Year-end crowds sparse at Tokyo Station
NHK -- Dec 30
The terminal for Japan's Shinkansen bullet trains in Tokyo is much quieter than usual during the year-end holidays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tokyo Station is normally crowded with tourists and people going back to their hometowns at this time.

But station officials say bullet-train ridership on Tuesday was about 5 to 40 percent of capacity as of 4 p.m. That's well below the average for the period.

A boxed-meal shop at the station is getting only about 30 percent of the number of customers of an average year. A worker at the shop said she was surprised to see business so slow.

A woman traveling to the northeastern city of Sendai with her grandchild said they will wear masks and refrain from talking much while on the train.

官公庁や企業で仕事納めが終わり、29日から本格的な年末年始休暇に入った。JR東京駅ではキャリーバッグを引いた乗客の姿が目立ったが、新型コロナウイルス禍で例年のような帰省ラッシュは見られなかった。新年を迎える晴れやかな雰囲気はなく、乗客からは感染拡大に警戒しながらの年越しに対する、やるせない気持ちが聞かれた。JR東京駅の東北新幹線ホームでは、乗車待ちの列はまばら。
News sources: NHK, Kyodo
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