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Train companies, airlines expect mixed Golden Week

20 Comments

Travel agents, airline companies and train operators are gearing up for Golden Week, with train companies seeing fewer reservations than last year, while airlines report an increase.

The holidays are spread over two weeks rather than consecutively -- this year, April 29, May 3, 5 and 6 are national holidays.

According to figures released by six JR companies, seat reservations are 2.74 million, 6% lower than last year, TBS reported. May 3 is expected to be the peak departure day and May 6 the busiest return day.

On the other hand, JAL and ANA report that reservations for short overseas trips are up by 9.4% to 15.9%. The main reason given is the increase in flights to and from Haneda airport as of March. Airlines said flights to Hawaii and Guam were the most popular.

Airlines also said the 3% sales tax hike on April 1 had not caused any downturn in business.

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20 Comments
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"reservations for short overseas trips are up"

Such a sad waste of resources, to burn 100,000 liters or so of jet fuel per round-trip flight so that Japanese tourists can get away for a mere 3 or 4 days.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

They would have taken those vacations at a different time if given the chance. I really do not see what your argument is here? Do you dislike Japan so much you have to criticize their holiday taking habits? Better fuel spent on full planes than half empty ones - don't you think?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I love how Golden Week (why do these days have an English name?) is all but mandatory time off for many Japanese. Raised prices, overfilled transportation and accomodation yet the fools follow this, year after year after year... Because they are told to do so. There were talk some years ago about dividing GW into different weeks for different regions - something that seems to me to be a much better idea. Of course, it was all talk and no play as the retrogrades could fathom how this could possibly work in such a special and unique place like Japan.

I say let the Japanese take time off when they want to, ie holidays, like normal decent people instead of pretending that they all have to do everything together, at the same time.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

" Such a sad waste of resources, to burn 100,000 liters or so of jet fuel per round-trip flight so that Japanese tourists can get away for a mere 3 or 4 days."

Right, the serfs shouldn't enjoy the right to travel. Guess what, the people choose to do what they want, which includes spending THEIR money as THEY see fit.

And the people will reduce their domestic spending by more than tax increase. Abegeddon begins.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Guess what, the people choose to do what they want,"

"Choose"? Haha, good one! Individual Japanese workers have a "choice" in the matter?! Sorry, but that's not what Japan's national holiday system is all about. It's all about removing individual choice when it comes to vacation periods.

"Do you dislike Japan so much you have to criticize their holiday taking habits?"

Yes, to the second point. My clients are mostly Japanese, so their ridiculous "holiday-taking habits" do have a direct impact on my workflow, income, etc., not to mention all the exorbitant air fares, massive congestion, etc. I'm expected to endure during the affected periods.

This all amounts to a very poor allocation of resources. If you're gonna book a long flight at an expensive airfare, then make the most of it. It's just common sense.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What always really annoys me about so many commentators here on JT is this essentialism toward "the Japanese." What is this, 1945? Japan is made up of a very regionally and culturally diverse population, and even so-called Japanese are not the mono-race you insinuate that they are. GW is a holiday for everyone in Japan and it's a time many people--including "non-Japanese" fly away for a few days, whether it costs jet fuel or not. You should rant about all the global corporations in other countries like the US who fly their employees around the world 24/7 wasting resources and polluting the environment for mere 2-3 day business trips. What's the difference?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I have to agree with Yoheikun. All the issues which cause ranting about "the Japanese" can easily be applied outside the country, too. My company flew 5 execs from the US over here last week. They stayed a total of 4 days and acted like college freshmen the whole time. They came in at 10am, worked until lunch, then generally f--- (oops, can't say that word here!)...ummm, goofed off and played video games until 5, then drank until midnight. Burning jet fuel for bulls--- (oops, can't say that one, either)...ummmm, for no purpose is hardly the domain of Japan.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"My company flew 5 execs from the US over here last week."

I'm talking about a state-ordered vacation period affecting nearly the entire nation. You're talking 5 people on a business trip. Nice try. LOL.

"Japan is made up of a very regionally and culturally diverse population"

Outside of Okinawa, Japan is not "culturally diverse."

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

" I'm talking about a state-ordered vacation period affecting nearly the entire nation."

State-ordered?! They're called National Holidays for cripessake. Yes, some people CHOOSE to travel at that time, much like Americans do for the gluttonous holiday of Thanksgiving stretched out over a five-day period(bookended for resource-wasting flights). Different cultures have lengthy holidays at different times, in case you're unaware. Should everyone apologize for inconveniencing you? It's not about you.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"State-ordered?! They're called National Holidays for cripessake."

They are state ordered. The holidays under "Golden Week" are designated under the "National Holiday Laws"....for cripessake. The previous administration had planned to amend the legislation, to give individuals more freedom in choosing their holidays and avoiding the intense congestion and other problems. Call me weird, but I'd prefer to choose my own holidays rather than having the state choose them for me.

"It's not about you."

It sure isn't! Everyone in Japan -- businesses, academia, you name it -- is forced to put up with this nonsense.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

to give individuals more freedom in choosing their holidays

It's called annual leave JeffLee....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Iam sorry but when I want a holliday i will take one, and not when some one tells me I can have one!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Everyone in Japan -- businesses, academia, you name it -- is forced to put up with this nonsense.

Which would mean all shops and business would cease operating, but that's not the case. I will be working on all of the national holidays and will take a vacation just after golden week, like I do every year.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I know a Japanese guy who is going to spend over Y500,000 to go to Hawaii with his GF for 5 days during the Golden Week, cripes!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Do your flights use different fuel or something?"

Yeah, the "or something" is that when I book a medium- long-haul flight for travel, I make sure it's for a decent length of time. What's the point of paying 150,000 yen for a trip for 3 or 4 days? That's like 50.000-60,000 yen per day just for getting there and away. And don't tell me it's because Japanese "want to" or "choose to" have things this way.

No, it's the system, man, a system that the authorities have literally written into law (see above) and is additionally codified in employment conditions and contracts.

It's funny how people in Japan prattle on about "reform." And yet this egregious misallocation of resources, rooted in a postwar mindset, is actually defended by people here. I mean...come on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"So, great, in your opinion, your travel is more worthy, necessary, and fulfilling than someone else's."

Wrong again. People, anyone, in an affluent, developed country like Japan should not be forced to limit their major travel period to 3-4 days(!) due to a set of archaic laws and/or employment practices.

Especially when the gov't in question is bragging to the world about its commitment to reform.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

People, anyone, in an affluent, developed country like Japan should not be forced to limit their major travel period to 3-4 days(!) due to a set of archaic laws and/or employment practices.

What law? What employment practices, now one is forced to take their travels at this time, and everyone has the right to wait take them at another time, as outlined in the employment law.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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