Japan Travelers Rely on Railways as Earthquake and Tsunami Impact Tourism

TOKYO, JAPAN – Travelers visiting Japan are heavily dependent on the country’s extensive railway system, with the majority of tourists exploring the country primarily by rail. The recent disruptions at Haneda Airport due to a plane crash are expected to impact the plans of domestic leisure and business travelers more than international tourists, according to travel experts.

In response to the plane crash, the Central Japan Railway Company has scheduled additional shinkansens (bullet trains) for Wednesday, one of the busiest periods for domestic travel in Japan due to the Japanese New Year Oshogatsu. Travelers should expect crowded train stations on January 3 and 4 as a result.

The plane collision at Haneda Airport occurred just one day after a powerful earthquake hit Japan’s Noto Peninsula. The earthquake caused a minor tsunami, fires, and major infrastructure damage in various parts of Ishikawa Prefecture, with at least 62 people reported dead and ongoing rescue efforts for survivors.

While the earthquake has severely impacted coastal regions such as Nagano, Kanazawa, Shibu, and others along the Sea of Japan, tourist hubs in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto remain unaffected. A tsunami warning was issued in cities nearby the Noto Peninsula, and it remains unsafe for tourists to travel to the directly impacted regions.

Despite the natural disasters, the overall travel advisory for Japan has not changed, although further aftershocks remain a possibility and transport links are disrupted in the affected areas. Japan is known for being seismically active, and travel insurance companies may offer trip cancellation or interruption reimbursements for those affected by natural disasters in the country.

In conclusion, the recent plane crash and earthquake in Japan have caused disruptions for travelers, particularly impacting domestic travel within Japan. While the situation remains uncertain, travelers are advised to stay informed and take necessary precautions when traveling in or to the affected regions.