Are there some periods when taking train in Japan is to be avoided?

There are a few national holidays in Japan, during which it can be difficult to travel:

  • Oshogatsu, the celebration of the New Year (usually from December 29 to January 2);
  • Golden Week, from the end of April to early May (dates vary each year, see Kanpai-Japan’s website);
  • Obon, August 13 to 15. 

Trains are full at the beginning and at the end of these periods in a U-turn rush between big cities and hometowns. It is recommended to avoid traveling during these overcrowded times.

We also recommend avoiding train travel in big cities in the morning during the morning rush hours.

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