Alexa

Japanese head abroad for year-end holidays despite higher costs

Japanese head abroad for year-end holidays despite higher costs

The number of people heading abroad from Japan's main international airport during the year-end holiday period was expected to peak Friday, the airport said, as Japanese travelers took to the skies despite higher costs.
About 47,000 travelers were expected to depart Tokyo's Narita International Airport for foreign destinations Friday, the highest number of daily departures expected for the period Dec. 22 to Jan. 8, airport spokesman Masaharu Watanabe said.
That number would beat the peak of 46,770 for the same period last year, achieved on Dec. 23, he said. Dec. 23 is Emperor Akihito's birthday and a national holiday.
More than 700,000 people are expected to head abroad over the entire period, also a slight increase from 2005, another airport official said on condition of anonymity, citing airport policy.
The jump in year-end overseas departures comes despite higher ticket prices and travel costs, spurred in part by a succession of fuel surcharge increases since the autumn, according to a report by major travel agency JTB Corp.
Japanese travelers appear to be cheered by the favorable economy and the yen's strength against other major currencies, helping to offset the higher costs, JTB said.
Meanwhile, heavy snow disrupted air traffic in Japan.
The national Mainichi newspaper said on its Web site that the nation's two major airlines, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, had canceled a total 136 flights _ mainly to and from Central Japan International Airport in Aichi after 5 centimeters (2 inches) of snow fell there _ affecting over 13,000 passengers.
Japan's Meteorological Agency warned of more snow through Saturday in regions along the coast of the Sea of Japan.