After four months of hard slog since the New Year break, most Japanese can now kick back and enjoy the current Golden Week holidays. A rather aptly named spot of time off, as prices for flights and hotels double at the very least, shamelessly shafting the millions of people trying to make the most of this short vacation.
Still, why worry about money when the chance of a stress-relieving holiday presents itself? Yet whilst getting away from it all is arguably more important than financial concerns, it’s a pity that the actual getting away part is such a hassle.
Certainly doing battle at the airport is not for the faint-hearted.
There again, a journey on a shinkansen may be even worse, seat occupancy ranging from a decidedly uncomfortable 130%, to a quite frankly bloody awful 180%. Statistics that mean sights like the one below will be reserved solely for those who manage to push and prod their way on to the carriage first.
Yet being crammed and crushed on a train for several hours may well be preferable to traveling by car, with several routes out of Tokyo inflicting over 50-kilometre traffic jams on heroic holidaymakers yesterday.
That said, when they all eventually reach their destinations, it’ll at last be rest and relaxation time. A few days to idle away with the masses of other want-away workers and holiday-starved sightseersâ€¦