Domestic passenger transport distance share in Japan FY 2018, by mode of transport

In fiscal year 2018, the total distance of domestic passenger transportation in Japan amounted to approximately 611 billion passenger-kilometers, with railway transportation accounting for 72.2 percent of the transportation distance.

Travelling by train in Japan

Despite a highly developed and efficient public transit system, Japan’s metropolitan railway networks are heavily congested, with the busiest train lines running between central Tokyo and suburban areas of neighboring prefectures. Following the declaration of the state of emergency in Tokyo due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens were asked to stay at home and work remotely. The sudden change to home office caused a sharp decline in train usage. However, with lifted restrictions and commuters returning to office work, the capital’s train lines were reported to have almost returned to its previous state of congestion.

Leaving the island

Since Japan is an archipelago, railway transportation is limited to domestic travels. The most common way for international passenger transportation is via aviation. The country’s international hub is Narita International Airport, while Tokyo International Airport, commonly known as Haneda Airport, served primarily domestic flights until its extension to three terminals in 2014. Tokyo International Airport is now the fifth largest airport worldwide in terms of passenger traffic.

Distribution of the payload distance in domestic passenger transportation in Japan in fiscal year 2018, by mode of transport

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Release date

September 2020



Survey time period

fiscal year 2018; the Japanese fiscal year refers to the 12 months beginning April 1 of the year stated

Supplementary notes

Figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding by the source.

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Statistics on "Public transport in Japan"

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