Tourist buses cause traffic jams, raise accident risk

posted on November 6, 2015

The sharp increase in tourists from China and other countries (see below) has brought fleets of large buses to Ginza, Akihabara and other popular shopping areas in Tokyo, causing traffic jams and testing the abilities of the Metropolitan Police Department and area authorities.

At peak pickup times buses are parked end-to-end like the beads of a rosary, gathering up tourists who just finished shopping for luxury brands and home electronics in bulk. As the congestion could increase the risk of accidents, the MPD is planning a meeting of interested parties to figure out how to address the situation.

It's dusk in late October. Despite it being a weekday, Chuo-dori Street in the Ginza district of Tokyo, home to department stores and shops selling luxury brands, is lined with large buses. With one of the two lanes on each side of the road blocked, traffic slows to a crawl. From the sidewalks, pedestrians' view is obstructed by a wall of buses.

Soon enough, Chinese tourists loaded with shopping bags start to emerge from the department stores and duty-free shops, and are absorbed by the waiting buses.

Around 6 p.m., the area from Ginza 5-chome to 7-chome is crowded with about 10 hulking tourist buses.

source by the-japan-news
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