Osaka's Shin-Yodogawa-Ohashi bridge is packed with people trying to get home on the evening of June 18. (Video footage provided by Kenta Hana and taken by Masahiko Ideo)

OSAKA--Predictable transport chaos after the most powerful earthquake in decades set the tone for hordes of weary commuters here trying to get home June 18.

Huge numbers of people waited hours for train services to resume. Countless others gave up and opted to walk or form long lines for buses and taxis.

The 800-meter-long Shin-Yodogawa-Ohashi bridge that spans the Yodogawa river was a heaving mass as people crossed in both directions in the absence of available transport.

“Even though it's going to be tough, I have no choice but to head home along the railway track until Japan Railway resumes operations,” said a 29-year-old male company employee of the long walk ahead to the city's northern Hokusetsu region.

The bridge runs parallel with Osaka Metro Co.’s Midosuji Line. As soon as the swarm of people on the bridge spotted a train running after services resumed at 9:40 p.m., a shout went up that “They're moving again” and many started rushing to stations.

JR Osaka Station was teeming with people waiting for train services to resume.

An 18-year-old student of Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, was taking a train to get to his university in Osaka Prefecture when the magnitude-6.1 earthquake hit at 7:58 a.m.

He and the other passengers were trapped in the train for nearly an hour before staff opened the doors and guided them alongside the railway track toward Osaka Station.

The student got there around 9:30 a.m. hoping to catch a train bound for Akashi to take home. He was still waiting at 5:30 p.m.

“I heard from station staff that the train service for Akashi would resume at 3 p.m. Then, I heard from them that the train service would resume at 5 p.m. But I'm still here,” he said.

Travelers from distant places, such as the Kanto region in and around Tokyo, also faced a nightmare trying to return home.

Hordes of people waited outside Osaka Station for buses bound for JR Shin-Osaka Station to board Shinkansen bullet trains.

“I pray I get home before midnight,” said a 62-year-old company employee trying to get back to Koshigaya, a city in Tokyo's neighboring Saitama Prefecture.

At Shin-Osaka Station, disembarked Shinkansen passengers formed a long line to hail taxis.

Daisuke Sugiyama, 38, a company employee of Tachikawa, Tokyo, had come to Osaka with his wife Mayumi, 30, and their 5-year-old daughter to visit the Universal Studios Japan (USJ) theme park.

The Sugiyama family took a Shinkansen from Tokyo Station around 7 a.m. The quickest time to Shin-Osaka Station is around two hours and 20 minutes. However, the journey took 10 hours.

“We're exhausted as we waited for so long for the train to move," Sugiyama said, adding that they had planned to arrive as early as possible to enjoy the day at the theme park.

"But now we’re going straight to a hotel,” he said.