Photo/Illutration East Japan Railway Co.’s Tokyo Station is packed with holidaymakers on Aug. 11. (Takeshi Iwashita)

Tokyo Station was bustling with travelers on Aug. 11, the first day of the Bon holiday season, despite the nation’s seventh and most widespread wave of novel coronavirus infections.

It is the first Bon holiday period in three years with no domestic restrictions in place regarding people’s movements.

“I have to focus on studying for entrance exams next year,” said a 16-year-old high school student who is traveling to her grandparents’ home in Ehime Prefecture for the first time in five years. “I wanted to see my grandparents before travel restrictions are reimposed.”

She said she tested negative for COVID-19 in a PCR test she took beforehand.

An official from Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) said the railway operator had 730,000 seats booked on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line from Aug. 10 to 17 as of July 25.

The figure dropped by 40 percent compared with the same period in 2018 but rose roughly 3.3-fold from last year.