Year-end crowds sparse at Tokyo Station

The terminal for Japan's Shinkansen bullet trains in Tokyo is much quieter than usual during the year-end holidays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tokyo Station is normally crowded with tourists and people going back to their hometowns at this time.

But station officials say bullet-train ridership on Tuesday was about 5 to 40 percent of capacity as of 4 p.m. That's well below the average for the period.

A boxed-meal shop at the station is getting only about 30 percent of the number of customers of an average year. A worker at the shop said she was surprised to see business so slow.

A woman traveling to the northeastern city of Sendai with her grandchild said they will wear masks and refrain from talking much while on the train.