Summer Shinkansen Bookings Fall Sharply

Summer Shinkansen bookings fall sharply

More travelers have canceled their summer holiday bookings for Japan's iconic Shinkansen bullet trains as the coronavirus continues to spread.

East Japan Railway says Shinkansen bookings for between August 7 and 17 have dropped to just 16 percent of last year's levels. In late July, bookings for the period stood at 19 percent of 2019's level.

Japan's Bon festival falls in mid-August and is usually one of the busiest seasons for tourism.

Bookings with West Japan Railway fell 3 percentage points to 18 percent of the previous year's level, while Kyushu Railway lost 4 points to 21 percent.

East Japan Railway will maintain the number of trains in operation so it can keep space between passengers. It says it will fully disinfect and ventilate carriages.