Mobile phone data shows that long-distance travel from Tokyo rose sharply during the first weekend since restrictions between prefectures were relaxed last week.
NHK analyzed anonymous network data tallied by mobile carrier NTT Docomo. It shows that arrivals from Tokyo last Saturday and Sunday rose in all other prefectures compared to the final weekend of May.
More people in Japan crossed prefectural borders on the first weekend since the government eased restrictions on such travel.
Cell phone data show the number of people who went from Tokyo to other prefectures on Saturday and Sunday rose 11 percent from the previous week. Travel to Tokyo from other prefectures grew by 14 percent.
People in Japan are moving about again on the first weekend since authorities lifted cross-country travel restrictions. On Saturday, crowds were seen venturing to distant tourist attractions.
NHK footage of the Tomei expressway shows the roadway is packed with vehicles. The cars are moving at a crawl. This is the first weekend since the government lifted the nationwide request to refrain from cross-prefectural travel.
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says the government will lift travel restrictions across prefectural borders on Friday, as the daily number of coronavirus cases continues to fall nationwide, except in a few localities.
Abe made the announcement at a meeting of the government's taskforce on the coronavirus on Thursday.
Snow remains near the peak of the 1,613-meter-high mountain. The swamp, about 50 meters in diameter, is said to look like a huge "dragon eye" when seen from above.
Japan's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has repeated his call for people to avoid travel during the upcoming holidays, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from urban to rural areas.
Abe was speaking at a news conference on Friday, one day after a state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak was expanded nationwide. The declaration had covered Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures.
Japan's prefectural leaders want the central government to take steps to discourage people from traveling to other prefectures.
About 30 governors took part in an emergency online meeting of the National Governors' Association on Friday. The central government expanded the state of emergency for the coronavirus outbreak to the entire country on Thursday.
Japan's government is set to ask residents in designated prefectures to refrain from travelling to other prefectures as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
The government is set to revise its basic guidelines to deal with the outbreak. This comes as the prime minister is expected to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday.
Japan's foreign ministry is to raise its travel alert for the entire world to level 2 on a four-level scale due to the global spread of the new coronavirus, urging Japanese people to refrain from non-essential overseas trips.
This level of alert for the entire world would be issued for the first time.
NHK has learned that the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee has decided not to hold a torch relay, but will instead use a lantern to carry the Olympic flame across Japan.
Officials close to the matter say the committee decided that the torch relay won't come until it reaches a final conclusion with the International Olympic Committee on whether or not to postpone the Games.