Extreme Weather

Typhoon Hagibis affecting Japan travel: what to know

Lilit Marcus, CNNUpdated 11th October 2019
(CNN) — As Typhoon Hagibis threatens to wreak havoc in Japan, travelers may find themselves having to change plans at the last minute.
Tourists in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have already been affected by the impending storm. Two matches, England-France and New Zealand-Italy, have been preemptively canceled.
Although Hagibis was previously classified as a "super typhoon," the JTWC (Joint Typhoon Warning Center) has downgraded the storm to simply "a typhoon," with sustained winds of 220 kph and gusts up to 270 kph, the equivalent of a category four hurricane.
Currently, Hagibis is moving North-north-west at a speed of about 22 kilometers per hour. It is predicted to weaken as it approaches landfall near Tokyo in the next 24 to 36 hours.

Airports

Japan's national airlines are exercising caution. Flights departing and arriving from both Tokyo airports (Haneda and Narita) on October 12 have been canceled, affecting a total of at least 1187 flights and nearly 190,000 passengers.
Of that total, All Nippon Airways (ANA) canceled a total of 602 flights (490 domestic and 112 international), affecting 101,000 passengers.
Meanwhile, Japan Airlines (JAL) canceled a total of 585 flights (513 domestic, 72 international), affecting 88,000 passengers.
JAL is informing travelers that the company "will not charge any handling fees for the changes or refunds resulting from the anticipated effects on operations caused by bad weather (typhoon, etc) or natural disasters."

Trains

Rail companies are planning to cancel or reduce train operation through Saturday, October 12, with real-time updates on their websites and social media accounts as events warrant.
However, sources expect that most train and subway service around Tokyo and central Japan will be halted from before noon Saturday, if not earlier.
The Central Japan Railway Company, usually referred to as JR Central, announced that it has canceled nearly all bullet trains departing Tokyo and Osaka on October 12, which number approximately 400 departures.
The East Japan Railway Company, which operates commuter trains to both of Tokyo's airports, has contingency plans in place as well. Their website notes that "there is a possibility that operations of the conventional lines and Shinkansen will be suspended on October 12 and 13 due to Typhoon No.19 [Hagibis is the 19th typhoon of this year's season]."
Travelers hoping to drive or take a taxi to get around in place of the train will also need to be cautious. Some roads in and around the capital are closed, with more to be expected as the typhoon hits.

More than Typhoon Hagibis

Japan is still reeling from the impact of Typhoon Faxai, which inflicted severe damage on Chiba prefecture in September. Some 100 flights were canceled while the Keikyu rail line, which connects Tokyo and Yokohama to Haneda Airport, temporarily shut down.
More than 13,000 passengers were stranded at Tokyo's Narita International Airport in the storm's wake, and airport personnel handed out water, snacks and blankets to people who were stuck in the terminal overnight.
ANA joined the relief effort, offering frequent fliers the opportunity to donate their miles, which would be converted into Japanese yen, to rebuilding efforts in Chiba prefecture.
"ANA HD has already announced a donation of 2 million yen to Chiba prefecture in recovery efforts and will be donating an additional 3 million yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help support victims of the disaster," the airline said in a press release.
This piece is being updated as more information becomes available.