Supply Lines

March 15th, 2011

Well, distribution problems continue. Yesterday, gas stations were either closed or had very long lines. Supermarkets have been out of bread products for a few days now, and what comes in quickly goes out. I thought I’d check out the supply in the morning, and found this at about 10:30am:


I could not see inside enough to figure if they had fully restocked or not, but they won’t be for long, I am guessing. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try getting up a bit earlier and get in the (probably much longer) lines to get something. It is currently kind of hard to tell whether this is purely because of supply problems, or if panic buying and hoarding is playing a role. Since I did not get in, I could not see if prices had been jacked up, but they had not been yesterday when the place was nearly sold out.

I wrote the above this morning, and Sachi and I just got back from opening a bank account at the bank we’re getting a loan from. After going to the bank, we figured we’d check out the food store below Seiyu (owned by Walmart, incidentally). Their fruits & vegetables remained fairly stocked (seems that there are a lot of farms in the area, so no problems there), but milk, eggs, and bread and other bakery goods were cleaned out–along with meat and other items. In short, meat, bread, & dairy–which often come from up north–are predictably in short supply.



In surprisingly good supply: fish. I am guessing that most of the fleet was safely out to sea, and therefore unaffected by the tsunami, so there was lots of tuna and other seafood available. We got to the store at a good time for the bakery–the shop in Seiyu’s basement was baking stuff and putting it out on the fly (ringing a bell each time new stuff came out), so we could get some muffins, a few pastries, and a “milk bread” confection, all fresh out of the over. People were snapping them up as soon as they came out, but when I got there, they had just put out a lot of stuff and almost no one was there.

Prices remain stable, nothing has gone up noticeably.

In the meantime, fast food and other restaurants are still open, for the most part.

We have not had a blackout in our area yet, despite having been told twice that the power would be cut at such-and-such a time. I can only assume that they are planning for the worst and then doing what is necessary. One is due in about half an hour or so. Internet continues to stay on as it has since the quake started.

  1. Troy
    March 15th, 2011 at 15:15 | #1

    I actually didn’t go shopping that often in Tokyo, I found the grocery stores not my style — but as long as I could find a stocked am/pm, I’d be A-OK! I love like 4/5ths of what they sell in that store!

    Now, if First Kitchen stopped making their flavored french fries, there would be problems.

    How’s the train situation for you, btw? Seibu says they’re running out to Tokorozawa, so that’s good at least, though in this situation taking the Shinjuku line might work better . . .

  2. Luis
    March 15th, 2011 at 15:39 | #2

    We just had lunch at McD’s, “agetate” fries and all. 7-11 has most stuff, but bread and prepared food stocks were low or gone.

    When we were near the station, we saw trains going by, so some service is available. Didn’t see how many people were on the trains, though.

    Outside of that, you probably know as much as–ore even more!–han I do, ironically.

  3. Troy
    March 15th, 2011 at 15:42 | #3

    Then again with 8,000 people in Rikuzentakata with nothing but what they could grab:

    perhaps First Kitchen wouldn’t be a big deal if I were in Tokyo now.

    Company sent me up to the Sendai area the summer of 1997 . . . had an extra day but didn’t get past Matsushima unfortunately. The coast further north did look pretty scenic.

  4. Troy
    March 15th, 2011 at 16:02 | #4

    No news is good news from Fukushima I guess.

    Asahi did run this:


    (“US military helped put out the fire in #4 reactor building”)

    which is cool, maybe the carrier was close at hand to provide its firefighting teams, they certainly know their stuff.

    It’s being reported that the #2 issue was caused by a couple of screw-ups, somehow allowing the pumping of water to stop and then closing a release vent which prevented pump water from being able to enter the reactor. This resulted in the core being allowed to go uncooled for hours.

    Maybe TEPCO will begin catching some breaks and the situation will stabilize.

    Tough to know.

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