(Oona McGee) If you’re in Tokyo today you’re probably indoors staying warm and gazing out the window at a very different scene thanks to Tokyo’s first real snowfall of the season. Hopefully you’ve stocked your kitchen with more than a battered bottle of Kewpie mayonnaise and stray packets of ramen seasoning because if you’re thinking of heading out to the shops for a quick snack, there’s a good chance you won’t find anything there.
It seems the city is full of nervous shoppers acting like bears going into hibernation, hoarding stocks despite an abundance of 24-hour convenience stores and fully-functioning delivery services. After seeing these photos, we’d hate to see supermarket conditions in a blizzard or even worse, in a major catastrophe.
Twitter user @onoyanyanyan was shocked to find all the meat and bread had vanished from shelves yesterday afternoon.
@kainushi0519 tweeted this photo, showing all that was left of the beef and pork section were sauce bottles.
@fuu2351244 laments the lack of bread at the local store.
@momokyu showed the state of sold-out goods at the supermarket started as early as 6:30am yesterday morning.
@nonkigohan tweeted this sign, put up by a shop manager last night, advising customers to buy stocks for tomorrow due to the predicted snowfall.
Reactions from Japanese netizens ranged from silly to serious:
“This is a cultural low. It’s an embarrassment to the nation.”
“It’s appalling that shops are endorsing this sort of behaviour.”
“The people buying up everything are the elderly who can’t get out and about when it snows.”
“People in Tokyo are crazy. It’s just a bit of fallen snow.”
“This brings back memories of the empty supermarket shelves after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.”
“It’s better than getting fat by eating nothing but home-delivered pizza all weekend.”
It’s times like these we’re reminded that Tokyo is a city with a population of over 20 million. And when the future becomes uncertain, the populace scrambles for meat and bread. It might be time to invest in a bread maker after all.