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Food supply in Tokyo? 2011/3/30 01:38

I heard, a couple of days ago, that Tokyo is still having food supply problems in stores and restaurants. Is it bad? What's it like now?

Thank you!
by Anon (guest)  

... 2011/3/30 07:38
Food supply to Tokyo was never a serious problem. It was blown out of proportion by some of the media. Selected products were affected by some temporary shortages because of some panicking people. But the situation has normalized in the meantime.
by Uji rate this post as useful

not quite normal 2011/3/30 09:47
I would say not entirely normalised, in some suburban supermarkets in any case.

This week items that still seem to be in short supply in the supermarkets in the area of west Tokyo I live in are milk, yoghurt, fruit juice, natto, bottled water, a lot of canned foods, flour and instant noodles along with a few other items. I haven't seen natto at all since the quake. Others are available but the shelves are usually only about 10% full and people are restricted to just one or two of each (one carton of milk, two bottles of water etc).

There are obviously plenty of other things we can eat though, and the average tourist is probably not going to even notice that supplies of these items are a bit lower than normal. Restaurants and cafes don't seem to be having problems that I can see.

by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/3/30 10:19
Sira's report is correct.
You can correctly report the situation in Tokyo is the one who lives in Tokyo.

Mr.Uji lives in Gunma. It's so far form Tokyo's markets or shops.
So I live in Tokyo too, Sira's report is right.
by m... (guest) rate this post as useful

minimal probs 2011/3/30 10:48
Yoghurt is not available - but you can buy milk and order starter culture on Amazon and you have your yoghurt.

There are distribution problems with milk (which relies on a flawless cold chain) compounded by milk from Fukushima being taken out of the supply. Milk for yoghurt has been diverted to fresh milk.

Natto is not available here - not a big problem for most foreigners perhaps. It mostly comes from Ibaraki.

Last night and the night before my supermarket had no happoshuu - regular beer was there but huge gaps in the happoshu location - not sure what that is about.

There is no fear of going hungry.

Bread is back to normal where I am - they even had the 30 yen once a week discount on it the other day with no limit on the number of loaves a person could buy.

by girltokyo (guest) rate this post as useful

good info 2011/3/30 15:13
Thanks for the info about the reasons why yoghurt and natto aren't really available girltokyo, that makes a lot of sense. I can live without both for a while I'm sure, although we are missing our natto a bit, we used to eat it a couple of times a week at least ;-)

I hadn't been able to find brown rice either or flour for the breadmaker, but I ordered both from Amazon Japan two days ago and they arrived today- people living here might want to check there if there is some kind of grocery item that they haven't been able to get at supermarkets and really want/need.

Of course I still feel that I have nothing at all to complain about compared to the people up in Tohoku, not being able to get everything we want when we want for a while is a good reminder of just how lucky we are.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/3/30 17:47
It's a bit tricky.

There are things that are scarce, but you can live without it. Then, one store might always lack stock of certain things while another store has plenty of them. Your favorite brand might not be available, but there are alternatives from the south. You might not be able to find something specific anywhere, but wait a day or two and you can buy it.

Some restaurants are opening later and closing earlier while changing the menu. Others are closed, but you can walk to the one that's opened.

So all in all, it's not back to normal at all, but it's getting better and it was never really critical unless you were picky for one reason or another.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/3/30 18:07
I apologize for the wrong information. I admit I am not responsible for our household's groceries. And I do remember yogurt missing from our supermarket on a recent visit.
by Uji rate this post as useful

... 2011/3/31 10:47
The situation in Tokyo is the most familiar to people living in Tokyo. Television and newspaper reports are not correct.
Although the situation in Tokyo who lives in Tokyo, the response should be clear that to live in Tokyo. If that is the Internet and TV news and newspapers are often inaccurate.

I think Mr.Uji just confuse everyone. Because he lived far from Tokyo in Gunma, because he can not know the real situation in Tokyo.
by Tokyo (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/3/31 16:58
@"Tokyo" above, Uji has been working hard since the quake to keep people coming to this site informed of the situation in Japan and he is usually very accurate- I think he can be forgiven for the occasional slip-up, no harm done here.

He has already apologised on this thread, no need that I can see to mention it again.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/3/31 17:44
I don't think there is a big difference between Gunma and Tokyo. Apart from the yogurt, the supermarket looked just as plentiful as usual to my untrained eye, although the trained eye would probably have noticed a reduction in the variety of brands etc. as discussed in this thread.

In any case, Anon is worrying about the food supply - probably a prospective traveler - and I tried to tell him that there is no need to worry.
by Uji rate this post as useful

An oportune time 2011/3/31 22:01
To say a big thanks to Uji.

The effort you have made to provide accurate and comprehensive information is a huge service to travellers and locals.

Much appreciated.
by girltokyo (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/3/31 22:48
There is no real/any major problems at many restaurant establishments I went to.

I agree, for the most part, the average traveler doesn't shop for food at the local supermarket to go home and cook. Even if they did it's not like the city is empty of food and people are starving, it is in NO WAY like that.
by ExpressTrain (guest) rate this post as useful

food supply in Tokyo 2011/4/2 18:13
Dear All,

I am a chef in a hotel in Tokyo and I can help with the questions regarding food supplies.

Food supplies are available, however, do to the rationing of gasoline early after the earthquake, there are less deliveries, thus the shelves look empty. Items such as rice, canned goods, etc, are more than plentiful in supply, however the buying outweighs the replenishment.

Yogurt and dairy in general is in shorter supply as after the earthquake, two milk factories were damaged. Milk products were reduced to only milk and 38% cream, ie no coffee cream, etc.

Water has been in short supply of 2 L containers as that was instantly bought out throughout Japan due to the scares of radiation in water. Smaller bottles, such as Evian are in regular supply, however as with the stores, most vending machines appear out, as they are not refilled as fast due to the rationing of gasoline.

Again, most issues are related to the earthquake. Directly after the earthquake the government rationed gasoline and restricted supplier deliveries, thus making the refill slower, but the products are still plentiful.

Hope this helps
by hotgeekus (guest) rate this post as useful

Tap water is fine 2011/4/3 00:32
I'd just like to add, since no one seemed to mention it, that tap water has always been safe even since the 11th for all people except infants younger than a year old.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Tokyo food and water is all fine! 2011/4/5 23:35
There are no food shortages in Tokyo. Somethings sell out quicker than others, but are then restocked. There is also plenty of bottled water available for those that want it, but Tokyo water is fine.
Tokyo is just fine.
by Jimbojapan rate this post as useful

seafood 2011/4/6 09:13
I don't get the 20 km radius fishing limit...
Tuna can swim up 40 miles a day, Salmon swims for hundreds of miles...

I mean the chances are low, but are they checking every fish in the market for radiation...

I'm going to Japan in May, I would love to enjoy some good sashimi...
by JackJames (guest) rate this post as useful

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