Japanese New Year’s Hangover

A lot of good things happen during New Year’s Day, Japan’s biggest holiday. The bad things make the news.

The Peak of the Return Rush: Shinkansen Trains Full
Yomiuri Shimbun: Uターンラッシュ、ピーク…新幹線は満席

New Years Return Traffic

The wave of people returning from New Year’s celebrations in hometowns or resorts approached its peak today [the 3rd].

According to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center, at noon the Yamato Tunnel in Kanagawa was backed up for 21 kilometers and the Yokkaichi Interchange in Mie for 20 kilometers. In the evening and night, traffic will likely be even more intense.

On JR East’s Tokai Line, reserved seats on Shinkansen trains approaching Tokyo are practically sold out for the entire day.

Free seating is crowded: the ratio of passengers to seats on the 6:30 AM Nozomi 4 train departing Fukuoka was over 1.2:1. Cars should be even more congested in the afternoon.

The International Terminal of Tokyo Haneda Airport, opened in October, reached its peak return volume with an estimated 18,000 people entering the country.

—–

New Year’s Cuisine Ordered on the Internet “Different from the Sample” and Delivered Late
Yomiuri Shimbun: ネット注文おせち「見本と違う」…納品遅れも

500 “Bird Cafe New Year’s Cuisine” meals ordered online from the catering company “Dining Culture Research Institute” (Yokohama) were delivered late, and their contents were very different from what was advertised, angering customers, it was learned on January 2nd.

“The preparation and packing of the meals took longer than expected. We will reimburse our customers for the entire cost of the meal and pay for damages,” the company said in a formal apology posted on its website. Its president will resign.

The company advertised “33 items on 3 circular shelves with a 7-inch radius, serving four people, all consisting of select ingredients from Yokohama’s most popular restaurants” for a price of 21,000 yen. The meals were offered at a discounted price of 15,000 yen on Groupon Japan’s website with sample photos included in the listing. Most of the meals were scheduled to be delivered to customers’ homes.

One customer fumed, “The meal I received was totally different from the sample photo, and the food was dried out on the inside.”

—–

Ten Elderly People in Five Prefectures Die from Choking on Mochi
Yomiuri Shimbun: 餅を詰まらせ、5都県でお年寄りら10人死亡

Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, and Wakayama prefectures reported that on the 1st and 2nd, a total of ten elderly people died from choking on mochi [rice cakes].

The Tokyo Fire Department announced, “We would like people to cut mochi into small pieces and chew on them thoroughly. Children and elderly should eat them in the presence of other family members.”

According to the department, as of 8:00 PM January 2nd, 24 people had been transported to the hospital in Tokyo, and 6 of them perished. Five were males, aged 70 to 82, and one was a 95-year old female. Five of them had prepared the mochi in their own homes.

On the morning of the first, there was one fatality in each of the other four prefectures. The victims were men and women aged 61-89.

Uターンラッシュがピーク 新幹線は満席
年末年始をふるさとや行楽地で過ごした人たちのUターンラッシュが3日、ピークを迎えた。

日本道路交通情報センターによると、正午現在、神奈川県大和市の大和トンネル付近で約21キロ、三重県四日市市の四日市インターチェンジ付近で約20キロの渋滞となっている。夕方から夜にかけて、さらに激しくなる見通し。

JR東日本、東海によると、東京に向かう新幹線の指定席は、終日ほぼ満席の状況。

自由席も込み合っており、午前6時30分に博多を出発した「のぞみ4号」は、乗車率が120%に達した。午後は混雑に拍車がかかると見られる。

10月にオープンした羽田空港の新国際ターミナルの帰国ラッシュも3日がピークで、約1万800人が入国する見通し。

引用:読売新聞(2011年1月3日)

ネット注文おせち「見本と違う」…納品遅れも

飲食店経営会社「外食文化研究所」(横浜市)が、インターネットの共同購入サイトで注文を受け付けたお節料理「バードカフェ謹製おせち」500セットの納品が遅れたり、広告の内容と大幅に違っていたりしたとして、購入者との間でトラブルになっていたことが2日、わかった。

同社はホームページ(HP)に「調理と詰め込みに予想以上の時間がかかった。全額返金し、償いをさせていただく」との謝罪文を載せ、社長が辞任するとしている。

同社は、「横浜の人気レストラン厳選食材を使ったお節33品・3段・7寸(4人分)」(定価2万1000円)を、半額の1万500円で販売するとして、グルーポン・ジャパンが運営する共同購入サイト上に商品見本の写真を掲載し、注文を受け付けていた。商品は大みそかに購入者の元に届く予定だった。

購入者の一人は「届いたおせちは見本の写真と全く違う、内容がスカスカのものだった」と憤っている。

餅を詰まらせ、5都県でお年寄りら10人死亡
1日から2日にかけて、東京、神奈川、埼玉、千葉、和歌山の5都県で、お年寄りら計10人が餅を喉に詰まらせ死亡した。東京消防庁は「餅は小さく切ってよくかみ、高齢者や子どもの場合、家族がそばに付き添ってほしい」と呼びかけている。同庁によると、東京都内では、2日午後8時までに24人が病院に運ばれ、このうち6人が死亡した。死亡したのは70~82歳の男性5人と95歳の女性。うち5人は自宅で雑煮を食べていた。他の4県でも、1日午前に61~89歳の男女4人が餅を喉に詰まらせ、死亡した。

(2011年1月3日03時02分 読売新聞)

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