national

Chaos as Tokyo Station celebrates centenary

16 Comments

Tokyo Station was overwhelmed by thousands of visitors on Saturday to mark the 100th anniversary of its opening on Dec 20, 1914.

The station had advertised that it would be selling 15,000 commemorative Suica IC cards to mark the centenary. However, nearly 10,000 people showed up to buy the limited-edition cards by 10 a.m., causing chaos at the station, TBS reported. Station officials were forced to stop selling the cards, with 7,000 left, causing many people to become angry.

Meanwhile, NHK reported that in the afternoon, many of the Suica cards showed up on auction sites at exorbitant prices.

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16 Comments
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Uh-huh....tents and coolers for three days prior to Black Friday, we'll just pretend that doesn't happen...fist fights over toys...Walmart workers trampled...nope! Doesn't happen in MY country. Seriously people...

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Seriously, the line-ups here really get me. It can be for something as banal, inane, or common as a new type of donut, and so long as people think/get told "it's popular", they'll line up for HOURS to get one.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

The station had advertised that it would be selling 15,000 commemorative Suica IC cards to mark the centenary. However, nearly 10,000 people showed up to buy the limited-edition cards by 10 a.m., causing chaos at the station,

Good planning. You would have thought in 100 years they could have figured out the basics of crowd control.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

All J-retirees with loads and loads of free time to spare in line-ups...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Oh, speculation over cards. These traders must have learned from the game from the stock-market speculation unleashed by Abenomics.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I didn't know whether the laugh or cry watching the news, wtf! Another line up LOL!

Himajin, while others around the world will line up for stuff Japan takes the cake for lining up for insipid stupid reasons, HELL many will line simply because they SEE other lining up.

Sorry while JR blew it as they should have known this kind of lunacy would ensue, I have to laugh at all the fools lining up for this non-sense!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@vernie Jeffries " On the news, I see people buying at least 3 at a time"

People were allowed to buy up to three. So if everyone bought the maximum allowed they would have run out at 5,000 people and still had 4,000 or so mad and disappointed people. Since the prior announcements had said lining up overnight wouldn't be allowed but then they let in the people who had done that, people who abided by the rules and took the first train in the morning were especially angry. Not to mention the people who traveled from half the country away.

No security people, no ropes etc set up to guide the lines, one tiny location with only four clerks handling the sales, and so many other lapses in judgement and planning. You would think after the projection mapping event that had to be cut short because of the dangerous crowds they would have known better.

I love trains and stations and really would love to have a Suica with this nice design. But I don't line up for anything, it's too hard on me physically, and probably mentally too! Haven't got much respect for those who were obviously buying them just to put up on Yahoo auctions to make insane profits.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

only in Japan XD as an Italian, I am still utterly fascinated with the love of queueing (for some limited edition of something, but not only) in this country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just saw one go for 10 million yen at auction.

While I doubt that one was legitimate, there are many going for around 40 to 50,000 yen.

At least there were no riots like when the Chinese couldn't buy iPhones due to lack of stock. In this case, there is more to be angry about as there was still stock left.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I sure don't understand the obsession with limited edition items, especially something as mundane as a Suica card. Folks, it is just a commodity item and 10,0000 of them does not mean it is even close to rare.

I mean even today's newspaper is a limited edition if you thing about it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They should have made at least 100,000 of these Edition Cards to ease the panic. For goodness sake everyone knows the Japanese are obsessed with their trains especially when these special events occur. On the news, I see people buying at least 3 at a time. In fact, they look pretty cool, and I wouldn't mind having one myself. I am curious to know how they plan to sell the other 7000 remaining cards?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Good Bad "People were allowed to buy up to three.

Did they enforce this? It sounded as if some people were buying hundreds of them and that is what caused them to sell out so fast."

Um, they did not sell out, they stopped sales when they still had more than half of the cards available (15,000 - 7,000 = 8,000 remaining unsold). That is one reason people were angry. JR has not yet announced where, how, when they will sell the remaining cards. They didn't take contact info from the people who had been waiting for hours or hand out any reservation stubs or anything, so those people won't get priority. I can't think how they can handle it so people will think it is fair. They have really botched it.

Where did you see/hear individuals were allowed to buy hundreds? JR has been roundly criticized in the media for their poor planning but I haven't seen any indication that they did not enforce the maximum of three cards per customer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Good planning. You would have thought in 100 years they could have figured out the basics of crowd control."

If some of the recent articles about crowds at Shibuya, for instance, are any indication, the Tokyo police don't seem to have a clue about anticipating large crowds or crowd control.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The sad thing in Japan is they do this for almost anything. As to why JR didn't think or plan in advance and have calculated and thought out that living in the Tokyo area, there just might be a chance that a few hundred or thousands of people might show up, I mean, there is that possibility. It's always better to have too many tickets than far less and get yourself in a pickle. By the way, what are the benefits of being able to go to the 100th anniversary? Bragging rights?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People were allowed to buy up to three.

Did they enforce this? It sounded as if some people were buying hundreds of them and that is what caused them to sell out so fast.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Funny, these cards are now selling for upwards of 50,000 yen...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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