Last Friday, a big snowstorm hit the Tokyo area. While neighborhood kids had fun building snowmen, trying to get from one part of the region to another was a major gamble.
Some of the worst off were drivers along the Chuo Expressway that runs through mountainous Yamanashi Prefecture into Tokyo. With the storm dropping over 100 centimeters of snow in Yamanashi, over 60 sections of the road were closed due to the unsafe driving conditions. Since most people don’t carry a bottle of snow cone syrup in their glove box, as time went by, the motorists became hungrier and hungrier, until some philanthropic baked goods deliverymen came to their rescue.
As the snow continued to fall at the Dangozaka rest area near the Otsuki Interchange, drivers began to give up hope of being able to continue their journeys anytime soon. While sitting for hours in your car as the snow falls is unpleasant for anyone, some of those trapped were delivery drivers for Yamazaki Bread, one of Japan’s largest bakers, who had an additional concern in this situation.
The drivers had a full load of bread and pastries sitting in the back of their truck, but with no end in sight for their lengthy delay, calculated that there was no chance of making their deliveries by their sell-by date. Not wanting the items to go to waste, they took it upon themselves to do something to help their fellow travelers, with one pulling out his cell phone and sending the following tweet.
“To anyone by the exit of the Otsuki Interchange: We have a full load of bread that is about to expire in the truck parked by the exit. We are handing it out to whoever wants it, so please come.”
Word spread quickly through the social media service, and before long hungry motorists were flocking to the back of the truck, where the drivers pulled out pallet after pallet of bread and even packages of dumplings.
The recipients quickly expressed their thanks online, with several quoting the drivers as saying, “Please, take as much as you’d like.”
“It was like having a real-life Anpanman!” exclaimed one Twitter user, likening the Yamazaki deliverymen to the children’s anime hero who often gives his friends a quick energy boost by letting them nibble on the delicious pastry he has for a head.
Thankfully, there was plenty of non-sentient bread to go around. Eventually the snow was cleared and everyone could be on their way, but we’re guessing the gratitude for the generosity shown by Yamazaki’s quick-thinking drivers will last well beyond the expiration date of the food they handed out.
Sources: Hachima Kiko, Hazard Lab
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