Japan Today

Yamazaki deliverymen hand out bread to snow-stranded motorists

By Casey Baseel

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

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- We have a winner! Bicycle-riding snow cat gets full marks for awesomeness -- Subway Japan Opens First “Bread Lab” Store In Tokyo -- What we learned from Tokyo’s blizzard: Snow Pikachu evolves into Machochu

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I am very happy to hear about Yamazaki pan! They have a good heart! Bless their hearts!

17 ( +16 / -0 )

This is so heartwarming. Cheers to those delivery men! I salute you. I hope they get commended by Yamazaki Pan.

15 ( +14 / -0 )

good for them. some people might have opreferred it was a Yamazaki whiskey delivery truck.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Well done.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I'm going to run down to buy some Yamazaki bread.

9 ( +10 / -1 )


7 ( +7 / -0 )

Some real nice people!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Kudos to these people. A very generous and heart-warming move. On top of that, Yamazaki gets the added bonus of advertising, though I know that was not at all the intent. I too will next buy Yamazaki if I buy white bread.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

An excellent news story to start to my day. Hats off to these heroes.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They'll probably get fired for that.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

So that's why there weren't any Yamazaki bread (or any sort of bread) at the supermarket yesterday. I will be happy to substitute my morning toast with rice balls anyday for great stories like this.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

They most likely did that after consultation with bosses and its best commercial they could have hoped for since they would have to write that bread off anyway

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Well done.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Did anyone notice this?

Dangozaka rest area


even packages of dumplings

Nice one!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

First, let me say that they did a great thing. I agree with all of your opinion guys.

but, you know, all traffic, transpotation wasn't working at that time. How would that all breads go in 24 hours later? All products would be rubbish, right? I won't mention further... you know exactly what I wanna tell you....

again, yes Yamazaki driver deserved applause. however don't you think media reports exaggeratedly too much?????

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Well done to Yamazaki! I think I will, like others, buy some Yamazaki bread today. Yamazaki ichiban!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yoshihiro Aoki...i hope you won't be on the receiving end ungrateful being like you

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Good job Yamazaki. Reminds us of random Good Samaritans giving out hot coffee and food to feed people whose cars stranded in the highways overnight due to the blizzard, such as Chick-fil-A:


And to the schools who overnight fed and sheltered not only the stranded students but to anyone who could get there.

More of these the world needs; people being there for each other.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I tip my hat to the delivery men for doing such a heroic act. Feels really good to be in this country.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

After a LONG LONG time, JT finally published something positive about Japanese people! Kudos to the drivers, who could think and decide.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

There is a story behind this.

Apparently Abe heard about people that were going hungry because roads were blocked by snow and ordered some high quality tempura to be sent. When questioned about the appropriateness of sending such a luxury item to people who were starving, Abe's response was "Ohayo!"

Obviously, Abe is well fed, sitting in a warm and comfortable office in Tokyo, and couldn't give a rat's a** the plight of anyone else.

Maybe the Yamazaki truck driver should take over Abe's job.

He seems to have his finger on the pulse of the nation much more than our illustrious PM.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yamazaki pan for me the next time I'm in Japan. Well done!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So now we know why we couldn't buy our usual Yamazaki rolls ! But then again, we're still warm at home ! What a wonderful gesture ! Christmas in February !

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good quick thinking!!! kudos to Yamzasaki delivery man!!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm so surprised that this action didnt upset China...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

respect to Yamazaki for this :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Very nice of them to do so (I hope they got their superior's permission). However, that's probably the only time I'd eat any of their stuff. What they call bread, I usually call marshmallow, full of sugar, shortening and devoid of fibre, flavour and nutrition.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hardship does bring out the good in people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thankfully, there was plenty of non-sentient bread to go around.

JT, you crack me up! I burst out laughing so loudly I had to apologise to my co-workers for startling them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good show, people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yamazaki is only Wonder bread Japan style. Not good for health long term. However, short term, stuck in snow for days, it would be the Food of the GODS. Good on these Yamazaki delivery people for presence of mind.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Our stores have no bread at all. This is a great gesture!! I will buy Yamazaki bread when shelves get restocked and collect points for their little freebies!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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