Especially for the new openings, be it for a pack of takoyaki (en:octopus dumpling), a new video game, signing session of idol group,even a pachinko (en:parlors), some Japanese people are ready to queue! No matter how many hours it take, whether it be a chilly rainy day in winter or a 40°C hot day of summer. Queuing is a natural part of life in Japan no matter where you live. To identify good stuffs or shops in japan is just as simple as looking for the ones with the longest queues.
Queuing is a good tradition and reflects how discipline is a country. However, one of the saddest thing of 2011 is that infinite queuing becomes so much often in Japan, especially after the earthquake and tsunami disaster in March 11th.
A commonsense of Japanese people about abundance of materials ruins after that devastating disaster happened. People had to line up in hundred meters of line as early as midnight the night before to get supplies like toilet paper and gasoline as a severe shortage happened aftermath.
Aftermath Queuing Causes
In the middle of March, queues at petrol stations of up to two miles were seen in many places in East Japan, especially in Tohoku areas, the worst-hit areas. Due to the earthquake, some big oil refineries must be temporarily shut down as their standard operating procedure, and as a result, logistic network was down.
However, the case is different for daily supplies. The acute shortages are not caused by the consumption. Actually they are not out of stock. Factories in various regions operates as usual, and the stock is still sufficient in the warehouses. But a sudden high demand aftermath in the retailers (e.g. convenient stores), and there are people who want to save larger amount of supplies anticipating next earthquake, those actions result the acute shortage. Some people just queued in front of shops which even clearly written “Closed”
You can check out some other pictures showing this kind of sad queues HERE
We especially my country, Indonesia, should learn from the Japanese. Amidst the heartbreaking devastation in Japan, social solidarity and discipline seems to be especially strong in Japan. Long queues, but quiet and orderly. Without scrambling, without fighting, they just “automatically” form a line and queue patiently.
Queuing for an iPhone!
Beside sad queuing due to daily supplies shortage, in year 2011 there is a fun queuing in japan because of Apple’s new gadget, iPhone 4S. Japan was among the first countries to see the release of Apple’s new iPhone 4S, with fans queuing for up to 80 hours to be first in line. Recently I found a page showing some photos describing how Japanese people are crazy of the new iPhone 4S! Click HERE!!