Yomiuri Accuses A Cook Uploads Cooking Photo On Facebook

Yomiuri Shinbun, the world’s largest newspaper, today reported a new culprit who played over food and social media photo [J]. It is the latest one on the series of the stupid social media users.

This bad guy carried in his own smart phone at his workplace, a school lunch center in Nagano prefecture, took photos of dish, cooking process and how sinks were washed, then uploaded those photos on Facebook on both July 24th and 25th.

A local board of education chairman answered to Yomiuri that he deeply apologized on this serious problem which might unhinge people’s trust on food safety of school lunch.

The boom of discovering food-playing photos on social media is now becoming a big boom and traditional media like Yomiuri Shinbun are desperate to find a new culprit.

Rakuten’s New Grocery Delivery Service Expantion Troubled In Poor Operation

Rakuten Mart, a new online grocery delivery service run by Japan’s giant e-commerce mall company Rakuten, expanded its delivery areas in Greater Tokyo on March 11, is failing to deliver the ordered foods, lots of bad reviews start circulating on the web.

Rakuten’s own review service is getting harsh reviews, many tells that their ordering foods did not arrive during the time-frame they had asked, they got phone call from delivery staff and if they can come late, for example 1 or 2 a.m. after midnight, when the customers denied because it was too late, they never come back even the days following. Some people wrote that they were told re-delivery on 12th and got another no-show again. Many people worried that if Rakuten would charge their credit card even without delivering any.


Kakaku.com, the largest product review site is receiving lots of complains, too. When Rakuten removed bad reviews on their e-book reader Kobo, many people used Kakaku.com as an alternative place to post their critics, and this time, some may think that the reviews on Rakuten could be modified.

Rakuten Mart issued an apology on their site a few days later, said that they received too many orders than they had expected. Many orders on 11th were undone, but 12th orders were also too much for them so it prevented the re-delivery of the remained items. They promised that they would refund for all the undelivered items, delivery fee, and plus 1,000 Rakuten points (values 1,000 yen) by April 5.

Kayac Releases iPhone App For Sharing Leftover Food

Kayac [J] has released “ZangPang,” an iPhone application for sharing leftover food.  Download is free.

“ZangPang” is an app based on the concept “Share with everyone what you can’t finish.”  With this social sharing platform for publicly announcing leftover food, when you unintentionally order too much food at a restaurant, you post information and photos of the leftover food on “ZangPang,” and you can get people who want to eat to come and finish.  Kayac aims to preserve the environment and reduce the chances of wasting food through this application.

Translation authorized by VSMedia

Earthquake Relief – Feeding Info On Maps And Twitter

For the victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, there have been many food and water distribution supplied in all prefectures in Tohoku and Ibaraki pref.

To make suffered people know the info, volunteers are collaborating on making and maintaining database by using Google Maps. The name is Takidashi Map (Takidashi = feeding, soup run in Japanese)

http://ow.ly/4dmEm Miyagi
http://ow.ly/4dmBb Fukushima
http://ow.ly/4dmBu Ibaraki
http://ow.ly/4dmCk Tochigi
http://ow.ly/4dutZ Aomori
http://ow.ly/4duvd Iwate
http://ow.ly/4dEra Yamagata

You may browse that many shelters, shops, local centers are offering feeding, food and/or water supply, free cellphone charge, and other helps, which which day and time they are provided for how many people.

Any organizations, restaurants, supermarket and individual who can serve are recommended to add their info. Many volunteers are collecting info from Twitter timeline and register them to it. Users visiting the place are expected to confirm that the service was really provided there, as there could be fallacious or mistook info.

For many people who can not use PC, because of lack of electricity, or because their primary web environment is cellphone, there are lighter list page for mobile,

Cellphone search,

You may also use Twitter, by sending your address to a Twitter bot @takidashitan. The account @takidashitan will search and reply to you the maximum five nearest locations within 30 kilometers.

# You need to give the address in Japanese, and the address has to start with any of prefecture name in the area affected by the quake.

Takidashitan is working on Google App Engine, and the API specification is publicized.

There are many cellphone usage observed in Tohoku area, even in and near the heavily damaged locations, so cellphone page and Twitter bot are really practical way to help people there.

Groupon Slows Down After New Year Osechi Incident In Japan

One month after the Groupon Japan’s New Year celebration food Osechi delivery trouble, Japanese consumers mind seem to be away from daily deal coupon services, even with the Groupon CEO Andrew Mason’s video apology.

A vertical coupon search service Coupon-jp issued a research [J]. There, they tracked all coupon sold on Groupon Japan and other 146 clones during January 2011, comparing the sales with the month before. Here is the top sellers,

As you see, Japanese daily deal market is competed between Groupon Japan and Pompare, by Japanese media conglomerate Recruit. Recently, lots of ads space are taken up by these two companies on Japanese web.

According to the research, in January, Groupon Japan decreased its sales 14% from December, Pompare lost 18%. The total of 147 sites, i.e. industry, also lost 16% sales.

For a month, there have been a lot of media reports on this issue and the word ‘Groupon’ on TV, newspapers and magazines. There were people who predicted that this might even promote Groupon business in Japan rather than making people cautious, which has not realized so far.

About the osechi incident, Groupon Japan released their internal research on January 29th. There they disclosed two more problems, 8 foods in the New Year’s set used different ingredients from what they had been labeled, and the original-priced set had never been sold in reality. Groupon Japan emphasizes that they are not a vendor or seller of the osechi set but “feel morally responsible”.

Bird Cafe, the seller of the set also post their explanation on their site’s top page, however, this notes are written not in texts but in single big image, which makes web people angry again as they think it is their trying to avoid search engine and make it less findable.