As a foreigner living in Japan, a foreigner who doesn’t speak or read the language may I add, life can get very frustrating at times.
Language barriers can hinder you in the most annoying of ways. For example, just yesterday I had the pleasure of being woken up by a furious pounding on my door. Needless to say it made me quite scared as I thought I lived in a secure complex in which only a buzzer can let you in. As I placed my eye on the peephole, I faced an image of two burly looking Japanese men. Did I open the door? You bet I didn’t. However, it turns out they were plumbers, scheduled to maintenance all apartments in my building. Apparently, notices had been sent out the week before but how was I to know, I can’t read Japanese. I am trying though, before anyone asks.
Tied into this is the fact that millions of people live alone in Japan, and those millions of people also work long hours. I am one of those people. I love nothing more than coming home to a gourmet meal after a long day in work but this can mean searching desperately for ingredients and spending long hours in the kitchen, something I don’t think anyone enjoys after a long day at work.
So you can imagine my relief when it was announced a few days ago that Lawson and Yahoo have collaborated on a major project tackling this issue. They have come up with a genius idea of a home delivery service that delivers ready to cook dishes that can be thrown together in minutes. They have named it ‘Smart Kitchen’ which promises to deliver fresh food produce at an affordable price. And whats even better is that delivery is free of charge in the Tokyo area.
The only con is that as of now the website is only available in Japanese. However, a Japanese friend helped me with the registration process and after that it is very simple to order as all produce comes with easily identiﬁable pictures. I cannot wait for my ﬁrst delivery.
Smart Kitchen can be found at: smartkitchen.co.jp