This report was filed by CBS News correspondent Megan Towey
As we walked in we noticed that row upon row of products were missing, already scooped up by anxious Tokyo residents preparing for the worst. Staples like milk, eggs, rice, bread and bottled water were simply not available. We loaded up on whatever we could and hit the road.
With gasoline becoming scarce in the more affected areas, we stocked our van full of canisters filled with gas. It would mean we wouldn't get stuck somewhere when we ran out of fuel, but it also meant we'd all have headaches from the fumes by the time we reached our destination - supposedly a 5 hour drive away.
It's been more than 5 hours now but every time I ask how much farther, I'm told 5 hours. This is taking much longer than expected - partially because the main highway north was closed to all non-emergency personnel and partially because our Japanese driver, Neki, chose a route that took us as far from the Fukushima nuclear power plant as possible. He's afraid of radiation leaks and, really, I can't blame him.
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So our crew of five people sits in a cramped van, outnumbered by gas cans, and drive...slowly. I've stopped asking our driver how much longer. It's clear we'll get there when we get there. But I can't help thinking, had the bullet train not been shut down after the quake, we could have made the trip in about two hours.