Whether it's Milk and Toast or cola, Japan has a very appreciated reputation for getting creative when it comes to potato chip flavors. However, it appears that at least for a temporary window, it won't be quite as easy to get your hands on some of the country's more popular varieties of potato chips. Recent typhoon damage in Hokkaido has caused a potato shortage, resulting in limitations to Japan's potato chip production--and so now people are panic purchasing.

Japan Today reports that starting April 15th, Japanese snack maker Calbee will halt the shipment of 18 varieties of potato chips, with sales lasting as long as current stocks are in stores. Another company, Koikeya, will also be temporarily halting production of 8 of its chip varieties. Two of the popular flavors impacted by this potato shortage are also two of Calbee's most recognizable flavors--"BIG BAG Lightly Salted" and "Pizza Potato"--a popular pizza flavor potato chip with globs of pizza cheese on each chip. As IT Media reports, you can now find Pizza Potato on online auction sites for as muich as 15,000 yen ($137.80 USD).

If you're wondering why they don't just simply use imported potatoes, Calbee has used some, but says the quality of a lot of the spuds is lacking and not enough to overcome their shortage of supply. While this is in no way a major threat to all potato chips across Japan, and plenty of stores are stocked full, initial news has caused fans of the popular flavors that are being stopped temporarily to raid convenience stores and supermarkets, hoping to secure what could be their last crack at those prized flavors for a while. Let's just say the reaction have been a bit dramatic.

However, as always, there are more important things than potato chips. Below are pictures that show crops in Hokkaido submerged under water due to typhoon damage. After ten days of digging, the only thing farmers were able to pull up were rotten potatoes. Farmers have more than just their potato chip itch impacted, as their livelihood and days of hard work raising the potatoes with care take significant damage.

So while some may dread not having their favorite potato chip flavor to munch on for a while, it's best to keep in mind that these farmers have bigger issues to worry about--and even with those issues are returning to work to deliver the delicious flavor of quality potatoes that many are only now realizing they are so fond for. Besides, Japan has plenty of wacky potato chip flavors already.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.