USA Fast Food Chains in Japan, What do They Look Like?


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In many ways, the American fast food chains in Japan is superior to its USA counterparts. However, there are also aspects in which the fast food is worse.

Tiny Fries, Bottle Cap for reference

McDonalds in Japan

Pros: 

  • BigMac and Chicken Nuggets virtually the same size as US
  • McChicken WAY better than the nasty one in US
  • Delicious Egg Breakfast Burger
  • Cleaner facilities than USA McDonalds
  • The fries taste better
  • Multi Story Buildings
  • Awesome Kids Meal Toys

Cons: 

  • Have to ask for sauce (sometimes they will charge you extra)
  • Fries are tiny, only come in one size
  • Drinks are tiny, usually only one size
  • No Sweet N’ Sour sauce!!!
  • Can be pretty busy

A Big Mac in Tokyo tastes and looks pretty much exactly the same as a Big Mac back home!

As far as I can recall, the taste and pricing is practically the same here.

Tiny Fries

One of the worst parts of fast food in Japan is the small serving size. While the Big Mac seems nearly identical to the USA size, the fries, the drink, and other sides are very tiny.

Unlike in the US, you don’t have a choice to ask for a “large” or “medium” combo. The cobos are preset and you get what you get. In this case, tiny fries and very tiny drink.

That being said, the fries actually taste really good. I think the salt or oil that they use is a lot different. I really enjoy the fries here even though the size is tiny and unsatisfying.

Rubiks Cubes in Kids Meal Toys

In America, we got random useless toys, except that one time they had Yu-Gi-Oh cards!

In Japan, kids get Rubiks cubes and  valuable Sumiko collectibles!

No Sweet & Sour!!!

One of my biggest criticisms of Japanese Mcdonalds is the lack of sweet n’ sour sauce.

How is this possible? Isn’t sweet n’ sour sauce supposed to be based on asian sauce?

The chicken nuggets are also virtually identical.

Awesome McChicken

The last time I had a McChicken at a USA McDonalds (about 2 weeks ago) I spit it out after the first bite. The bread tasted soggy, the chicken was not crispy, and the whole sandwich looked mushed and disgusting!

The McChicken in Japan was awesome, cripsy, and had plenty of mayo!

Nice Building

Notice the bike parked in front, without a bike lock or chain, AND with a bag inside the cart.

The McDonalds in Tokyo usually have multiple levels, even in Kyoto, the McDonalds in the middle of nowhere was nice, modernized, and clean!

Tiny Drinks

As stated before, you don’t get to pick a size for things. This is the size of my soda.

In comparison to my “large” starbucks frappe, this Japanese McDonalds frozen coffee looks tiny.

But not as tiny as a Japanese “large” Starbucks compared to USA Starbucks…

Starbucks in Japan

Pros: 

  • Sweet
  • Very common on the streets and practically everywhere
  • Good service

Cons: 

  • Price is higher, size is smaller
  • Sometimes the taste can get old after a while (applies to USA starbucks also!)
  • Menu completely different from US Starbucks

To be honest, when I am back in the US, I dislike Starbucks coffee. I feel that the flavor is too “burnt” and the coffee tastes either very bitter or overly sweet.

In Japan, Starbucks seems to taste much sweeter. I actually prefer the flavor of Starbucks in Japan than in the US.

The image above shows how the size of the drink is really different in Japan vs. the USA, though this shouldn’t be a surprise.

Wendys in Japan

Japan loves full uniforms for workers!

Pros: 

  • Thick meat in burgers
  • Interesting Menu items
  • Usually doesn’t have long lines
  • Sauce is out!

Cons: 

  • High price
  • Where’s the Chicken Nuggets?

Big Burger

In my opinion, this is a REAL burger that actually looks the way it should (compared to the menu picture).

However, this burger cost ~$8! This was all I was willing to spend that night, so no fries, sorry!

“Protein Style”

They definitely have interesting thing son their menu! I did not order this, but I have no doubt that it probably looks exactly like it does in the picture!

Spaghetti

I really wish I ordered this just to try it out!

Full Menu

The Building

As usual, the restaurant buildings are multi level. The problem here is that the bathroom is single use, and a line can build up.

Smoking Floor
Lining up for the bathroom
Basement

Sauce – A Rare Sight in Japan

Unlike the three McDonald’s I visited in Japan, Wendy’s actually had the sauce out and ready for anyone to use!

They also had some interesting sauce.

Japanese mayo is very good!

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Japan

Pros: 

  • Modern Facilities
  • Good taste
  • Cute Designs

Cons: 

  • No doughnut show
  • Price

The facilities at Krispy Kreme are awesome, very clean and modern.

Compared to America, the Krispy Kreme shops here look great!

I was here during Halloween so we enjoyed some cute designs. As you can tell in this picture, the prices are a bit higher then USA prices.

Another common trope in Japan is the lack of providing napkins for customers.

We ordered two doughnuts to share with two people, we only received one (very small) wet wipe.

This is common in Japan, so better get used to it!

Yum!

Overall, fast food in Japan is more modern, interesting, and a very unique experience compared to back in the USA.

There’s interesting menu items, unique atmosphere and a very cool learning experience.

The only con that seems to be shared with most places, is that the prices are higher in Japan.

The quality of the ingredients seem to be better in Japan as well. Usually I would fee a bit sick after eating so much fast food, but in Japan, I felt fine.

To be honest, I did not know in advance that I would be writing an article like this, otherwise I would have specifically ordered some more unique or weird items! Next time.


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Andrew

UltraMunch and other stuff. Drink too much coffee. No time for anime anymore. Follow on Twitter