When you’re hungry and want to eat right away, and are unconcerned about your health, nothing works better than fast food. There many different American fast food chains in Japan, let’s look at a few of the most common ones.
McDonalds is one of the most popular fast food chains in the world and can be found practically everywhere in Japan. The great thing about McDonalds in the US is that no matter where you go, the menu is always the same. Japan is no different. There are many specialty items, like the teriyaki burger or fried shrimp burger, and many different campaigns involving specialty sandwiches, the Big-American campaign for example, but the core of the menu for Japanese McDonalds is mostly the same as America. You can easily find American mainstays like the quarter pounder, double cheeseburger and even the fabled big-mac in all Japanese McDonalds. This makes McDonalds the perfect place for the American gaijin to visit when they want a taste of home. But, be prepared to pay higher prices than you normally would in America.
Commonly called Kentucky in Japan, KFC is another American brand that is very popular in the land of the rising sun, but unlike McDonalds there are quite a few major differences between Japanese KFC and American KFC. This biggest difference is that the menu has almost no white meat, almost all the meat is dark meat. Also, there is no extra-crispy option for the fried chicken. Prices in Japan are known to be significantly higher than the US and KFC is no different. If you go to a KFC in Japan, be prepared to pay significantly higher prices than what you would in the US. The most striking difference between Japanese and American KFCs is that in Japan, KFC is a very popular Christmas food. It is not at all uncommon to see Japanese people going to KFC on Christmas. Don’t believe me? Check out this insane KFC Christmas commercial on youtube.
Burger King is not that common in Japan, but can be found in many parts of the Kanto region. Much like McDonalds, the menu is largely the same with a few Japanese specialties thrown in. Although, they do have a sandwich, the Meat Monster, which has two beef patties, bacon and a chicken patty all in one sandwich. This Frankenstein burger is the most American thing this writer has ever seen in Japan. Another big difference is that you can order alcohol with your meal at Burger King and surprisingly, the alcohol is pretty cheap. A customer can order a highball for ?350, and a beer for only ?400. At prices like that, Burger King is the perfect place for your next drinking party.
Last on the list is Subway. Subway is a lot like Burger King and McDonalds in that the menu, outside of a few specialty areas, is largely the same. Which is good. Sandwich shops are a true rarity in Japan. Outside of a few coffee shops that also serve sandwiches, a sandwich loving foreigner will be hard pressed to find a sandwich shop outside of Subway. Sadly, some options like the meatball sub don’t exist in Japan, but others like the Subway Club are still there. But, there is no option for a 500yen foot long.