McDonald's in Japan   日本マクドナルド

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McDonalds in Japan

The chain was established in Japan in 1971.

The gurakoro

The gurakoro is very popular. Shrimp, cream and macaroni, there is everything in this patty!

Burgers for tsukimi

Mac Donald's serve this every year: burgers with eggs and teriyaki sauce for tsukimi

The rice burger MOS Burger

McDonald's first Japanese competitor, MOS Burger is famous for its rice burger. A hamburger bun is replaced by pressed rice.

Fast food, Japanese-style

Shrimp or soy sauce burgers, tofu nuggets, and bacon pie: at McDonald's in Japan, the menu is adapted to the Japanese palate.

While McDonald's Japan has its share of big macs (ビッグマック), cheeseburgers (チーズバーガー) and fries (フライドポテト), you can also find items on the menu that are only served in Japan.

One of the most surprising items is surely the gurakoro (グラコロ), a sort of cheeseburger where the burger is replaced by a "croquette" of shrimp, macaroni and cream sauce. A fan favourite, it is mainly sold in winter.

Shinjo tofu nuggets (豆腐しんじょナゲット): these fried tofu nuggets were a recent summer addition to the McDonald's Japan menu.

The ebi burger (エビバーガー): a shrimp burger.

The ever-popular teriyaki burger (てりやきバーガー) a beef (牛肉, gyûniku) or pork (ポーク, poku) burger with teriyaki sauce, that is to say with sweet mirin (cooking sake) and soy sauce.

The bacon potato pie (ベーコンポテトパイ): similar to the apple pie, only savoury and filled with potato and fried bacon.

A hamburger for every season

The menu of McDonald's Japan varies not only seasonally, but also according to the major festivals of the Japanese calendar.

In spring, for hanami, the cherry blossom celebration, a range of teritama burgers (てりたまバーガー) is brought out every year, a beef or pork teriyaki burger with an egg, sometimes accompanied by pink mayonnaise, a nod to the pink cherry blossoms, or with daikon...

Similarly, for the Moon Festival tsukimi in the autumn, burgers are topped with fried eggs and called a tsukimi burger (月見バーガー). These are available all over the country. The moon, being round and white, is often associated with eggs in traditional Japanese cuisine.

Some alternatives

McDonald's is not the only fast food chain serving hamburgers in Japan, other international chains can also be found, such as Wendy's and Burger King.

Mos Burger, Freshness Burger, and Lotteria are Japan's answer to these burger chains. The first offers a rice burger (ライスバーガー), a burger served between two pressed discs of white rice, very popular in a country where rice is such a staple food.

Does all this sound good? Just remember that Japanese fast food can be far more expensive than the food at small restaurants serving local dishes like ramen, donburi, and curry udon!

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