McDonald's in Japan – Differences and curiosities

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Today we are going to talk about one of the biggest fast food hamburger restaurant chains in the world, the famous McDonald (マクドナルド). Let's talk about McDonald's in Japan, its origin, snacks, history, differences and curiosities.

McDonald's origin in Japan

The world's first McDonald's was started in 1940 by the McDonald brothers in San Bernardino, California, United States. Marketing was the “quick service system,” a factory-style hamburger-making method and self-service mechanism.

In 1967, Den Fujita fell in love with how popular and efficient the restaurant chain McDonald's, so he strove to bring these restaurants to Japan. makku [マック] or makudo [マクド].

In July 1971 the first McDonald opened in a Ginza department store in Tokyo, it was the first McDonald in all of Asia. The restaurant has already been opened to the Japanese taste launching Teriyaki McBurger and Chicken Tatsuta.

McDonald's in Japan - curiosities

Fujita went so far as to say that the Japanese were yellow because they ate only fish and rice. He said that they should eat more hamburgers and potatoes. and after many years and many Japanese inventions, McDonald's is a huge success in Japan making life easier of many people who need to eat something good and quickly.

Japan is currently the second most popular country for the fast-food chain after the USA with over 3,000 restaurants.

Marketing campaign

The same marketing campaigns used in other countries are used in restaurants in Japan. What really sets Japan apart from other countries is its huge range of varieties of sandwiches and ingredients. 

Japan is famous for creating several snacks with diverse and strange flavors to get out of sameness, so there were several hamburgers with seasonal flavors, breakfast, several different drinks and teas, in addition to other products launched in the short term.

McDonald's in Japan - curiosities

McDonald's is quite popular in Japan for its service and speed. Another thing that makes McDonald's popular is the fact that it has plugs to charge your cell phone. I myself had to go to McDonald's several times with the intention of charging my phone and enjoying buying a snack.

In addition to making various advertisements, references and appearances in several films and anime, McDonald made a marketing campaign with its own animation:

McDonald's in Japan is very cheap, with just 680 yen (15R$) you can order a combo with BigMac or any other type of snack. Below we will talk in detail about McDonald's Prices.

It may even seem expensive for us Brazilians, since 15R$ gives an X-tudo, but 500 yen for Japanese it's like spending 5 reais. It is worth remembering that with this value it is possible to eat many different dishes in restaurants in Japan as under the, gyudon, etc.

Types of McDonald's in Japan

Almost all of the ingredients used at McDonald's are imported from several different countries. McDonald Japan was also responsible for inventing several different and strange snacks such as potato with chocolate, hamburger with avocado, potato pie with bacon and a giant combo with 4 floors of hamburgers. Among these weird inventions we will mention others for you to know:

McDonald's in Japan - curiosities
  • Tatsuta chicken with wasabi and tartare sauce;
  • Mega Potato - Equivalent to 2 large potatoes;
  • McNuggets with wasabi or plum sauce;
  • Karaage - Chicken with tomato and basil powder;
  • Seasonal snacks with Sakura flavor (cherry);
  • Snack with black bread;
  • Hawaiian burger;
  • Gracoro Burger - With a creamy croquette with white sauce, shrimp and pasta;
  • Triangle shaped chocolate pie;
  • Grilled fish burger;
  • Anko Pies - Pie stuffed with sweet red beans;
  • French fries seasoned with sakura (cherry);
  • Shakachiki - Crispy breaded chicken with onion and garlic sauces, cheddar cheese or pepper.

McDonald's Pies

As the Anko Pie bean pie has already mentioned, Japan's McDonald's tends to launch different types of seasonal lathes on its menu. During the inverti he usually throws a chocolate pie, in the summer a strawberry pie, there is also the salted potato and bacon pie. Usually the name of the ingredients is followed by pie in English (pie).

These are some of the thousands of different types of dishes launched at McDonald Japan, the list is quite extensive, we have chosen only the most impactful to share with you in this short and quick article. I hope you enjoyed. xD

McDonald's in Japan - differences and curiosities

How much does McDonald's cost in Japan?

In Brazil McDonald's had a certain reputation for being rich because of its prices, although nowadays fast-food chains are more accessible in the country. Still, it’s good to note how affordable McDonald’s is in Japan.

A hamburger costs about 200 yen, while a hamburger set BigMac with potato and soda is around 680 yen. Prices should change depending on the date you are reading the article. If I convert directly to BRL it may seem unfair at times when the dollar is rising.

The salient point is that with 1 hour of work in Japan you are able to order up to 2 snack combos at McDonald's. While in Brazil about a day's salary is needed for this. In Japan McDonald's is popular precisely because it's cheaper.

There may be price and menu changes depending on the region and location. Drinks range from 100 yen to 250 yen depending on the size. In Japan, the acronyms [S] [M] and [L] are used for small (small), medium (medium) it's big (large).

McDonald's in Japan - differences and curiosities

Japanese McDonald's trivia

Since 2006, attempts have been made to extend the opening hours and the number of stores serving 24 hours has increased, however, due to profitability and the difficulty in hiring crew members, the number of stores closing 24 hours has increased again.

Several companies have provided Wi-Fi points since the second half of the 2000s to attract customers, and some stores are equipped with energy service points.

Since 2018, McDonald has carried out a “Toy Recycling Project” to collect toys from the Happy Set from stores across the country to recycle them in trays used in stores.

McDonald's Vocabulary in Japanese

Want to look at McDonald's menu in Japanese without getting lost? Now let's see a list of related words In japanese. Remember to drag the table sideways to see it fully if you are on a mobile device.

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
ご注文はgo-chuumon waWhat will you want?
お飲み物はいかがですかo-nomimono wa ikaga desu kaSomething to drink?
ハンバーガー hanbāgāHamburger
てりやきマックバーガーteriyaki makkubāgāTerayaki MacBurger
フィレオフィッシュfireofisshuFish fillet

Usually when choosing a hamburger the McDonald's attendant asks if you want the setto, and asks which drink. Then you pay and wait for your order number on the screen. Simple and easy… I wish you a good experience at McDonald's in Japan!

Japan's McDonald's Snack List

We've already made a list of McDonald's snacks in this article, but just to demonstrate a little of the main snacks. Now let's see an intense and complete list with more than 40 items exclusive to Japan:

  • American Funky BBQ Beef - 2 pâtés 100% meat, cheddar cheese, 2 strips of grilled bacon, lettuce, pickles, barbecue sauce, mustard;
  • American Funky BBQ Chicken - Chicken patty, cheddar cheese, lettuce, pickles, barbecue sauce, mustard taste;
  • Bacon and Lettuce Burger - Beef patty, bacon, lettuce, cheese, yellow mustard sauce;
  • Bacon and Potato Pie - Pie crust, white cream sauce with potatoes, chopped bacon and onion;
  • Beverly Hills Burger - 1/4 100% of steak, lettuce, onion, avocado sauce, rich Caesar salad dressing;
  • Broadway Burger - Bacon, lettuce, peppers, cream cheese sauce, patty, mustard sauce;
  • California Burger - Patty, special red wine sauce, tomato, lettuce, bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, special breads covered with grated cheese;
  • Carbonara Chicken - Creamy sauce with black pepper and cheese, chicken, rolls cooked with black pepper, scrambled eggs, bacon, mozzarella cheese;
  • Cheese Aussie Deli: Japan Edition - Pastrami in thin slices, cheese, lettuce;
  • Cheese Fondue Chicken - Breads with grated cheese, chicken steak, lettuce, bacon;
  • Cheese Katsu Burger - Sesame rolls, sliced cabbage, cheese cutlet, brown sauce and sweet lemon sauce;
  • Cheese Tsukimi Burger - Sesame seed breads, 2 slices of bacon, fried eggs, aurora sauce (ketchup and mayonnaise), cheddar cheese, chicken patty;
  • Chicken Salsa Burger - Tomato, red / yellow / green paprika, onion, parsley sauce, jalapeno cheese sauce, chicken patty, lettuce;
  • Chicken Tatsuta - Bread rolls, chicken pate, shredded cabbage, sauce;
  • Chicken Tatsuta with wasabi and tartare sauce - Chicken patty with ginger and soy sauce, wasabi tartar sauce, original steamed rolls, lettuce;
  • Demi-glace and Cheese Gratin Korokke Burger - Bread rolls, cheddar cheese, demi-glace sauce, finely chopped onion, cabbage, mayonnaise sauce, gratin croquette;
  • Diner Double Beef - Double Steak;
  • Diner Honey Mustard - Honey mustard sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, special breads, chicken;
  • Doble Beef Salsa Burger - Tomato, red / yellow / green paprika, onion, salsa sauce, jalapeno cheese sauce, 2 meat crackers, cheese, lettuce;
  • German Sausage Chicken - Lemon-flavored chicken patty, bologna sausage, baked rye bread, dill mustard, vinegar sprouts, mozzarella cheese;
  • Grand Canyon Burger - Sesame rolls, meatloaf, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg, steak sauce, onion sauce, lettuce, bread in the middle;
  • Hawaiian Burger – Sauce, meat pate, egg, bacon, cheese, lettuce, special rolls covered with grated cheese;
  • Hot and Groovy Beef - white cheddar cheese, tartar sauce, lettuce;
  • Hot and Groovy Chicken - Garlic-flavored chicken patty, cheddar cheese, parsley, jalapeno sauce;
  • Hot Gold Masala: Japan Edition - Chicken, tomato, curry sauce, rolls, lettuce;
  • Idaho Burger - Potato patty, meat patty, onion-flavored bread, bacon, cheese, mustard sauce and black pepper;
  • Kit Kat and Strawberry Mcflurry - Kit Grains Kat, strawberry sauce, sour cream;
  • Las Vegas Burger - Patty, sliced beef, onion, cream cheese sauce;
  • Le Gran Sausage: Japan Edition - Ciabatta, pepper sausage, puff pastry, mustard;
  • Le Gran Tomato: Japan Edition - Ciabatta, steak patty, butter sauce, tomato;
  • Manhattan Burger - Mozzarella cheese, lettuce, onion, sour cream sauce, pastrami, steak patty;
  • McDonald’s Mega Potato - Potato, salt;
  • McDonald’s Salad Marinade Wrap - Tortilla, Tomato, Chili and Onion Sea Sauce, Cheese;
  • McDonald’s Shaka Shaka Chicken - Shake the chicken to cover it with the seasoning powder in the package before eating it;
  • McPork Double - Bread rolls, 2 pork pates, lettuce;
  • Mega Beef Mac - Sesame rolls, 4 meat pates, pickles, cheese, lettuce, bread in the middle;
  • Mega McMuffin - Bread rolls, fried eggs, 2 pates, cheese, ketchup;
  • Mega Sausage - Bread, mustard sauce, ketchup, sausage;
  • Mega Tamago - Sesame rolls, fried eggs, bread in the middle, sauce with mustard and black pepper, cheese, lettuce, bacon;
  • Mega Teriyaki Burger - 2 pork pates, 2 sesame breads, 1 bread in the middle, lettuce, cheese, teriyaki sauce;
  • Miami Burger - Shredded lettuce, tomato sauce, taco meat, rolls, cheese, meat dough;
  • Mild Gold Masala: Japan Edition - Chicken, curry sauce, rolls, lettuce, mayonnaise, cheese;
  • New York Burger - Meat patty, Monterey Jack cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, mustard seed sauce, whole wheat bread;
  • Sakura Teritama Burger - Pork patty, fried eggs, sakura-flavored breads (cherry blossom), mayonnaise sauce with sakura Japanese radish (Sakura daikon);
  • Sesame Ebi Filet-O Sesame Buns - Sesame rolls, shrimp cutlet, lettuce, cheese, Thousand Island sauce;
  • Shrimp Salsa Burger - Tomato, red / yellow / green paprika, onion, parsley sauce, jalapeno cheese sauce, shrink pate, lettuce;
  • Texas Burger - Mustard-flavored barbecue sauce, meatloaf, special 3-layer breads, fried onions, cheese, bacon;
  • Ume(sower plums) McNugget Sauce - Ume Nugget;
  • Wasabi McNugget Sauce - Wasabi sauce for Nugget;
  • Texas Burger 2 - 3 layers of sesame seed rolls, beef pate, beans, taste of mustard seeds, onion, bacon, cheese;

The list below even serves as a recipe for you to create your own McDonald-style sandwiches. I hope you enjoyed the article, if you did, don’t forget to share and leave your comments.

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