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Golden Arches Under the Rising Sun - Talking About McDonald's in Japan

Long before I became a Japanese teacher, interpreter – translator, and business owner, I got my first job in the summer of 2006. I remember one day in May, I was watching the news with Dad and said it was a great time for teenagers to find a job. And I look at my Dad, and I say to him that maybe I should try out a job this summer. The only one that I applied to was to Flower Mound’s local McDonald’s.

I was only supposed to be there for the summer, but I ended up staying until I left for UNT. Despite it being nothing more than a fast-food part-time job, I have nothing but fun memories there. While the restaurant’s exterior may have changed (along with the menu), I still smile every time I go in or go through the drive-through (which was my usual spot).

Now when I went to Japan for the first time, one of the first restaurant’s I tried was, of course, Japanese McDonald’s. And I tell ya, Japanese McDonald’s is an experience. With its different, localized menu to fit the Japanese palate, you’ll be able to try things you won’t see at an American McDonalds.


McDonald's is a popular fast food chain in Japan, known for its tasty burgers and convenient locations. The company first opened its doors in Japan in 1971, and since then it has become a household name in the country.

One of the reasons for McDonald's success in Japan is its ability to adapt to local tastes and preferences. For example, the menu in Japan features items such as rice burgers and teriyaki burgers, which are not available in other countries. This shows that the company is willing to go the extra mile to cater to its Japanese customers.

Here is what the Japanese McDonald's Menu looked like in 2019. I am sure that the menu has changed due to the Covid-related supply chain challenges, but here is a basic idea of what it looks like.

Another reason for McDonald's popularity in Japan is its focus on customer service. The company has trained its staff to be polite and attentive, which has helped to create a positive dining experience for customers. In addition, McDonald's restaurants in Japan are often clean and well-maintained, which is important to Japanese consumers who place a high value on cleanliness.

One of the unique aspects of McDonald's in Japan is its "Create Your Taste" concept, which allows customers to customize their burgers with a wide variety of toppings and sauces. This has proven to be a popular option, as it allows customers to create their own unique burger experience.


Overall, McDonald's has become a beloved part of Japanese culture thanks to its tasty food, excellent customer service, and willingness to adapt to local tastes. The company continues to thrive in Japan, and it is likely to remain a popular dining option for many years to come.

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