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8 Popular Japanese Fast Food Chains

japanese fast food chains

If you’re visiting Japan then you ought to stop by some of the renowned Japanese fast food chains that serve delectable meals for reasonable prices. Check out our blog and discover the popular Japanese fast-food chains.

Japan is never short of scrummy feasts as it’s home to a miscellany of our favorite foods like sushi, udon noodles, ramen, and whatnot.

Similarly, there are multiple fast-food restaurant chains in Japan that not just offer convenient budget-friendly feasts but also mouthwatering nibbles that make you desire more. 

That’s why we’ve curated some of the most notable fast-food chains in Japan that are worth visiting. Read further to find out the most popular Japanese fast-food chains that both tourists and locals flock to dine in.

Popular Japanese Fast Food Chains

Yoshinoya (Gyudon)

Our primary choice of Japanese fast-food restaurant is Yoshinoya which specializes in Gyudons aka beef bowls.

Yoshinoya has over 100 outlets in Japan and it’s even a renowned fast-food chain in countries like the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

The main dish at Yoshinoya is Gyudon which is essentially a rice dish that’s served with beef and onions cooked in dashi stock and soy sauce. 

While beef remains to be the most preferred meat choice for Gyudon, Yoshinoya also makes available other alternatives like vegetables, pork, chicken, and even tofu.

Apart from beef bowls Yoshinoya also serves salads, soups, and a variety of other side dishes. 

My favorite meal from Yoshinoya is the Fried Chicken Bowl which costs around 520 yen and is sufficient to fill up your tummy.

You can even customize your meal with interesting toppings according to your preference to make the gyudon more appetizing and not to mention the free rice refills that come in handy if you wish to consume more.

I fancied adding spicy kimchi and pickles to my bowl to elevate the piquancy.

 If you’ve decided to dine in or take out from Yoshinoya then you don’t have to fret over the prices because there are quite a number of meals priced between 100 to 200 yen. 

Ichiran Ramen (Ramen)

You can’t leave Japan without having a taste of authentic Japanese ramen and the locals consistently recommend Ichiran Ramen which offers the most sought-after tonkotsu ramen.

Tonkotsu ramen is made out of pork-based broth and it’s the iconic ramen in Ichiran Ramen.

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This Japanese fast-food chain has almost 80 locations across Japan and it’s invariably queued up with customers who eagerly wait to try the succulent ramen noodles.

The ramen noodles are made from scratch at Ichiran Ramen and they’re immersed in a creamy tonkotsu broth which is topped with juicy chunks of meat, spicy red sauce, and green onions. 

Of course, Ichiran Ramen also provides a plethora of toppings and side dishes that complement the ramen bowl.

My favorite aspect of Ichiran Ramen restaurants in Japan is that they completely value the customer’s comfort thus orders at Ichiran Ramen in Japan are performed through vending machines. 

All you’re required to do is pick your choice of ramen and toppings, pay for them at the vending machine and you’ll receive a ticket which you must hand to the staff who will then freshly prepare your ramen and serve you accordingly.

The starting price for ramen at Ichiran Ramen is 980 yen which can vary if you prefer more toppings. 

MOS Burger (Burgers)

If you can’t go without having burgers then MOS Burger should be your ideal Japanese fast-food joint.

It’s one of the leading fast-food chains in Japan that has numerous outlets in South East Asia.

MOS Burger in Japan serves hamburgers, side dishes, desserts, and drinks. You should definitely check out the MOS Rice Burger which is a specialty in Japan. 

The MOS Rice Burger bun is made out of rice flour which is crammed with a thick tomato slice, succulent meat patty (either chicken, beef, or pork), and a dash of their secret sauces. 

One of my favorite burgers from MOS Burgers is the MOS Cheese Burger which has a juicy beef patty, tomato slice, meat sauce, and a partly molten cheese slice.

MOS Burgers also boasts a plethora of sauces in distinct flavors. 

What makes MOS burgers stand out from its competitors is the size and thickness of their burgers. In fact, their burgers come in a combination of flavors that represent both Western and Japanese cuisines. 

Furthermore, MOS Burger has sustained its original flavors in its burgers and it’s also one of the cheapest fast-food chains in Japan where burgers are priced from 200 yen onwards. 

Matsuya (Beef Bowls/Gyudon)

Matsuya is one of the largest fast food chains in Japan that’s a direct competitor to Yoshinoya since this fast food restaurant also serves gyudon beef bowls.

Although Matsuya isn’t well established overseas unlike Yoshinoya it is still one of the critically acclaimed and reasonable fast food chains by the locals which have above 1000 branches in Japan.

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The beef bowls at Matsuya come in an assortment of colorful toppings and they taste heavenly, particularly their Beef Bowl With Fresh Vegetable Salad which is garnished with sweet and spicy beef and onion chunks.

One of the reasons why several Japanese people prefer Matsuya over Yoshinoya is their selection of dishes. 

Despite gyudon being their best-selling meal, Matsuya also supplies a collection of other Japanese delicacies like Rice Bowls, Curry, and Rice, including set meal options that consist of only meat-based dishes.

If you prefer to settle for a meal other than the gyudon at Matsuya then I must recommend that their Stewed Chicken Curry and Rice is worth a munch. 

The prices at Matsuya are affordable and their cheapest meal is the Beef Bowl with Beef and Onion which onsets at a price of 380 yen.

Matsuya restaurants are quite family-friendly and even offer kids’ meals that cost just above 300 yen.

Hence if you’re looking for an ideal place to dine in with kids, Matsuya it is.  

Sushiro (Sushi)

Sushi is a must-try delicacy in Japan because the Japanese follow every intricate step of sushi-making with subtle precision.

Where else can sushi taste phenomenal except for Japan? 

The best spot in Japan for all sorts of sushi is Sushiro which is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant that has nearly 700 locations all throughout Japan.

Would you believe it if we said that most tourists to Japan flock to Sushiro to have a taste of their sushi? 

While sushi has a premium price tag in several countries, Sushiro basically charges a minimum price of 100 yen for its sushi which is why it’s a go-to fast food restaurant for countless locals and tourists alike.

This is the perfect fast food spot if you’re traveling on a tight budget.

Although the prices at Sushiro are very cheap that doesn’t diminish the quality or taste of the sushi.

As a matter of fact, shrimp, salmon, and tuna sushi at Sushiro cost just a little above 150 yen and they’re some of the best sushi rolls I’ve ever had. 

Moreover, the experience of dining at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant is sui generis and Sushiro provides the ideal ambiance for a premium restaurant yet it remains the most affordable fast food chain we came across in Japan. 

Tenya (Tendon)

Tenya is one of the leading fast-food restaurants in Japan that has over 150 outlets and it deserves all the praise and love for its unique serving of meals.

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It’s a common fast food chain for tempura lovers because Tenya specializes in tempura which is referred to as ‘tendon’ and it’s commonly seafood or vegetables which are dipped in batter and deep fried.

This is then served with hot rice and condiments which is usually a dipping sauce. 

While tempuras are extravagantly priced at several restaurants, Tenya has managed to offer them for approximately 500 yen.

The most popular platter at Tenya is The Original All-Star Tendon which comprises battered fried prawns, squid, mushrooms, Japanese scallops, and a couple of veggies which costs 720 yen. 

Besides the set menu of tendon bowls, you can even pick and choose your preferred tempura for a munch which is much cheaper in comparison to the set tempura bowls.

The tempura has an excellent crispy texture that gives an immediate crunch when you bite in.

The flavor of the prawn tempuras is absolutely incredible and there are sides, condiments, and udon noodles as well if you wish to have a full meal. 

However, the selection of meals at Tenya is fairly low thus you’re only exposed to limited meal options. 

Nakau (Oyakodon)

Nakau is a key fast food chain in Japan that specializes in Oyakodon which is aka a donburi or rice bowl.

Nakau has over 400 outlets across Japan and the branches at Tokyo and Osaka are particularly the ones that are overcrowded thanks to their impressive aura.

Oyakodon made at Nakau is a simple recipe of cooked rice topped with a combo of chicken and onion stewed in sweet soy sauce and garnished with scrambled eggs. 

Don’t let the simplicity of this dish deceive you because Oyakadon is nothing but a scrummy and filling meal that looks delicious as it tastes.

The soft chicken chunks and the crunchy sweet onions make a perfect balance for the rice. The scrambled eggs are hands down the cherry on top. Overall, it’s a fast food meal that leaves your taste buds satiated. 

Apart from rice bowls, Nakau also sells breakfast sets, udon noodles, and curry.

The rates at Nakau are quite easy on the pockets since a large proportion of their meals just cost above 300 yen. Do stop by Nakau if you’re hankering a delectable balanced meal.

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