Popularity Of McDonalds In Japan: Everything You Need To Know!

mcdonalds in japan

Here’s everything you need to know about popularity of McDonald’s in Japan

The popularity of McDonald’s in Japan is a testament to the chain’s successful integration into the local culinary landscape.

With a tailored menu that caters to Japanese tastes and a reputation for fast, convenient meals, McDonald’s has become a staple in the country’s fast-food scene.

Discover the reasons behind its widespread appeal.

mcdonalds in japan

McDonalds In Japan

How did McDonalds in Japan start?

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The very  first McDonald’s was started way back in 1940 by the McDonald brothers in California. The hamburger-making company had released a service that was replicated by hundreds of businesses and organizations in the world. 

Den Fujita decided to bring it to Japan in 1967 after discovering it and falling in love with the restaurant chain.

The Japanese name Makudonarudo (マクドナルド), was given to the popular franchise which is an adaptation from its  original name. The sound was more pleasing to the Japanese ear and was a smart marketing strategy. 

The first outlet opened in 1971 in Ginza Department store in Tokyo and launched Japanese-taste burgers like the Teriyaki McBurger and Chicken Tatsuta. 

But what was incredible was the fast food restaurant not only introduced hamburgers but also introduced the concept of a drive-through restaurant. 

Japan was undergoing rapid motorization at that time and the McDonalds added a whole new enjoyment to driving.

According to Fujita, the Japanese were yellow because they ate only rice and fish and should incorporate more hamburgers and potatoes. 

After many many Japanese inventions, McDonald’s has become a huge success in Japan making life easier for many people. 

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Since then, Japan’s love for the restaurant has just increased over time, becoming the second-largest consumer of McDonald’s behind the United States with over three thousand outlets.

What Sets McDonalds in Japan Apart?

Although McDonalds uses the same marketing campaigns in different countries, it has set itself apart  in Japan from outlets around the world due to the addition of multiple items found in the menu. 

This tactic of creating new products from strange and different flavors is quite common in Japanese snacks.  Japan has also implemented its own anime in the commercials to make exclusive marketing campaigns 

You will find several hamburgers with seasonal flavors, breakfast items , a variety of drinks and teas, in addition to other products launched. 

Both in Japan and the world over,  McDonalds does not have a reputation for being a classy restaurant yet many people still love hanging out here or working while sipping on some delicious coffee. 

A primary consumer of McDonald’s in Japan is a  middle aged worker, who stops by for a quick grab-o-bite breakfast and coffee. This speaks of the brand’s efficiency, which is something that should be appreciated in Japan.

mcdonalds in japan menu

Unique Menu Items at McDonalds in Japan:

Can you imagine ordering your McNuggets with wasabi sauce? Well, believe it or not, you can find them in Japan! Almost all ingredients used here are imported from different countries. 

McDonald Japan is  responsible for inventing various strange snacks along with some other remarkably unique items: 


  • Cheese Katsu Burger
  • Teriyaki burger- chicken, beef and fish
  • Hawaiian burger
  • Gracoro Burger with a creamy croquette with white sauce, pasta and shrimp
  • Beverly Hills Burger
  • Shakachiki Burger
  • Samurai Mac 
  • American Funky BBQ Beef/chicken
  • Sakura Teritama Burger( Sakura is a Japanese tree popular among locals and foreigners)
  • Hot Gold Masala
  • Cheese Tsukimi burger
  • Grilled fish burger
  • Shrimp Filet O
  • Idaho burger
  • Mega Tamago 
  • Chicken Tatsuta with wasabi and tartare sauce


  • Anko pies stuffed with sweet red beans
  • Sakura-flavored french fries
  • Shaka-chiki ( Crispy breaded chicken with garlic sauces, onion, cheddar cheese and pepper).
  • Karaage(chicken with basil powder and chicken)
  • Bacon and potato pie
  • Edamame and corn
  • Chocolate fries
  • Mega Fries equal to two potatoes
  • Snack with black bread
  • McNuggets with wasabi or plum sauce
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  • Melon fanta float
  • Uji Matcha frappe
  • Macaron pistachio
  • Mcfloat coffee
  • Marshmallow cream tart
  • Yasaiseikatsu ( vegetable and fruit mix juice )
  • Suntory Kuro Oolong Tea
  • McFizz Kumamoto Watermelon 
  • Babyccino
  • Sokenbicha (A Japanese blended tea by Coca-cola)


  • Triangle shaped chocolate pie
  • Cheesecake McFlurry
  • McFloat Aomori Fuji Apple
  • Tea chiffon cake
  • Pineapple pie
  • Waffle cone chocolate & almond
  • Strawberry and Kit Kat McFlurry
  • Sankaku Chocolate pie

Related: KFC in Japan Menu

Reputation of McDonalds in Japan

There are also a number of other factors to consider what makes it so unique:

  • High-Quality Service

Japan is known for having politeness and respect as very important values in culture so there is no denying that the McDonalds here has to be the best quality when it comes to consumer service. The cleanness of the restaurant is another feature to consider and even foreigners who visit here admire the set up and appearance.

  • Portion Size

Most of the tourists that visit the  Japan McDonalds do not  feel as satisfied after having a regular burger as they would anywhere else.The reason is that all portion sizes of food and drinks in Japan are small as compared to other places.

As you see, culture is still around us all the time and this affects what we eat and the portion offered. Japan, like most of the other Asian countries, tend to ration all their meals so that they won’t consume more calories than needed. Pretty smart and practical , don’t you think?

  • Prince Comparison

A very popular  reason why McDonalds is famous in Japan is because it is very affordable.To give you an idea, a basic Big Mac costs 390 yen which is equal to $3.44. The salient point is that one hour of work in Japan can get you two snack combos.

But keep in mind that the prices will vary depending on location so you may even get a burger equal to  $1. Drinks also may vary from 100 yen to 250 yen depending on the size.

Other Features: McDonalds in Japan is also known for its service and speed. Another thing that makes McDonald’s popular is the fact that you can get free Wi-Fi so you can chill here with a tasty snack and drink and do your work/ homework. It even has multiple plus for you to charge your phone conveniently. 

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mcdonalds in japan

How To Order at McDonalds in Japan?

Now let us try to understand a few related words in Japanese translated into English that can help you order your meal in McDonalds.

いらっしゃいませ or irasshaimase means ‘WELCOME.’

ご注文は or go-chuumon wa means ‘ WHAT WILL YOU WANT?’

お飲み物はいかがですか or o-nomimono wa ikaga desu ka means ‘SOMETHING TO DRINK?’

ビッグマックor biggumakku means ‘BIG MAC.’

ハンバーガー or hanbāgā means ‘HAMBURGER.’

チーズバーガー or chīzubāgā means ‘CHEESEBURGER.’

てりやきマックバーガー or teriyaki makkubāgā means ‘TERAYAKI MACBURGER.’

フィレオフィッシュ or fireofisshu means ‘FISH FILLET.’

メガマック or megamakku means ‘MEGAMAC.’

マックシェイク or makkusheiku means ‘MACSHAKE.’

セット or setto means ‘COMBO.’

サイズ or saizu means “SIZE.’

結構です or Kekkodesu  means ‘NO, THANK YOU.’

持ち帰ります or Mochikaerimasu means ‘TAKE OUT/ TO GO.’

Once, you choose your burger item, the attendant usually asks you if you would like a setto and drink. That’s it, it’s really quite simple. Then, you have to wait for your order and enjoy!

McDonalds in Japan: FAQs

What are some hamburgers offered in every season in McDonalds Japan?

The menu of McDonald’s Japan varies according to the major festivals of the calendar. For example, for the moon festival tsukimi during autumn, tsukimi burgers are available with burgers topped with fried eggs.

During the cherry blossom celebration hanami in spring, teritama burgers are brought out every year consisting of a pork or beef teriyaki burger with egg accompanied by pink mayonnaise with resemblance to the cherry blossoms. 

What are a few items worth ordering from the Japan menu?

Some of the unique items worth ordering include Sakura Teritama burger, eating mcnuggets in wasabi sauce,  chopped bacon and onion in a thin potato pie  crust, ume fries (pickled plum), hokkaido milk pie, ginger pork burger, and purple McShake.


It is remarkable how very different cultural features can make people fall in love with the place.The fast-food chain has managed to find new ways to attract consumers in every place, launching commercials with Japanese animation in the country along with exclusive menu items that reflect its personality. 

So, now that you know what makes McDonald’s Japan so unique, if you are  lucky, you will be able to indulge in some of their  scrumptious items for the ultimate experience. 

So, the next time you are  planning a trip to Japan or you are  already there, be sure to check out a McDonald’s. You never know what treats you will find unless you go searching!

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