Monday, August 1, 2011

McDonalds: Japan

Oh Japanese McDonalds. Its been almost a decade since I first had the illustrious Teriyaki burger in Japan. Since then, Japanese McDonalds has fascinated me for many reasons.

One of the first things you will notice about Japanese McDonalds is that they almost always have smoking sections. This is a very Japanese thing to me. Japan is still a smoker's paradise with cigarette vending machines, ashtrays on every street, and smoking sections in every fast food establishment. Whether or not you agree with the morality of public smoking accommodations, it looks pretty funny to light up a cigarette in front of the arch. 

Now, apart from McDonalds' smoker-friendly environment, it is also open 24 hours in more metropolitan locations (maybe even everywhere). I'm not just talking about drive-through service (which I've never seen in Tokyo and doubt exists), I'm talking about the whole restaurant. If you find yourself in any part of Tokyo between the hours of 12:00 am and 5:00 am (when the trains stop running) go into a McDonalds and you'll see scores of teenagers, businessmen, and clubbers all asleep in those plastic seats, tired from a night of hard work.

The last really awesome thing about McDonalds is, of course, the menu. McDonalds Japan has one of the most unique menus in the world with many, many deviations from its American heritage. The Teriyaki burger was just the start, get a load of these specials when I visited in Fall of 2010:

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