Japanese Fast Food

LawsonsWhile I loved the fine dining of Japan, it was also fun to try out the simple stuff from the corner store or little hole in the wall. Sometimes, I just walked by something that looked interesting, and figured, “why not try this?” It was fun to go into the little 7 Elevens and try out new treats. Here’s our group in the parking lot of a convenience store sampling the packaged ice cream. I didn’t check out the McDonalds, Baskin’ Robbins, or other American chain restaurants, because these ones were much better treats from the street:


Japanese people love ramen shops. They are set up in a really interesting way. Even though they are full restaurants, you start by ordering from a machine on the street, putting your money into a little slot.

Ordering Ramen

Ramen ShopIt was cheap (less than $10 for a plate of dumplings, huge bowl of soup, and rice) — but still a bit strange to order from a machine. There was no robot making the food. The machine printed out a little receipt, and then you brought that inside, sat down, and gave it to the waiter. A few minutes later, he brought your food over, and you could eat and leave whenever (because you already paid at the machine).  Yum! The soup was gigantic and delicious.

Ramen and Dumplings

Chunky Beverages

In addition to the food from machines, it was fun to try new beverages in cans and bottles. Sometimes, I could tell what I was getting, and sometimes I couldn’t. I decided not to try the Salt and Fruit drink here.

Salt and Fruit

I did try a bunch of new juices. It was common for juices to have chunks in them! Sometimes, they seemed like pieces of fruit, but other times they were like little pieces of jello in your drink. Kind of strange to the unaccustomed taste buds, but I liked it.

Some sort of sweet (I have no idea what it’s called)

I got to see these cookie type things being made, but I don’t know the name:

Fried Foods

I saw lots of deep fried foods. How can you go wrong, really? Except that fried chicken for breakfast is a little bizarre.


Food Courts

In Kushiro, we had dinner in a place called Moo, which was sort of like a food court. There were lots of little restaurants, and you ordered up there, and then sat anywhere. There was also a place like this 6 floors under a department store in Tokyo. Both were quick and yummy.


At the one in Kushiro, they had a machine where you could put in a dollar and get a fortune. Here’s our group crowded around our translator, Hatagami San, finding out what it said.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 7.54.52 AM

I’m sorry that you can’t eat this from the screen:


Weird Flavored Caramels

My personal favorite snack was caramel. Since Hokkaido has a lot of dairy cows, milk caramel was very common. And so good. And so many flavors.


They even had lamb flavored caramels! Gross! I bought some and brought some home if you want to try it. But I wouldn’t recommend it.

Lamb Flavored Caramel

Personally, I liked the local caramels better than the green tea Kit Kats.

Green Tea Kit KatsPlastic Food

Doesn’t this look good?

Plastic Food Close Up

Don’t get too excited. It’s plastic! It was common on the street to see these in restaurant windows. They show off what the food would look like if you ordered it, and are VERY helpful if you don’t read Japanese. But you probably wouldn’t want to eat the displays.

Plastic Food

Want to see more? 

I’ve already written about green tea / sweet potato ice cream swirl and conveyor belt sushi, which would both fit into the fast food category. And look out for a post on school lunches coming soon. I’ve got to get all of these Japan posts up, because my second trip of the summer is coming up. I leave for Iceland on Saturday!

Categories: Japan

37 replies »

  1. Wow! America really should have green tea Kit- Kats. I heard that Japan also has Wasbi Kit-Kats. Have you seen any vending machines that have fast food in them?

    • Well, I saw vending machines that print out tickets, and then you trade the ticket for your meal. But I don’t think I saw ones with the actual cooked food in the machine. I did see soup machines though! It was like a beverage machine, but the liquid was hot soup to drink. Yum!

  2. I think it’s very cool that Japanese people have their own fast food and the food looks very good and it’s cool that you went to go visit Japanese fast food

  3. Some of the food looked so good! I like the idea of ordering from a machine? Do you still tip the waiter? So I don’t think I would like any caramel that tasted like lamb either.

  4. I think the machines to order your food is a pretty neat idea. When my family and I went to Disney we ate lunch at the Beauty and the Beast castle. They had a similar machine to order your food. Although I love Kit Kats, I’m not too sure about the green tea ones. I would totally stay away from the lamb caramel too.
    Kyle E.

  5. Mmmmm! I love ramen noodles and so do people in Germany. When I was there I saw ramen shops everywhere. Wow! I didn’t know American food chain are I different country’s too.

  6. Mmmmm! I love ramen noodles and so do people in Germany. When I was there I saw ramen shops everywhere. Wow! I didn’t know American chains were there too. Also Japanese food courts look really nice and all the fried foods look delicious

  7. ‘They even had lamb flavored caramels! Gross! I bought some and brought some home if you want to try it. But I wouldn’t recommend it.‘

    Hi there, you said that you ‘bought some home if you want to try it’ in regards to the lamb flavoured caramels. I would like to try some please! My address is: 37 Goodall Rod in Gondwana SW12 9AJ and please make the package out to ‘Raymond’. I can exchange you a jackfruit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s