Home » Adventures » Food » Favourite Fast Food Chains in Japan
Unagi grilled eel rice meal from Yoshinoya

Favourite Fast Food Chains in Japan

Author Mary Chong
This article may contain affiliate links. This means that clicking on or purchasing products we recommend through a link may earn us a small commission. As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information read our disclaimer page.

In this travel and food article, we share our favourite fast food chains in Japan to tempt your tastebuds for your next trip.

Japan is universally known for its good food. Sushi, ramen soup, udon noodles, tempura, teppanyaki, and izakaya are some of the fabulous choices available.

A common problem when travelling to any country where you don’t speak the language is ordering food. At many sit-down restaurants, the servers often don’t speak English, and there is no English menu available. Plus, you don’t really know what you are ordering if you use a translator app.

Looking for a travel journal and trip planner for your adventure? Check this out:

We’ve been surprised so many times by the dish served to us. Sometimes, it’s a good surprise, but sometimes, it’s not.

Sometimes, life is just easier if you eat at a chain restaurant.

Now, I’m not suggesting you spend your entire time in a foreign country eating at KFC, Subway, MacDonald’s, or Burger King (although you should check them out to see what local offerings they have available).

Read the article: McDonald’s Taro Pie – Memory Monday

The reason we occasionally frequent chain restaurants when we travel around the world:

  • Menus typically have lots of photos, so it’s easy to order.
  • Menus have an English version or a QR code to view an online English version.
  • The restaurant/menu is consistent between one city and another.
  • Budget-friendly and affordable.
  • Extended opening hours.
  • Some restaurants have allergen information readily available.
  • You’ll find primarily locals eating here.

Here is our go-to list of Fast Food Chain Restaurants in Japan


Fast food chain in Japan Yoshinoya

Our tradition is visiting Yoshinoya for our first meal in Japan. Not because it’s fabulous food but because it’s tasty, reliable, cheap, and open late (some 24 hours), and there seems to be one everywhere you look in Tokyo. After a long flight, we don’t want to search or think about where/what we will eat; we need to find something comforting to fill our belly and then get back to our hotel for a nap. 

Gyudon Beef, onion, rice bowl from Yoshinoya
Gyudon Beef, onion, rice bowl from Yoshinoya

My go-to dish is a bowl of thinly sliced beef sautéed with onions on rice for 450¥ – around $3US or $4CDN.

Oyakodon Chicken egg rice bowl from Yoshinoya
Oyakodon Chicken egg rice bowl from Yoshinoya

Ray loves the chicken sautéed with onions and lightly scrambled egg on rice for 547¥ – around $3.50US or $5CDN.

Unagi grilled eel rice meal from Yoshinoya
Unagi grilled eel rice meal from Yoshinoya

I splurged one evening because I was starving and decided to try the broiled eel rice box set with small beef for 1,579 ¥, ($10US or $14CDN) which was delicious. Conveniently, there is Yashinoya at Tokyo’s Narita airport now, too!


Exterior view of a line up to enter Matsuya -  a popular fast food chain restaurant in Japan

I’m not sure if Matsuya is a direct competitor to Yoshinoya, but they do seem to offer similar menu items in that they serve meat rice bowls. A few differences: they offer free rice refills, they have beef short rib on their menu, and they have different bottles of sauce for dipping at the table, so make sure you try them all.

Short rib combo plate from Matsuya

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Order the Beef Short Rib because it was delicious!

Tendon Ten Ya

Exterior view of Tendon Ten Ya - a popular fast food chain restaurant in Japan

In Japanese, a tendon is not a muscle; in English, a tendon is not a shrimp.

Tendon Ten Ya specializes in tempura—fish or vegetables served with a soy-based dipping sauce and accompanied by rice or soba noodles, salad, and pickles. We only visited Tendon Ten Ya once near the end of our last visit to Japan and regret that we didn’t discover this restaurant sooner. The tempura is very fresh-tasting, and the panko batter is crisp and not oily or soggy.

Shrimp Tempura with ramen noodle meal from Tendon Ten Ya in Japan
Tempura with hot soba noodle soup
Soba noodle shrimp tempura meal from Tendon Ten Ya
Tempura with cold soba noodles

Mos Burger

MOS Burger - Japanese Fast Food Review by Calculated Traveller. MOS Rice Burger Yakiniku
Mos Burgers Riceburger

I’ve written about the popular fast food chain Mos Burger before << click the hyperlink to read the full article. In a nutshell, if you are a burger fan, you need to try Mos Burger in Japan. Made with quality ingredients, everything here tastes so fresh compared to the American fast food chains (sorry) MacDonald’s or Burger King. If you don’t see one on your travels through Japan, there is a Mos Burger (with a Café) conveniently located at Narita Airport.

Mos Burger at Narita Airport in Japan

7-Eleven in Japan

Okay, it’s not exactly a fast-food restaurant chain but a convenience store chain (aka Konbini). Every YouTuber who’s been to Japan has talked about 7-Eleven, so I’m not going to write that much about it except to tell you about my favourite foods.

Steamed Pork Bun from fast food chain restaurant 7-Eleven in Japan

Warm, soft, fluffy steamed pork buns for 160¥ (around $1US or $1.40CDN) each make a great snack or breakfast.

Fami-chicki cutlet from 7-Eleven in Japan

“fami-chicki” boneless fried chicken for 220¥ (around $1.50US or $2CDN) is all white breast meat. It’s great on its own but makes a great addition to an instant ramen noodle bowl.

Pork Tonkatsu from 7-Eleven in Japan
Pork Tonkatsu with Egg on Rice from 7-Eleven

The ready-to-heat meals are very fresh and perfect to take back to your hotel since all hotels in Japan have a microwave or kettle available.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: In Japan, it’s impolite to eat while you walk, so be prepared to eat your food inside the store or take it to go to eat at your hotel.

Favourite Fast Food Chain in Japan. In this travel and food article, we share our favourite fast food chains in Japan to tempt your tastebuds for your next trip.

Conclusion: Japanese Fast Food Restaurants

In conclusion, don’t discount the idea of eating at a fast-food restaurant chain when visiting Japan. Fast food in Japan is budget-friendly, ordering from the menu is stress-free, and it’s the ultimate way to truly “eat local.”

Looking for more articles about Japan? Check out: