Tag Archives: マック

Big America is back

18 Dec

About two years ago, McDonalds Japan offered, for a limited-time, four original burgers that were collectively known as “Big America“.
Individually they were the “Texas Burger“, “New York Burger“, “California Burger” and the “Hawaiian Burger“.

Click here to read the post that I wrote about them.

Then, about one year ago, “Big America” returned to Japan with four new original burgers. These four were called “Big America 2” as a group.
They consisted of the “Texas 2 Burger“, “Idaho Burger“, “Miami Burger” and the “Manhattan Burger“.

The “Texas 2 Burger” and “Miami Burger” were, by far, the best of the eight “Big America” burgers, in my opinion.

Click here to read the post that I wrote about “Big America 2”.

And now McDonalds Japan is offering, for a limited time, the third set of “Big America” burgers.

The first one being offered is the “Grand Canyon Burger“. It’s available now at only two McDonalds locations in Tokyo…but it will available all over Japan from 2011 December 26 until 2012 January 4th.

Then, they’ll be selling the “Las Vegas Burger” starting in late January (2012).

Then, in mid-February (2012), the “Broadway Burger” will be on the menu.

And finally, starting in early March (2012), the “Beverly Hills Burger” will be available.

Some other limited-time menu items coming to McDonalds in Japan include:

"Blueberry Cream-cheese Pie" (starting 2012 Jan 4)

"Creamy Ranch" McNugget sauce (starting 2012 Jan 4)

"Maple Custard Pie" (starting early Feb 2012)

"Spicy Buffalo (Wing)" Chicken McNugget sauce (starting early Feb 2012)

"American-Cherry" Milkshake (starting early March 2012)

"Sweet and Sour" Chicken McNugget sauce (starting early 2012)

What unique menu items does McDonalds offer in your area?

Big America

27 Dec

McDonalds Japan will be offering four new versions of their “Quarter Pounder” burger starting next month.
Only one of the new burgers will be available at a time though.

All four of the new burgers are known as “Big America burgers. And individually they are: “Texas Burger“, “New York Burger“, “California Burger“, and “Hawaiian Burger“.

The first of the four that will be available is the “Texas Burger“. It will be available starting on 2010 January 15.
It has bacon and BBQ sauce.

Next will be the “New York Burger“. It will go on sale in early February 2010.
It’ll be like a BLT meets a Quarter Pounder“…bacon, lettuce and tomato on the burger.

Then in late February 2010, the “California Burger” will be the one available.
It’ll have Monterrey Jack cheese.

And finally, in March 2010, the “Hawaiian Burger” will be on the menu.
It’ll have a egg and is called a Hawaiian Loco-moco style burger.

On the McDonalds Japan website, visitors an click a button if they intend to try all four of the Big America burgers. When I checked the site, it said that “105,423 people will try all four burgers“.

To me, none of them sound all that special. I don’t think I’ll buy any of them.
How about you? Which of them sounds good to you? Would you try all four?

Are these burgers available at McDonalds in your country…or is it only in Japan?

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Anyways, the Xmas decorations went down yesterday in Japan and were replaced with the traditional Japanese New Years decorations.

New Years is Japan’s biggest holiday.

Here’s a New Years window display at a store that my family and I went to today.

And while we were out, we passed a little league baseball game near the river:

ゲゲゲの鬼太郎ハッピーセット

2 Jun

「マックドナルド」 (McDonalds Japan) is currently offering 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou) toys with their 「ハッピーセット」 (“Happy Set” (Kids Meal)).

kitaro2

ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou) is a Japanese アニメ (anime cartoon) that I like.

鬼太郎&目玉オヤジ

鬼太郎&目玉オヤジ

The artist and creator of the 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou) cartoon is 水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki).

水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki) was interested in Japanese 妖怪 (ghouls) since his childhood.
Many of the characters he draws are inspired by traditional Japanese ghosts and ghouls (just as the West has Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, etc…Japan has their own monsters).

Ukiyoe picture of a Japanese 妖怪 (monster).

Ukiyoe picture of a Japanese 妖怪 (monster).

水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki) was left-handed, and drew all of his art with his left-hand, of course…but he was in the Japanese Army during WW2 and he lost his left arm during an Allied air raid. So he taught himself to draw using his right-hand!

He has drawn many WW2 cartoons and pictures…and many 妖怪 (ghouls) cartoons. He is most famous for his 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou) comics.

In Japan, you can find 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou) マンガ (comics), アニメ (cartoons), 映画 (movies), T-shirts, toys, postcards, cell-phone straps, etc…

The story of 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou) is about the main character 「鬼太郎」 (Kitaro) who is a 妖怪 (ghoul) with one eye and an assortment of powers who helps protect humans from evil 妖怪 (ghouls).

He is joined by his father 「目玉オヤジ」 (Medama-oyaji), who is basically just an eye-ball with a small body, and a group of friends who include 猫娘 (Neko-musume (Cat-Girl)), and ねずみ男 (Nezumi-Otoko (Rat-man)).

It’s a fun show. The cartoon is on Sunday mornings at 9:00 (although I seldom watch the cartoon…I did see both of the live-action movies with my family at the theaters).

All of my kids are too old for the McDonalds 「ハッピーセット」 (“Happy Set“) so I probably won’t get any of these characters, though.

Western Stores in Tokyo

14 Feb

Many overseas companies want to open shops in Japan.
The Japanese market is very lucrative…for companies that prove to be popular here. But the Japanese consumer is very finicky. Companies that don’t meet Japanese expectations are doomed to fail.

For example, the American donut company, Dunkin’ Donuts, is popular in America. But when they opened stores in Japan, the Japanese people found their donuts too sweet…and Dunkin’ Donuts was  unable to stay in Japan.

dunkin-donuts1

On the other hand, the less-sweet American donut chain Mister Donuts is very popular in Japan. (Ironically, Mister Donuts isn’t very popular in America).

misdo

"Mister Donut" in Tokyo

Krispy Kreme Donuts set up shops in Tokyo recently, too.

krispy

Some American chains have been bought by a Japanese company and were brought here by their new Japanese owners. For example, the convenience store chain 7-Eleven was bought by the Japanese department store Ito-Yokado. (A couple years ago Ito-Yokado changed the signs on their department stores to reflect their connection with the popular convenience store they own…their signs now say “Seven & i Holdings” on the Ito-Yokado stores.)

7-Eleven (and other convenience stores) are very popular in Japan. Japan is a small country, but there are almost twice as many 7-Eleven stores here than in all of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico combined!

Convenience stores in Japan are very different from their counterparts in America. Japanese convenience stores are great!

7-11

7 & i Holdings, the Japanese company that owns 7-Eleven also owns the restaurant chain Denny’s. Denny’s in Japan have a different menu than Denny’s in America. I like Denny’s Japan better (but that may be because I’ve been in Japan for awhile now, and I’m more used to Japanese style food).

デニーズ・レストラン「セブン&アイ HLDGS」 (Denny's Restaurant (Seven & i Holdings)

デニーズ・レストラン「セブン&アイ HLDGS」 (Denny

The American bakery Vie de France is in Japan, too. But it’s not American anymore either…Yamazaki Bread owns this company. I like Vie de France. Their bread is excellent.

vie-de-france

Of course, American fast-food chains are here…

mac

ケンタッ�ー (KFC) in Japan.

ケンタッキー (KFC) in Japan.

wendys

pizza-hut

shakeys2

dominos

I have wrote a post about Domino’s Pizza in Japan. Click here to see it.

I like Subway sandwich shop, alot. The Japanese Subway sandwich shop. The menu is much better at Subway Japan than the U.S. branches.

subway

There are Japanese fast-food restaurants, too.  These include MOS Burger, First Kitchen, and Freshness Burger (which has beer on the menu! 🙂 ). Occasionally you can still find a  Dom-Dom Burger, and there used to be a chain called Love Hamburger. Love Hamburger went out-of -business about 12 years ago and the U.S. chain Burger King bought all of the Love Burger shops and opened Burger King in Japan in the late ’90s…but they made the ill-fated decision to offer only a limited menu to test the Japanese market. That didn’t go over well and soon they went out-of-business in Japan, too.

But recently, Burger King decided to re-try the Japanese market…and I guess they learned from their past mistakes—they seem to be doing well in Japan now.

burger-king

There are also branches of Sizzler, Outback, and Tony Romas in Japan.

sizzleroutback

romas

All of these foreign companies that have stores in Tokyo (How many of these have stores in your town? Do you shop at any of these?):

bubba

tgif

red_lobster

el-torito

hrc

"Shell" Gas
"Mobil" Gas harley-japan1

citibank

starbucks "HMV" CD / DVD store "Tower Records" in 渋谷 (Shibuya, Tokyo)
"Disney Store", Tokyo gap hilton

prada

chanel

vuitton

"The Body Shop" in Tokyo

"The Body Shop" in Tokyo

"Godiva Chocolate" in Tokyo

"Godiva Chocolate" in Tokyo

claires2

Toys "Я" Us

Toys "Я" Us

There are other foreign companies here, too…but you get the idea.

All of these foreign companies have to keep on their toes and provide the service and products that the Japanese expect…and for each of these foreign stores in Japan, there are Japanese companies that provide similar products that they have to compete with.  But if the effort is worth it…Japan is the most profitable market for most of these companies.

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Anyways, today is Valentine’s Day.
My wife and daughters made delicious chocolate for me.
(Click here to read a post I wrote about Valentines Day in Japan).

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Quarter Pounder

29 Nov

When I came to Japan, McDonalds Japan had quite a different menu from the McDonalds® in America. It’s still different…but it seems to be becoming more and more similar.

In the 1990’s, McDonalds® in Japan didn’t have any really large burgers, drinks or fries. The food was sold in smaller sizes…a “large cola”, for example, at McDonalds® Japan seemed to about the size of a “medium” at the U.S. McDonalds®. Japanese people who visited America often would be surprised at the size of the food portions at restaurants there.

Also, McDonalds® here has always had some items on the menu that are unique to Japan…some of which are seasonal (such as the “Lettuce Pepper Burger” and the 月見バーガー (“Tsukimi Burger” *) and others are always on the menu (such as the 「てりやきマック・バーガー」 (“Teriyaki Mac Burger“)).

(* The 月見バーガー (“Tsukimi Burger“) is available every Autumn at McDonalds® in Japan. 月見 (Tsukimi) is a traditional Autumn moon festival. (Click here to visit “McDonalds Japan’s Tsukimi Burger page).)

tsukimi

But recently, McDonalds® Japan has added some larger “American style” burgers to their menu. First, was the 「メガマック (“Mega-Mac“)…with four beef patties!

mega_mac

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And more recently, McDonalds® Japan has brought the 「クォーターパウンダー」 (“Quarter-Pounder“)…and even the 「ダブルクォーターパウンダー」 (“Double Quarter-Pounder“) from America and added them to their menus here! (Japan doesn’t use the American system of measure…so noone here knows that the name “Quarter-Pounder” means that the burger is a ¼ pound of beef (about 114 grams)).

In addition to adding the 「クォーターパウンダー」 (“Quarter-Pounder“) to their menu in Japan. McDonalds® Japan has opened two Quarter Pounder Shops in Tokyo. These are McDonalds® owned…but the famous McDonalds® logo is nowhere on or in the stores! And the menu at these Quarter Pounder Shops consist of only two items: the 「クォーターパウンダー」 (“Quarter-Pounder“) and the 「ダブルクォーターパウンダー」 (“Double Quarter-Pounder“).
Click here to see the Quarter Pounder Shop website (日本語 (Japanese) only).

Due to McDonalds® success with these bigger burgers, other fast-food restaurants in Japan have also begun to include larger burgers in their menus now, too.
I think Japanese people should eat less fast-food and more tradional Japanese food.

I do like McDonalds® also, though…but we don’t eat any of those giant burgers. When we go to McDonalds®, it’s just for a regular size burger and coffee (cola or tea for the kids).
McDonalds® Japan has a “¥100” menu (about US $1.05*) with things like coffee, ice cream, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, McPork burger, etc all for ¥100. (Recently, some items on this menu, such as the cheeseburger and McPork, have gone up in price to ¥120 (about US $1.26*)).
(* The U.S. Dollar has weakened against the Japanese Yen recently).

If you want to see McDonalds® Japan’s menu…click here (it’s all in 日本語 (Japanese)).

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What type of 携帯電話 (cellular phone) do you use? Does it have alot of functions?
I use the most popular company in Japan: NTT DoCoMo.
My phone’s kinda old…so it doesn’t have the latest functions. But I don’t care. All I need is Email, Internet and the phone.
Like most people here, I mainly use my 携帯電話 (cellular phone) to send and receive emails. But I also use a website on it to check the train schedules.
My 携帯電話 (cellular phone) also has a photo camera and video camera that I occasionally use…and GPS that I never use.

Nowadays, people in Japan use their phone as a “wallet” (make purchases, including train fare, like a debit card), to watch TV, and like an I-pod®…in addition to email and internet.
Those functions are popular in Japan now.

This isn’t my 携帯電話 (cellular phone)…but it’s a popular style now:

docomo

Nokia, the Finnish cell-phone company, seems to be make very popular cell-phones in every country…except Japan.

Nokia came to Japan a couple of years ago with big plans to take over the lucrative Japanese market. But the Japanese were unimpressed with Nokia‘s products and design. I guess Nokia didn’t do enough market research before coming here and they didn’t offer what is popular here.
They just announced that they’re leaving Japan.
Vodafone, the large English cell-phone company, had a similar experience a few years ago. This company also, it seems, is quite popular overseas…so they came to Japan with high-hopes.
Two years ago, Vodafone Japan was bought out by a Japanese company called Softbank…and is currently the number two 携帯電話 (cellular phone) provider in Japan (NTT DoCoMo, the company I use, is number one here).