Japan and Fast Food

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The article introduces the history of fast food in Japan. It mainly focuses on McDonalds, but it does mention a few other restaurants such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, MOS Burger, and Mr. Donut. These restaurants are thought more of a social gathering place for families and friends to get together and converse and spend time with one another. Usually, most of the food purchased is shared.

Fast food is not new in Japan, a fact that evident by the big array of fast food options that are available. Most of these options can be classified as “traditional Japanese fare”. Noodle shops at train stations, street vendors selling steamed sweat potatoes, chicken skewers, roasted corn on the cob, and boxed lunches are just a few of the many options available in Japan for a quick meal. The newest innovation to cuisine in Japan is the conveyor-belt sushi shops. It can be the ultimate quick food experience combing both traditional and modern characteristics of fast food delivery. Pieces of sushi float past dinners on a conveyor belt on individual plates. The customer can then choose the pieces they want and drink tea from self service spigots right at their seats. These sushi shops are able to offer dinners quick service, with little, to no interaction with the staff.

The article goes on to discuss how a person’s definition of fast food in Japan differs with age. The English term “fast food” translated into Japanese is fuasuto fudo. The food to which it refers to differs among whom you ask. Everyone has his or her own opinion of what fast food is. To some, it could be a piece of fruit bought at a convenience store for a snack, and to someone it else it could be a bowl of noodle soup. In America fast food is synonymous with unhealthy options, high in fat and calories. In Japan, it mostly refers to food that can be purchased easily and eaten quickly.

To most people in Japan the symbolic golden arches of McDonalds is very familiar. To others, they know what it...
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