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Top 10 Fast Food Chains in Japan

fast food feature

In this post, I take a look at the top fast food chains in Japan.

We’ll learn:

  • What types of food is “fast food” in Japan
  • The 10 most popular fast food brands in Japan
  • List of 100+ other fast food chains

Let’s get started!

What is fast food in Japan?

First, what exactly is considered “fast food”?

Merriam-Webster dicitionary defines fast food as:

“of, relating to, or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly.”


It’s sort of broad, but we’ll go with that.

Based on this definition, fast food in Japan includes all the typical Western fast foods (burgers, fried chicken, pizza, etc.), as well as Japanese foods like gyudon, ramen, soba, takoyaki, bento boxes and more.

As a result, there are a TON of fast food chains in Japan. Even some sushi shops can be considered fast-food.

Top 10 Fast Food chains in Japan (by popularity)

For this list, I have decided to use a more analytical method — the stores are ranked based on their monthly search volume (from Google Japan).

If two restaurant brands have similar search volume, then I compared them using Google Trends to see which is more popular.

The flaw to this method is that people may be searching a restaurant for other reasons than eating (e.g. a news scandal, special promotion, etc.). I think it is still a decent thermometer method to use though.

Based on my research, here are the top 10 fast food chains in Japan. Scroll down for a quick detailed description of each one.

  1. McDonald’s (マクドナルド)
  2. Sukiya (すき家)
  3. KFC (ケンタッキー)
  4. Sushiro (スシロー)
  5. Domino’s Pizza (ドミノピザ)
  6. Kura Sushi (くら寿司)
  7. Hamasushi (はま寿司)
  8. Mos Burger (モスバーガー)
  9. Marugame Noodles (丸亀製麺)
  10. Tie between: Yoshinoya (吉野家) and Matsuya (松屋)

1. McDonald’s (マクドナルド)

mcdonalds japan tokyo

Perhaps to no one’s surprise, McDonald’s is the most popular fast food chain in Japan (and the world).

The first McDonald’s Japan store opened in 1971 in Ginza, Tokyo. There are now over 2,900 stores across the country, employing around 140,000 staff, with sales of about ¥352 billion yen (approximately $2.5 billion USD)

McDonald’s Japan serves all the classic favorites, as well as some uniquely Japan items like shrimp burgers, and teriyaki chicken burgers.

A Big Mac costs about ¥650 ($4.50 USD), and a Big Mac meal costs around ¥950 ($6.70).

According to the the WSJ, McDonald’s Japan has the best service in the world (compared to other McDonald’s worldwide)1

Interesting note: In Tokyo region, McDonald’s is commonly called “Makku” (マック), while in Osaka region it is known as “Mac-doh” (マクド).

2. Sukiya (すき家)

sukiya japan

Sukiya is the largest, and most popular gyudon (beef rice bowl) chain in Japan.

Other than gyudon, they also serve other types of donburi, curry, and teishoku (i.e. Japanese set meals).

The first Sukiya opened in 1982 in Yokahama Japan. They currently have over 2000 stores across the country, with annual sales of approximately ¥172,266 million yen (about $1.2 billion USD)2

A standard gyudon (M size) cost just around ¥400 ($2.82 USD). You can add a set (soup and salad) for just ¥190 ($1.35 USD)

Sukiya also has shops around the world including China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brazil, and Mexico.

Interesting note: Sukiya’s parent company Zensho also owns other popular chain restaurants like Nakau, Coco’s, and Lotteria.

3. Kentucky Fried Chicken (ケンタッキーフライドチキン)

kfc tokyo japan

Like most other people in the world, Japanese people love their fried chicken.

KFC is the third most popular chain restaurant in Japan. It is typically simply referred to as “Kentucky” (ケンタッキー).

The first KFC opened in 1970 in Nagoya. There are currently over 1100 stores throughout Japan, with annual sales of approximately ¥99,926 million yen (approx. $700 million USD).

A 2-piece chicken combo (w/ drinks and fries) cost around ¥940 ($6.65 USD).

Interesting note: In Japan, it is tradition to eat KFC on Christmas. One theory of why this happened is that foreigners living in Japan couldn’t get turkey. So, instead they ate KFC. The company decided to use this as a promotion in 1974, and it became popular to eat KFC on Christmas.

4. Sushiro(スシロー)


Sushiro is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant (i.e. kaiten-sushi 回転寿司). They are the largest sushi chain in Japan.

The first Sushiro opened in 1984. They now have over 600 stores around the country, with annual sales of ¥213.2 billion yen (approx $1.5 billion USD).

Sushiro also has stores in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China.

At conveyor belt sushi restaurants, you typically pay for each plate of sushi you eat. Sushiro prices start from around ¥120 per plate (2 pieces of sushi), and go up to ¥260 per plate ($1.85 USD).

Interesting note: In January 2023, a video surfaced of a customer licking soy sauce bottle/cups/sushi and placing them on the conveyor belt for other customers to use. This caused the company’s stock value to plummet, as people no longer wanted to go to Sushiro. The company has since sued the customer for ¥67 million yen (approx $480,000 USD).

5. Domino’s Pizza (ドミノピザ)

dominos japan

Domino’s Pizza was the first pizza delivery chain in Japan. They are still the largest pizza delivery chain in the country.

The first Domino’s opened in 1985 in Ebisu, Tokyo. They currently have over 900 stores across Japan with annual sales of ¥81 billion yen (approx $570 million USD).

A medium sized pizza costs around ¥1500 yen ($10.50 USD).

Some unique flavors include Spicy Mayo & Mochi, Hokkaido 3-cheese, and Char-grilled Chicken Teriyaki. Domino’s Japan also has “Pizza Rice Bowls”, which is basically pizza toppings served on top of rice.

Interesting note: Domino’s is the only pizza chain with a store in all 47 prefectures.

6. Kura Sushi (くら寿司)

kura sushi japan

Kura Sushi is another popular conveyor belt sushi chain (i.e. kaiten-sushi 回転寿司)

The first Kura Sushi opened in 1977 in Sakai City, Osaka (which is also famous for making Japanese knives) . They now have over 500 stores around the country, with annual sales of ¥180 billion yen (approx $1.3 billion USD).

Kura Sushi also has stores in Taiwan and the United States.

A plate of sushi at Kura Sushi starts at around ¥115 (2 pieces), and goes up to ¥250 per plate. Kura Sushi also serves ramen, udon, and donburi at their restaurants.

Interesting note: After you eat 5 plates, you get a chance to win a small prize/toy. (びっくらポン)

7. Hamasushi (はま寿司)

hama sushi japan

Hamasushi rounds out the “big three” conveyor belt sushi chains in Japan (along with Sushiro and Kura Sushi).

The first Hamasushi opened in 2002 in Ashikaga. They have expanded rapidly, and already have over 500 stores across Japan. They also have stores in Taiwan.

Part of the reason for their quick expansion is that they are part of Zensho Group; the same parent company as #1 gyudon chain Sukiya (i.e. they have a lot of money).

Hamasushi is the cheapest of the big three sushi chain restaurants. Plates of sushi start at just 110 yen.

Interesting Note: Hamasushi provides 5 different types of soy sauce for customers to use.

8. MOS Burger(モスバーガー)

mos burger japan

MOS Burger is the second largest burger chain in Japan, just behind McDonald’s.

The first MOS Burger restaurant was founded in 1971 in Tokyo, Japan. There is now over 1200 locations throughout Japan, as well as 400 locations overseas (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia).

MOS Burger’s total sales in Japan in 2022 was about 85 billion yen (approx. 600 million USD).

A standard MOS burger costs around 450 yen. A set (burger, drink and fries) will cost about 900 yen.

MOS Burger has plenty of unique menu items not found at typical American burger places. The most unique / famous product is their Rice Burgers, which uses a bun made out of rice.

Interesting note: “MOS” stands for “Mountain, Ocean, Sun”.

9. Marugame Noodles(丸亀製麺)

marugame noodles japan

Marugame is the only noodle restaurant in the top 10. They specialize in udon and tempura.

The restaurant started in 2000, and currently has over 800 locations across Japan. Their total sales in 2022 was over 102 billion yen ($720 million USD).

They also have over 200 stores around the world in the USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and England.

A standard bowl of udon (i.e. kake udon) cost just 390 yen. Tempura costs 100 to 200 yen (per piece).

Marugame is part of Toridoll company, which also owns other restaurant brands like Kona’s Coffee, Tori Doll, and Ton-ichi.

Interesting note: The restaurant is named after Marugame City (Kagawa Prefecture), which is famous for Sanuki udon. Interestingly, they do not actually have a store location in Marugame City.

10 (tied). Yoshinoya (吉野家)

yoshinoya japan photo

Yoshinoya is another popular gyudon (beef bowl) restaurant chain. It is easily the oldest chain restaurant in Japan.

The company started WAY BACK in 1899 in Tokyo. There are now over 1200 locations throughout country. Yoshinoya used to be the largest gyudon chain in Japan, but was surpassed by Sukiya back in 2008.

Yoshinoya is the most international Japanese fast food chain though, with over 900 store locations overseas (United States, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, etc.).

The company had annual sales of about $168 billion yen (approximately $1.1 billion USD), although this number also includes Yoshinoya’s subsidiary companies.

Other than gyudon, Yoshinoya also sells various types of donburi, teishoku, curry, and even soba.

A standard, medium-sized gyudon at Yoshinoya costs 450 yen. A set (salad and soup) costs and additional 195 yen.

Interesting note: Yoshinoya Holdings Co is also the parent company of the popular Hanamaru restaurant chain, which sells udon noodles.

10 (tied). Matsuya(松屋)

matsuya japan

Matsuya rounds out the “big three” gyudon restaurants in Japan.

The business started in 1966 in Tokyo. They now have just over 1200 locations throughout the country. Its total sales in 2022 was about 94 billion yen (666 million USD).

Matsuya is the least international of the gyudon chains, with overseas locations only in China and Taiwan.

Similar to Yoshinoya and Sukiya, Matsuya also sells various types of donburi, teishoku, and curry dishes.

Matsuya parent company (Matsuya Foods Holdings Co.) also operates some smaller restaurant brands that sell tonkatsu, steak, Chinese food, ramen, and curry. They also have businesses in kitchen repair/construction, laundry, and food delivery.

Interesting note: Matsuya actually started out as a Chinese restaurant in 1966, but opened a gyudon restaurant just a couple years later. The original Chinese restaurant then closed in 1969.

List of all fast food chains in Japan

Here is a sortable and searchable list of over 100 fast food chains in Japan. (Source)

English NameJapanese NameType of Food
Wendy's ウェンディーズBurger
Mos Burger モスバーガーBurger
Mcdonald's マクドナルドBurger
Lotteria ロッテリアBurger
Kua'aina クアアイナBurger
Jeff Okinawa ( Okinawa Island Only) ジェフ沖縄Burger
Freshness Burger フレッシュネスバーガーBurger
First Kitchen ファーストキッチンBurger
Dom Dom Hamburger ドムドムハンバーガーBurger
Burger King バーガーキングBurger
Burger City バーガーシティBurger
Big Boy ビッグボーイBurger
Becker's ( Kanto Area Only) ベッカーズBurger
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen ポパイズ・ルイジアナ・キッチンChicken
Kentucky Fried Chicken ケンタッキーフライドチキンChicken
Lucky Pierrot ( Oshima Area Only) ラッキーピエロ(渡島地方のみ)Curry
Go Go Curry ゴーゴーカレーCurry
Curry Shop C&C カレーショップC&CCurry
Coco Ichibanya CoCo壱番屋Curry
Champion Curry チャンピオンカレーCurry
Yoshinoya 吉野家Donburi / Gyudon
Yayoi Eaves やよい軒Donburi / Gyudon
Tokyo Power Meshi 東京チカラめしDonburi / Gyudon
The Don ザ・どんDonburi / Gyudon
Tendon/Tempura Honpo Santen 天丼・天ぷら本舗 さん天Donburi / Gyudon
Tendon Tenya 天丼てんやDonburi / Gyudon
Sukiya すき家Donburi / Gyudon
Nadai Una Toto 名代宇奈ととDonburi / Gyudon
Matsuya 松屋Donburi / Gyudon
Katsuya かつやDonburi / Gyudon
Kaneko Hannosuke 金子半之助Donburi / Gyudon
Gyudon Taro 牛丼太郎Donburi / Gyudon
Dontei どん亭Donburi / Gyudon
Dondonan どんどん庵Donburi / Gyudon
Mister Donut ミスタードーナツDonuts
Dunkin DonutsダンキンドーナツDonuts
Dairy Queen デイリークイーンIce Cream
Taco Bell タコベルMexican
Omusubi Gonbei おむすび権米衛Onigiri
Strawberry Cones ストロベリーコーンズPizza
Sbarro スバーロPizza
Pizza Hut ピザハットPizza
Pizza California ピザ・カリフォルニアPizza
Domino Pizza ドミノ・ピザPizza
Chicago Pizza Factory シカゴピザファクトリーPizza
Yoshimura Family 吉村家Ramen
Yangzhou Businessman 揚州商人Ramen
Yamaoka Family 山岡家Ramen
Todai Ramen東大Ramen
The Best In The World 天下一品Ramen
Tenri Stamina Ramen 天理スタミナラーメンRamen
Taste Clock Tower 味の時計台Ramen
Suwaki Koraku Chinese Soba すわき後楽中華そばRamen
Sun Tomato Noodles 太陽のトマト麺Ramen
Sugakiya スガキヤRamen
Special 特一番Ramen
Shirakaba Villa 白樺山荘Ramen
Shinza 神座Ramen
Saika Ramen 彩華ラーメンRamen
Rokurinsha 六厘舎Ramen
Reckless 無鉄砲Ramen
Ramen-Do Sendai ラーメン堂仙台っ子Ramen
Ramen Zundoya ラー麺ずんどう屋Ramen
Ramen Yokozuna ラーメン横綱Ramen
Ramen World らーめん世界Ramen
Ramen Tonta ラーメンとん太Ramen
Ramen Shop ラーメンショップRamen
Ramen Santoka らーめん山頭火Ramen
Ramen Sanpachi ラーメンさんぱちRamen
Ramen Octagon らーめん八角Ramen
Ramen Kairikiya ラーメン魁力屋Ramen
Ramen Kagetsu Arashi らあめん花月嵐Ramen
Ramen Jiro ラーメン二郎Ramen
Ramen Fuku ラーメン福Ramen
Ramen Family らーめんふぁみりーRamen
Ogiya Ramen おおぎやラーメンRamen
Noodle Shop Musashi 麺屋武蔵Ramen
No. 8 Ramen 8番らーめんRamen
Nintama Ramen にんたまラーメンRamen
Nantsuttei なんつッ亭Ramen
Mutsumiya むつみ屋Ramen
Mongolian Tanmen Nakamoto 蒙古タンメン中本Ramen
Moment Of Kuidang 一刻魁堂Ramen
Marugen Ramen 丸源ラーメンRamen
Lai Lai Ting 来来亭Ramen
Kyushu Jangara 九州じゃんがらRamen
Kyushu Chikuho Ramen Mountain Hut 九州筑豊ラーメン山小屋Ramen
Kurumaya Ramen くるまやラーメンRamen
Kourakuen 幸楽苑Ramen
Kokuya 古久家Ramen
Knot Bone Noodles Taizo 節骨麺たいぞうRamen
Kinkyuemon 金久右衛門Ramen
Kazekaze Ramen 風風ラーメンRamen
Igakuya 壱角家Ramen
Ichiran 一蘭Ramen
Hope Pavilion 希望軒Ramen
Hidakaya 日高屋Ramen
Hakata Tenjin 博多天神Ramen
Hakata Sanki 博多三氣Ramen
Hakata Ippudo 博多一風堂Ramen
Hakata Ikkosha 博多一幸舎Ramen
Hakata Furyu 博多風龍Ramen
Gutan 古潭Ramen
Ganso New Tantanmen Honpo 元祖ニュータンタンメン本舗Ramen
Furaiken 風来軒Ramen
Fukushin 福しんRamen
First Wisteria 藤一番Ramen
First Asahi 第一旭Ramen
East Noodle House 東麺房Ramen
Dosanko どさん子Ramen
Chirimen-Tei ちりめん亭Ramen
Chinese Noodles Aoba 中華そば青葉Ramen
Champontei Sohonke ちゃんぽん亭総本家Ramen
Ajisen Ramen 味千ラーメンRamen
Ajihei あじへいRamen
Ah Hakata Humanity あぁ博多人情Ramen
175°Deno Dandan Noodles 175°DENO担担麺Ramen
Yamada Udon 山田うどんSoba / Udon
Umemoto 梅もとSoba / Udon
Tsurutontan つるとんたんSoba / Udon
Ringer Hat リンガーハットSoba / Udon
Nakau なか卯Soba / Udon
Miyako Soba 都そばSoba / Udon
Marugame Noodles 丸亀製麺Soba / Udon
Komoro Soba 小諸そばSoba / Udon
Hanamaru Udon はなまるうどんSoba / Udon
Hakone Soba 箱根そばSoba / Udon
Famous Fuji Soba 名代富士そばSoba / Udon
Yudetaroゆで太郎Soba / Udon
Soup Stock Tokyo スープストックトーキョーSoup
Sushiro スシローSushi
Kura Sushi くら寿司Sushi
Kappa Sushi かっぱ寿司Sushi
Hamazushi はま寿司Sushi
Genki Sushi 元気寿司Sushi
Tsukiji Silver Octopus 築地銀だこTakoyaki / Okonomiyaki
Koga School 甲賀流Takoyaki / Okonomiyaki
Jumbo Sohonten じゃんぼ総本店Takoyaki / Okonomiyaki
Dotonbori 道とん堀Takoyaki / Okonomiyaki

What’s your favorite?

The top 10 Japanese fast food restaurants includes three gyudon shops, three sushi places, two burger joints, one pizza place, and one noodle shop.

Sukiya and Matsuya are definitely my go-to fast food places when I’m in Japan.

Which is your favorite?

Or, did I miss one on my list?

In any case, let me know in the comments below!

Chef Goku

Chef Goku

Chef Goku is the founder and sole operator of The Chef Dojo. He loves Japanese food, and has lived in and out of Japan for many years. He started this blog in 2018 to share everything he learns about Japanese food and cooking. He is also a self-certified Japanese knife nerd. Contact Chef Goku

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