Two kinds of beef, and a surprising amount of veggies, are keeping Tokyo’s otaku and businesspeople full.
Losing the carbohydrates gains you a taste of Kyoto cuisine.
Not satisfied with dominating only Japan’s cow cravings, Yoshinoya adds karaage to its menu in Akihabara.
Thanks, Obama (for lunch)!
Taking a trip to Mie Prefecture and Ise Shrine? Don’t forget to bring your camera, and your appetite too.
Beef bowls are cheap, tasty and filling, so does that mean they have to be bad for you?
In a lot of ways, Japan’s equivalent to the hamburger is the beef bowl, or “gyudon” as the locals call it. Tasty, fortifying, and cheap, beef bowls are so prevalent and popular in Japan that they essentially have their own strata in the personal food pyramids of many college students and bachelors.
Realizing that much of its customers’ bodies are literally made out of beef bowls, Japan’s largest gyudon chain is now embarking on a research project to investigate what happens after three months of eating the dish.
One unique feature of the Japanese restaurant scene is what’s called the shokken, literally “meal ticket,” system. At a shokken system restaurant customers select their meal and pay in advance at a vending machine near the entrance. The machine spits out a slip of paper which is then handed to the restaurant staff in exchange for the food.
Shokken are especially common at restaurants that specialize in budget-friendly fare like ramen and beef bowls, because they allow the restaurants to operate with a smaller staff to keep costs, and in turn the prices they charge, low. The shokken system eliminates the need for workers to spend time taking orders, ringing customers up, and giving change.
There are other upsides too, in that it’s often speedier and more accurate than placing an order with a waiter. Plus, the reduced amount of human interaction makes it a lot easier to pay with bloodstained bills, at least for a few months until someone catches on and the police haul you in.