While traveling to Japan, you will find some of the most diverse and delicious food offerings in the world. There's a reason that umami was added to the flavor spectrum! However, if you're a tad homesick, you might have a hankering for some of the snacks you enjoy back home.
While you might be able to find similar products, these 10 American food brands boast a ton of products that vary vastly from their counterparts in the States. Though they may be different, we definitely suggest you expand your palette and give some of them a try, as you might be surprised at what you'll find! Keep reading to find a list of your favorite food brands that Japan has made their own.
This definitely is not the Denny's that's open 24 hours a day in our neighborhood! Denny's is one of the most well-known family restaurants in Japan, but their food is of purportedly higher quality than in America.
Some reviews have even called the establishment "gourmet Denny's," and after perusing the menu, it's easy to see why. They serve meals unique to Japanese culture like cheese omurice, vegetable curry, and even a green tea parfait for dessert!
9 Kentucky Fried Chicken
A Japanese KFC will offer the same finger lickin' good chicken that you know and love, but with some differences.
For starters, the Japanese do not typically order mashed potatoes and gravy to accompany chicken, but often opt for fries. The biscuits at KFC Japan are served in a sweet honey maple sauce, and look almost akin to doughnuts with their shape and cut! The Colonel is also a huge presence at Japanese KFC, right down to the employee uniforms and toys in the kids' meals!
There are a variety of Frito-Lay products available only in Japan that, while you're traveling, might make you forget about standards like barbecue and salt & vinegar!
Regular Lay's chips are sold in seaweed flavor in Japan, which makes sense, given that the Japanese typically consume more seaweed than Americans do. There are also Sushi Sea Urchin Corn Twists, shrimp & Onion Funyuns, Soy Sauce Cheetos, and Spicy Fried Chicken Cheetos!
Okay, we know that Doritos are technically produced by Frito-Lay, but the offerings are so plentiful that they need their own section! Ever fancied a Coconut Curry Dorito? Even if you haven't, you can try one in Japan, plus a whole lot more crazy and exotic flavors.
Doritos in Japan comes in mind-boggling flavors like tuna mayo, wasabi mayo, butter & soy sauce, fried chicken, and did we mention sausage? There are so many more varieties that listing them here would take all day. While some of these savory corn chips, like the flavors fondue and steak, sound interesting, we think we might leave others on the convenience store shelf.
Häagen-Dazs are well known to Americans as ice-cream wizards, purveyors to some of the yummiest flavors available in the grocery store. In Japan, they have definitely racked their brains for some of the wildest, out-of-this-world flavors.
Do you want to try salty butter biscuit ice cream? Or how about their "Spoon Vege" series of flavors that includes the likes of tomato/cherry and carrot/orange? There are also more familiar offerings like creamy mint and cocoa cookie & coffee almond, and others we wish we could try, like strawberry tiramisu and creme brulee. The choices are endless.
McDonald's is one of the largest restaurant corporations around, and they've made their way to more countries than we can count. Their menu in Japan contains the "traditional" American fast foods, but they also have a variety of menu items that put a cultural twist on some favorites.
At a Japanese McDonald's, you can expect to find a teriyaki burger, which consists of the signature McDonald's patty smothered in teriyaki sauce. There is also an Ebi-Shrimp Filet-O, akin to the Filet-O-Fish, that includes a shrimp patty with fixings. If you're missing the McRib, you might like the Bacon McPork, which consists of sausage and bacon in garlic pepper sauce!
If you're looking for that perfect snack break in Japan, then you might gravitate to the sweet wafer Kit-Kat! Be forewarned though — Japanese Kit-Kat flavors might be slightly strange if you're accustomed to American chocolate Kit-Kats.
Kit-Kats are sold throughout Japan in flavors like banana, strawberry, and kiwi. If you're looking to expand your candy horizons, try sweet potato or wasabi for a bolder, unconventional flavor!
If you're looking to add a bit of fizz to your meal, consider trying some of the unique Pepsi flavors available in Japan!
Pepsi has long had a tradition of releasing different flavors in Japan, such as cucumber in the mid-2000s, or sakura, during the viewing season of the famous Japanese cherry blossoms. Recently, however, Pepsi launched a new product, simply titled Pepsi Japan, the incorporates citrus flavor from the yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit. It just dropped last month, and is available in Zero and Special flavors as well!
In America, we have pumpkin spice season, but in Japan, sakura season is all the rage! While traveling to a Starbuck's in Japan is not all that different from its American coffee counterparts on a normal day, it is the corporation's seasonal Frappucino offerings that have catapulted it on to this list.
In seasons past, Japanese Starbucks has offered such tempting Frappucinos as Nectarine Peach & Tea, Tea & Cream, and Chocolatey Banana Cocoa. There was even an American Cherry Pie Frap with a pie crust on top! They are also famous for making beautiful, sweet Sakura Frappucinos every year in March, just in time to see the cherry blossoms.
1 Coke Products
There are so many different varieties of coke products in Japan that it's hard to count them all! Classic Coca-Cola is sold as a frozen concoction in a pouch with a hint of lemon, and honestly, we think that sounds like the perfect summer beverage! There was also a version of Coke called Coca Cola Clear launched in 2018 that was colorless, zero calorie, and lemon flavored!
Fanta is also available in a multitude of different flavors. Japan has golden grape, lychee, ume (sour plum), Fanta, and also more standard flavors like lemon, orange, and grapefruit.