Japan Today

Shake Shack celebrates opening of first store in Japan

By Alexandra Hongo

Burger fans rejoice! New York’s beloved restaurant Shake Shack has finally arrived in Japan.

The long-awaited opening of Tokyo’s first Shack, located along the splendid gingko trees on Icho Namiki Avenue in one of Tokyo’s most posh areas, Aoyama, took place on Friday morning with hundreds of customers lining up for hours before the opening, including one fan who had been there since Thursday night.

A commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti, Vice President Michael Kark and officials from Sazaby League - Shake Shack’s official partner in Japan, which also brought Starbucks, Flying Tiger and other foreign brands into the country - took place at just before 11 a.m. as enthusiastic cheers from the crowd and staff escalated to the background music of Shack’s brass band.

Some 400 people had lined in front of the store from early morning and more and more kept flooding in toward noon. “I was afraid that no one would show up today,” Garruti told reporters, expressing his excitement at the more-than-expected turnout. “We are very excited to be here and very grateful to everyone who showed up today.”

The opening had a major sense of pure celebration and unity of joy for staff and customers alike as Garutti, Kark and Tokyo Shack’s main chef made sure that nobody got bored as they waited. The trio greeted and entertained people one by one, taking photos together, chatting and expressing their gratitude for the customers’ presence. “I lined up here since 9 p.m. last night,” Shack’s first customer, a young Japanese man, said as he rejoiced at the opening of what he described as his “favorite burger store.”

Shake Shack, the modern day “roadside” burger standing firmly for its 100% all-natural, antibiotic-free Angus beef burgers, is famous for also offering a fun and lively community gathering place, which Garrutti himself describes as “a place where people come together - not just fast food."

Tokyo’s Shack, inspired by the first-ever Shake Shack in New York City’s Madison Square Park, occupies 412 square meters and has 67 seats inside the store and 100 on the spacious terrace, which offer a good view of the autumn gingko leaves.

The store features Shake Shack’s signature items including everyone’s favorite ShackBurger - cheese, fresh lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce, finished with a buttered, toasted, soft potato roll (680 yen) as well as the bacon burger SmokeShack (880 yen) and the griddled-crisp flat-top hot dog Shack-cago Dog (580 yen), in addition to Shack Red or White wine, straight from Napa’s wineries.

Unique Japanese treats will also be served, including the “Black Sesame,” a black sesame shake (480 yen) and “Walk in the Park”, a vanilla custard ice cream with matcha, "kinako" (roasted soy bean flour) and yuzu-miso-caramel toppings of your choice (480 yen each).

Garutti told reporters that he looks forward to the opening of more stores in Japan in the future, although there are no concrete plans yet. "As of now, I just want to focus on this store and enjoy the opening," he said.

For more information on menu and opening hours, visit Shake Shack’s official website here.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Isn't it a bit rude to greet customers in sunglasses on a non-sunny day? And using a form of greeting (a handshake) most Japanese people are not that comfortable with? Could have used some more social orientation advice.

But wait - is that why it's called Shake Shack?

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

And using a form of greeting (a handshake) ah well its the international greeting isnt it, I think the glasses are meant to give a cool image and not trying to be rude. It is after all an American burger store. If you want a traditional greeting go to a sushi shop. Hell many sushi shops in Newyork greet you in the Japanese way, why cant an American shop greet you in the American/International way. It not as if Japanese could use the practice, limb fisted handshake anybody!?

7 ( +11 / -4 )


OK, fair enough if he did it on purpose.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Been to Shake Shack, seems always packed

0 ( +0 / -0 )

theeastisred: "OK, fair enough if he did it on purpose."

Why else do you think he would have done it? Isn't it even ruder to assume that an American chain, being celebrated for what it is and not for some kind of conformity, should NOT be what it is?

Anyway, hope one comes to Osaka before too long.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Why else? Lack of cultural awareness, as per initial comment. Must be one or the other and we don't know which.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

On one hand I want it sooo bad, on the other hand, going out by Jingu stadium is a pain in the ass. Maybe once lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And using a form of greeting (a handshake) most Japanese people are not that comfortable with?

are you stuck in the pre-meiji era or something? all japanese people shake hands. it's like asking a gaijin if they know how to use chopsticks. ridiculous!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Are people actually getting irked that this guy is shaking hands with people? People shake each others hands all the time here, it is in no way culturally inappropriate and thinking that it is is REALLY reaching for something to get annoyed by.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

" Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti... “I was afraid that no one would show up today,” Garruti told reporters"

Har! This is obviously Randy's first time to Japan!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I can't wait to enjoy the Shake burgers & other side orders on offer, now where is Icho Namiki Ave?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Now to wait for the sweet spot, 8 to 10 months from now, where there are no 90 minute lines, but before it leaves the Japanese market.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How long are they planning to stay in Tokyo?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So has anyone found out where it is? Strange it is not more explicit in the text. It seems to be near the Olympic Statium area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The second paragraph tells you where it is and you can find a map by clicking on the link at the end of the story.

In N out is my burger of choice!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Moderator, thank you! Now I found it. Well, at least I was right about where I thought it was. I'm going to try the black sesame shake, even though it is getting cold.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Never heard of them, but Congratulations, "Shake Shack"! Whatever you are.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Lack of cultural awareness, its a burger shop, what cultural awareness has that got to do with anything, if you look at the photo the girls are smiling guys taking a photo, seems there enjoying the experience. I dont get any "cultural awareness" when I get a bento from the local combini, mostly robotic responses from under paid staff wanting to be someplace else.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Isn't it a bit rude to greet customers in sunglasses on a non-sunny day?

Heh, no not at all. He's just trying to be cool, innovative and stir up some positive PR with locals.

Perhaps Japanese CEO's should trying something new too.

How long are they planning to stay in Tokyo?

LoL. The burgers speak for themselves partner. Do yourself a favor & keep patronizing Lotteria and MOS Burger.

In N out is my burger of choice

@goldnugget. Agree with you. Nothing like a triple-triple from In-n-Out Burger w/animal stlye french fries on the side.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

interesting, i want to try the cago dog, black sesame shake, ice cream with matcha and yuzu miso caramel topping, of course burger too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People paid to stand in line for these openings are called 'sakura.' This is Japan 101 stuff, everyone knows it and it violates no posting rules here., When I comment about it, my comment was deleted by the moderator?

The Internet will make you stupid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites