Photo: grape Japan

Return of the Mac: Burger King’s former rival in Akihabara is back and bigger than ever

By grape japan

On January 31, 2020, the McDonald's at Showa Dori in the Akihabara neighborhood of Tokyo closed its doors. As some of our readers may recall, the Burger King two buildings over left a touching tribute in a poster displayed at the front window for all to see, thanking their "rival and friend" for bringing "much happiness" for the past 22 years.

Echoing the sentiments of many who frequent the Akihabara area, the poster said: "Thinking of a future without McDonald-san fills us with sadness."

But cheer up Burger King-san, your old rival and friend is coming back!

As passers-by have surely noticed, the shiny new Chiyoda Terrace building now finishing construction has one very prominent feature: the Golden Arches.

And this time it looks like there are at least three floors, which means it may be larger than its neighboring Burger King store.

Taking a closer look at the signage, the apparently bigger Akihabara Showa Dori McDonald's, which is scheduled to officially open on April 1, is now recruiting part-time employees at a rate of 1,100 yen for high schoolers and up, and 1,350 yen for night shifts beginning from 22:00.

Photo: grape Japan

It's also drumming up excitement in the neighborhood with a large banner on the right saying: マクドナルドがやってくる! McDonald's is coming!

Anticipation for the return of the friendly fast-food rivalry between the two stores also played out on social media. For example, in a Tweet that got over 7,800 likes and nearly 3,500 retweets, user ヨダチン Yodachin (@yodachin0330) said:


The Tweet elicited many comments, such as:

"Woah, I missed them. I had so many fond memories there. I'm glad they're coming back!"

"Are we going to get a rematch?"

"McDonald's-san is like a Super Saiyan who's come back more powerful lol"

On their recruiting website for the location, McDonald's says: "We'd like to welcome those who want to make history with us!"

Will that history include more interesting episodes in McDonald's friendly rivalry with Burger King? Only time will tell. We'll have an update if anything happens after April 1.

Read more stories from grape Japan.

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-- Cute Doraemon wagashi returns to Japanese convenience stores for cherry blossom season

-- Go! Go! KYARY: Japanese curry chain Go Go Curry and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu collab on original goods

© grape Japan

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Good god, there are so many McDonald's in Tokyo, whether one returns to their original site is nothing but a tiny drop in the bucket. You could go to another three or four in the same general area.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I read this thinking there must be some national, or at least regional ramification to what appears to be a very local news story. There is not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

1100yen a hour? Could be a nice part time gig for most i guess. I am pretty sure Burger King isn't thrill to see their rival back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To succeed they will need to merge the concept with the weird cafes in Akihabara. Maybe a hamburger dressed as a maid?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once again the "Tokyo IS Japan reporting!" I guarantee that there are few, if any, people outside of Tokyo that actually care.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

its just Mcdonalds....Carl's is WWWAAAAYYYYY better anyway...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I passed by this location just yesterday to go to my favorite kebab shop in Tokyo.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The problem with McDonald’s in Japan is, the quality is so bad, not to say MD is good, but in Japan it’s just exceptionally horrible from the marketing to the presentation and quality. I have traveled to more than a dozen countries and their versions of MD blow the Japanese one away and like Speed said, there’re already more than enough MD throughout Tokyo, the last thing Tokyo needs is another MD, if anything how about looking at some of the other burger chains that would just crush MDJ.

If you want to eat junk food in portions at the very least you should eat decent higher quality junk food.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

BK has a plant-based whopper. McD has sweet FA. If I want my junk food fix, I know which one I'll pick.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Every King needs a Clown..

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

McD has sweet FA

GREAT Sweet song from Desolation Boulevard. Other than that, I dunno what that means.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Good News! LOVE Burger King with a Passion!

Every King needs a Clown..

really? do you know why McD's is so big?

the man who indroduced McD's to Japan is Den Fujita.

From his Wikipedia page*

After selling imported bags and shoes, Fujita seized on the opportunity to start McDonald's franchises in Japan in 1971. His strategy for selling McDonald's to the Japanese people involved the following statement: "The reason Japanese people are so short and have yellow skins is because they have eaten nothing but fish and rice for two thousand years... If we eat McDonald's hamburgers and potatoes for a thousand years we will become taller, our skin become white, and our hair blonde."[1]

I wouldn't be cheering on McDonalds if I were you.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

bass4funkMar. 31  06:21 pm JST

What I find amusing and quite sad actually is that you actually admitted to eating McD in over a dozen different countries...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is the Carl's Jr. in Akihabara still doing business?

I'd go there instead of to McDonald's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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