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[2019 Edition] 5 Affordable Chain Restaurants Currently Trending in Japan

There are times where you spend too much of your travel expenses on accommodation and shopping, so you need to cut back on your food budget for the day. This is where chain restaurants serving delicious meals at a cheap cost come in handy! Japan has a lot of chains that can be found all over the country. This article covers a wide variety of restaurants to match any situation, from places that are great to go to when you’re looking for a hearty feast, to spots offering a healthy menu. Here are 5 currently trending Japanese chain restaurants that serve set meals!

1. Karayama

Karayama is very popular for serving extremely filling, juicy karaage (deep-fried chicken) at a reasonable price. The high quality of their karaage is the secret to their popularity. The outer coating is crispy and the inside is tender, resulting in a truly delightful karaage masterpiece. For first-timers, the classic Karayama Teishoku (590 JPY (excl. tax)), which includes 4 large pieces of karaage made with chicken thigh, is highly recommended! You’ll be able to indulge in the burst of the chicken meat’s umami (Japanese savory taste), which is sealed inside the crispy coating. There are also many side options that you can eat with your karaage, such as the sauce and the fermented squid dishes on the tables, so that you can enjoy your meal with some variety. Another great point is that you can upgrade to a large serving of rice for free!

1. Karayama

New Shinbashi Bldg. 1F, 2-16-1 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

2. Aona

At Aona, you'll be able to feast on delicious gyukatsu (deep-fried beef cutlet) made with lean meat. The gyukatsu, with its exquisitely red inside, is deep-fried at a carefully calculated amount of time and temperature to produce an extremely tender and superb dish. Make sure to order the “Na” Marbled Kuroge Wagyu (1,680 JPY (excl. tax)). The sweetness from the refined fat of the marbled Kuroge Wagyu (a type of high-quality beef) will melt on your tongue! Try placing some Hon-wasabi (100 JPY (excl. tax)) on top of it when you eat it. The slight spiciness brings out the sweetness of the meat even further, so it’s highly recommended. From the salads made with domestic vegetables sent directly from farms, to Japanese rice that’s been carefully selected to best match the gyukatsu, their set meals make sure to take everything into consideration, and are definitely worth it!

2. Aona

Ishizuka Bldg. B1F, 1-6-3 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

3. Genchan

Genchan serves set meals that are made with fresh seafood that’s directly sent over from Tsukiji every morning. They serve sashimi, simmered fish, and grilled fish, but they also have an abundant meat menu, so it’s a great place to go to anytime! On the set meal menu for lunch, the recommended item is the Uogashi Fried Set Meal (950 JPY (excl. tax)), which features deep-fried seafood. The seafood’s rich umami, which is wrapped up in a crispy coating, matches beautifully with tartar sauce, creating an addictive flavor combination! What’s more, the rice is all-you-can-eat! The menu changes depending on which ingredients are available that day and which ingredients are in season, so check with the shop staff to see what you can order on the day you visit.

3. Genchan

AQUA CiTY ODAIBA 5F, 1-7-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo

4. Nakau

At Nakau, you can enjoy a reasonably priced set menu that focuses on Kyoto-style udon (thick noodles) and donburi (rice bowl dish) made with high-quality ingredients. In addition to a very abundant donburi menu, they offer a wide array of dishes like udon, soba (buckwheat noodles), and curry with rice, so you can come here for a meal with just about anyone! A recommended dish is their Oyakodon (490 JPY). This donburi is made with chicken procured from Nakau’s selected farms and premium eggs from chickens fed with specially developed fodder. It has a rich and deep flavor that’s just as good as oyakodon specialty restaurants. There’s a side menu where you can pick additional options such as the Salad Set (180 JPY), which comes with salad and miso soup, and the Egg Set (220 JPY), which includes premium eggs and tonjiru (pork and vegetable miso soup).

4. Nakau

1-7-7 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

5. Obondegohan

Obondegohan is a restaurant where you can order healthy, nutritionally balanced set meals. For main dishes, there are over 15 different selections of vegetable, meat, and fish dishes. You can also choose between 2 types of rice: white rice and multigrain hijiki (type of seaweed) rice. A popular dish on their menu is their Mugifuji Pork and Grated Vegetable Sauce Set Meal (1,329 JPY (incl. tax)). The vegetable sauce, which is made with grated carrots and onions, elevates the refined flavors of the Mugifuji pork loin. The set meal menu has a lavish selection of sides that includes salads, pickled vegetables, and soups, so you can enjoy a healthy and filling meal! There’s also an abundant lineup of Japanese-style desserts, so you can wrap up your meal perfectly with some sweets.

5. Obondegohan

LUMINE Kitasenju 8F, 42-2 Senju Asahi-cho, Adachi-ku, Tokyo

That wraps up this list of 5 trending chain restaurants with set meals in Japan. Fill yourself up with some delicious food at an affordable chain restaurant!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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