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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Untold Tales of Japan: A Little Taste of Home

I was so shocked and saddened when I heard this on this news this morning!

Wendy's is pulling out of Japan!

Long time readers know of my love of Wendy's. As I occasionally point out, the only fan letter I've ever written was to Dave Thomas, telling him how much I love his burgers. And, during my year in Japan, my quest to visit Wendy's became all consuming. When I finally did find it, it always offered a little taste of home.

I only knew of two Wendy's, and those were the two I frequented. This first one was in the trendy Tokyo shopping disctrict of Shibuya. A co-worker of mine took me to it one day, where we had lunch. She also pointed out that it was just up the street from an English-language bookstore that was popular with us gaijin, so it became a regular ritual for me to go grab a Wendy's classic single, and then grab the latest issue of ToyFare magazine.

And then I discovered a second one in the trendy district of Harajuku. As I am an avid action figure collector, a friend of mine told me about a really good toy store in Harajuku called Kiddie Land. When I first ventured to Kiddie Land, again, I noticed that a Wendy's was just up the street. And in my waning days in Japan, it became a payday ritual to head to Harajuku, stock up on some rare Japanese action figures at Kiddie Land, grab a Wendy's burger, and head home.

Wendy's did have some regional differences on their Japanese menu...the best one for me was that their seasonal burger, the Bacon Mushroom Melt, is actually a regular menu item! You can have them year round! They also had their version of a fish burger, similar to McDonald's Fillet-o-Fish.

Oh, well. At least Wendy's is optimistic that they'll be returning some day.

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