If you’re reading this in America, there’s a good chance you’re simply enjoying a few moments away from the family. If you’re not celebrating Christmas, chances are your school/work is closed anyway, so enjoy the day off.
In Japan? Business as usual. Trains running on time, businesses open, and so forth. Nothing’s really special about the day, except what you have for dinner.
While the west focuses on children for Christmas and couples share New Year’s together, things are reversed in Tokyo. Couples share a gift on Christmas, while festivals and celebrations are held on New Year’s Day for the whole family.
There is one surprising thing about Christmas in Japan: Sanders beats Santa.
Yes, I mean the Colonel of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Since the early 1970′s (due to an immensely popular advertising plan), “Kentucky = Christmas” to Japan. With pre-ordered buckets of chicken, cake, and champagne, couples (and down the road, married couples with a child) will enjoy 11 herbs and spices. Forget eggnog, a Christmas Turkey, and milk and cookies left out overnight; fried chicken reigns supreme.
America’s fascination with Santa Claus can largely be tracked back to Coca-Cola advertising. Valentine’s Day is always criticized as a “Hallmark Holiday”. Is it any surprise that Colonel Sanders could be associated with Christmas in Japan? With only a tiny fraction of Japanese Christian, it’s a day to eat more than a day to celebrate.
How many hamburgers, sides, and drinks do you think you could finish in a 30-minute window? As a fast eater, I personally could probably tackle way more than a doctor would advise in the time it takes a normal television show to air with commercials.
Burger King (as usual, in Japan) is going to see what people do with a half-hour of unlimited eatings. Starting November 17th, consumers will be able to take part in a buffet from 2-11PM at their Japanese restaurants if they purchased a large Kuro meal (in the first four days) or one of four Whopper meals (for the rest of the promotion). The time limit starts from when they order their first meal and they can only go back for seconds (and thirds, and fourths) once they’ve finished it. The promo, named “BiKing”, is a play on the word “Viking”, leading to the mindset that, yes, vikings would be better suited at tackling this buffet than the average Burger King consumer.
I wish the pumpkin burger was included in their menu. Also, it’s far from the strangest food they’ve concocted.
In Japan, at least.
Starbucks is thriving on their Pumpkin Spice Latte. Bakeries are cranking out pumpkin pie by the pallet-full, Pop-Tarts are shoving pumpkin pie filling in their pastries, and so forth.
Pumpkins are in season, and they’re the highlight of the food world. Burger King of Japan decided to hop into the world with the “BK Pumpkin.”
“Kabocha“, which is effectively Japanese pumpkin (but is technically a squash) you’ve probably had it in tempura at a Japanese restaurant, is the newest topping on a Burger King hamburger in Japan. The rest of the burger is largely simple, with bacon, lettuce, a hamburger patty, all on a bun that’s specifically formed to look like a pumpkin. What joins the kabocha is a special “savory nut sauce”; sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts are blended together in one mix.
With two slices of kabocha, most are set. If you really wish to up the ante, you can get a “pumpkin bomb” for ten slices for 100 yen. While they’re selling the burger, 60 yen gets you two slices on any sandwich.