Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

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Judo and ice cream
Man holding a large sandwich

Why Subway is Dying in Japan - and Why Starbucks Keeps Growing

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  January 21, 2019 • Tagged with business, economy, food

While Subway stores in Japan shutter left and right, Starbucks thrives. Why has the one failed where the other succeeded?

Rice in the shape of Japan

Rice Flight: Why Japan is Eating Less Rice Than Ever (And Why That Won't Change)

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  January 14, 2019 • Tagged with food, health, economy, money, lifestyle

Japan is considered synonymous with rice. So why has consumption decreased steadily for decades?

Okonomiyaki

The Best Japanese Food Porn on Instagram: A Hashtag Guide

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  November 16, 2018 • Tagged with food, drink, culture, sake, bento, noodles, ramen

You don't need to know Japanese to appreciate good food. Here are some of the hashtags that people use to post about the scrumptious stuff they're eating.

Next time you go to Japan, make sure to enjoy these Western-style dishes delivered with a Japanese twist. (Picture: ささざわ / PIXTA(ピクスタ))

The 5 Best "Western" Foods (Yoshoku) You Should Eat While in Japan

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  November 01, 2018 • Tagged with food, drinking, culture, yoshoku

Next time you go to Japan, make sure to enjoy these Western-style dishes delivered with a Japanese twist.

Three brands of sake at a restaurant in Meguro, Tokyo.

Here's Why You (Think You) Hate Japanese Sake (日本酒)

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  October 16, 2018 • Tagged with alcohol, drinking, food, culture

Do you think you hate Japan's famous beverage made from fermented rice? There's likely a simple reason for that.

A diagram of the different cuts of the horse from Rocky, a horse specialty restaurant a short walk from Shibuya Station in Tokyo.

Looks Like Chicken: My First Time (Accidentally) Eating Horse in Japan

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  October 01, 2018 • Tagged with essay, food, drink, japanese

The first time I ate raw horse in Tokyo, it was all a big linguistic misunderstanding.

Aragaki Yui (

Zero-Second Chicken Ramen?! How Instant Ramen's Creator is Bringing Sexy Back to Its Products

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  September 05, 2018 • Tagged with news, entertainment, food

How do you boost sales of an instant noodle product that's been around for 60 years? Nissin found a way.

For $30 a month, this could all be yours...

News Japan: $30/Month for Unlimited Booze? Restaurants Find Success with Subscriptions

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  July 12, 2018 • Tagged with news, food, drink, entertainment

Would you pay $700 for a monthly steak subscription? Or $30/mo. for all you can drink at the local restaurant? Such programs are being more and more popular in Japan as businesses look for new ways to build loyalty.