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Food For Thought The Return of the King
(Entered Jun. 08, 2007)
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It was a sad day 6 years ago when Burger King closed down in Japan. I remember clearly the confusion I felt when one of the shops I normally went to, suddenly disappeared. In consternation I rushed to a couple other BKs I knew around Tokyo only to find that business there, had also ceased. Burger King, the only fast food restaurant that mattered to me, was gone....
Fast forward to today, Friday June the 8th to the triumphant return of Burger King in Japan!

burger king Japan

One month ago I heard the news that BK was reopening here, and since then I've been waiting, rather impatiently, for this day. In a stroke of luck, my Friday morning class was cancelled, so I was free to get down to Shinjuku for the 10:00am opening ceremony and a Whopper Combo! My luck however, ended there.
Arriving at Shinjuku I-Land Tower, I found a milling throng around Burger King's entrance.

burger king Japan

To be honest, I was totally unprepared for a crowd. I mean come on! It was Friday, a regular work day. It was 10 in the morning. The shop was located in Shinjuku's West side, which is the business area, not the shopping or entertainment district. I figured that there would be a few people, but that I would be eating a Whopper in less than 10 minutes.
Not only were there people, there were TV crews all over the place. That blond haired guy on the left in the picture below is Dave Spector, who regularly appears on Japanese TV. He was interviewing people about their feelings on BK and blah blah.... This was also the beginning of the line up. Ok, now I just need to find the end. Should be nearby.

burger king Japan

First it went up some stairs. Geez, I guess I'm going to have to wait a bit after all!

burger king Japan

Then it went down the street and around a bend way off in the distance. WTF!?

burger king Japan

Then it turned another corner and vanished around another curve. Who invited all these damn people? Aren't you supposed to be working? Even stranger is that there was absolutely no advertising for this day. Can't understand how everyone knew!
Near the end of the line was some guy with a sign who told me the wait was going to be about three hours. Needless to say, I didn't get my Whopper Combo.

burger king Japan

Extremely disapointing to be sure. Well I'll try again next week, and if that fails, there's another Burger King opening up in two weeks even closer to my house. I'll just have to be more patient I suppose....



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