Crowds gather as American fast food franchise, Taco Bell, reopens its first shop in decades in Tokyo's busy shopping district, Shibuya. Helena Williams reports.
It's not your typical Tokyo dish but tacos and burritos are back on the menu in Japan. Hundreds queued in the capital on Tuesday for the reopening of mouthwatering meal house Taco Bell. It is the first Japanese outlet to open in decades and for some, it couldn't come soon enough. SOUNDBITE: US national living in Tokyo, Steve Kurschel, saying (English): "I've been here for eight years, I've been to McDonald's, I've been to Burger King, I can't get the same thing no matter how hard I try. I've been here for a long time. I love fast food, but Taco Bell is different." The American fast food franchise wants a bite out of the Japanese restaurant market as Mexican food gains popularity in the capital, And especially in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. SOUNDBITE: President of Taco Bell International, Milissa Lora, saying (English): "Shibuya has so much energy, it's very youthful, and you know our brand is a very youthful brand. So we thought Shibuya would be the perfect area to introduce ourselves to the Tokyo market. And, as you can see the vibrancy here is just awesome." At just over two and a half dollars for a taco, prices are slightly higher than in the U.S, but in line with fast food prices in Japan. And the verdict? SOUNDBITE: Part-time employee (not of Taco Bell) Wataru Tomono, saying (Japanese): "The cheese is so flavorful, it's delicious" More outlets in Japan are in the pipeline, Tokyo's taste for tacos looks like it's here to stay.