Upon arrival to the hotel in Kyoto, the second and final leg of our SJMC study abroad excursion, we made the exciting discovery of a 24-hour Japanese-style fast0food chain, Yaiyoken, just a couple of blocks away. We were both surprised and relieved to see that 24-hour joints and fast food were not just an American thing (most of the fast food we saw before were American chains) and seeing that made us feel very at home.
Eastern and western style dining collide
As far as menu items, guests choose from chicken, beef, or fish options for a main entree, and are given an assortment of sides with it, too, such as white rice, miso soup, and french fries. This is a plentiful amount of food; however, extra sides are available for purchase. Meal prices range depending on what you order, but they are very reasonable. Most of them ring up under ¥1,000 (which amounts to roughly $10 USD).
The food is served vending-machine style, meaning you place your order at a kiosk, acquire a ticket, and sit at a table of your choice where your meal is brought to you. The food literally comes to you fast and, as shocking as this may seem to westerners like ourselves, it isn’t slathered in grease. While the lack of grease does not necessarily mean it is that much healthier, the food was undeniably tasty, and that’s what ultimately matters here, right?
During our stay I only went to Yaiyoken twice, but they are definitely two for two for me. I heard nothing but good things from my classmates about their experience dining there as well. As much as this may have sounded like a super elaborate Yelp review, it really was that good. There are multiple locations throughout various prefectures in Japan, so if you go, definitely be on the lookout for a Yaiyoken near you.