Chain restaurants here in Japan are sort of a hit or miss. A lot of them can be really cheap, which makes them a popular choice for people on a budget. Viking, or all you can eat buffets and juice bars seem to be a really popular choice with the younger crowd from what I’ve seen.
The principal of my school invited me to dine with her family in a cheap chain restaurant called Joyfull. Joyfull is unique because it has an all you can drink drink bar that has a huge variety of choices. I’m not really into drinking much with my meal other than water, so it wasn’t really a perk for me personally.
The dishes at Joyfull average out to around $5. You can add on miso soup and rice to eat your meal Japanese style for a little more. I decided on a soy sauce and ginger chicken with cabbage entree. I didn’t add the miso soup or rice because I figured that the main dish would be enough for me. I love chicken, but I was surprised to find out that they keep all of the fat on their chicken here. I really dislike fat, so I was a little shocked.
The principals daughter ordered a salad with bonito flakes that didn’t look very appetizing to me. Of course, she ordered her meal Japanese style with rice and miso soup. 😉
Her husband also ordered his meal Japanese style, choosing the more appetizing karage (fried chicken) as his meal. It looked really good!
The miso was a very simple miso broth with fried tofu.
The food tasted good, but I wasn’t impressed. I guess because it is very cheap to eat at this restaurant, the quality suffers compared to other family run businesses. I personally prefer the smaller businesses myself because their food is unique and very fresh. I don’t think I will return to Joyfull, but it is a very budget friendly restaurant to get a big meal for cheap! It is also open 24 hours, so that is really convenient.