Blog, Food, Japan — October 30, 2019 7:36 pm

A Haunted Hamburger in Japan Featuring the Ghost Whopper

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It was a dark but not so stormy night on the streets of Tokyo the night before Halloween. The Shibuya area is world famous for its wild celebration of the holiday, with equally cutesy and scary cosplayers roaming the streets the entire week. Meanwhile, Burger King is trying hard to appeal in the Japanese marketplace. With a new “Ghost Whopper” on the way, it seemed only natural to tie it all together and open the world’s only haunted Burger King. Of course, we were live on the scene to check it out.

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Located right off one of the world’s busiest intersections, sits an everyday non-haunted BK. The whole shop was closed down and transformed specifically for one week only. When I first heard of the promotion, I assumed it was a pop-up shop (very trendy in Tokyo). No, it was their flagship store! And apparently the only place in Japan to get the Ghost Whopper.

Upon approach, a police man was standing outside with a megaphone. I honestly couldn’t tell if he was a real cop or an actor dressed as a cop warning people of zombie invasions inside. The storefront was wrapped in caution tape and cosplayers were at the ready to take photos.

Inside, the spooky decor picked up a notch. The menus had all been changed to feature only haunted hamburgers, fries, and nuggets (there was an industry wide nugget PR crisis in Japan a few years ago, so fast food places are always trying to upsell them). Between overgrown vines and overstuffed trash bins are posters that read “No Whopper After Life”. Wow, there’s so many ways to interpret that. There’s a common phrase trendy Japan shops use that I think this is a spoof on: No [insert product type here] No Life. For example, No Bubble Tea No Life. No Music No Life. No Whopper After Life.

So, how was the ghost infected burger itself? The bun was white, which I thought meant it would be a special flavor. No, it just tasted like regular ol’ BK. Also, I basically eat hamburgers like a picky 5 year old, so I scraped off most of the toppings. It’s generally not cool to customize food orders in Japanese culture. Plus, my language skills aren’t up to par for the challenge anyway.

I probably would’ve been disappointed to go to any regular Burger King for a Ghost Whopper. But the special trip to a themed fast food restaurant was worth the experience. Here’s hoping for a re-branding of the special bun as some sort of winter themed snow burger in a couple months!

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