While there is nothing “American diner” about Denny’s in Japan, the well-known family restaurant chain is going all-out Japanese with its new location in Tochigi Prefecture.

If you’re an American expat in Japan and head into a local Denny’s expecting a big ol’ plate of pancakes and sausages, burger and fries, or some other nostalgic taste of home, be prepared to be very disappointed, because the only thing Denny’s Japan has in common with Denny’s back home is the name, oh and the free refills.

With things like offal nabe hot-pot and grilled salmon with miso soup and rice on the menu, Denny’s already appears to have a fairly Japanese selection available, but it’s about to get even more Japanese-y with its new location opening on December 1 in Sano City, Tochigi.

The new location was created with traditional Japanese “washoku-ya” in mind. The first thing you’ll notice is the familiar yellow-and-red sign has been replaced with a subtle green one, the “Denny’s” logo written in calligraphic katakana brush strokes: デニーズ. The menu itself is just as homegrown, with things like tempura rice bowl and soba noodles.

▼ Minced salmon rice bowl with sides of tempura, udon noodles, and anmitsu for dessert (1,380 yen, US$11.25)


▼ The “biken” (literally beauty- 美 and health- 健) bento (1,080 yen, $8.80)


▼ Chicken and mixed veggies in black vinegar sauce (830 yen, $6.75)


▼ Tempura rice bowl and a side of soba noodles (950 yen, $7.75)


Not feeling in the mood for Japanese food? No worries, the Sano location still offers a number of favorites on their “western menu”, like this Angus beef sirloin steak rice bowl.

▼ This looks like a, um… very “western” meal. Yes. (1,490 yen, $12.15)


▼ Hamburg steak and fried oyster plate (780 yen, $6.35)


▼ Spaghetti Napolitan, aka Japanese ketchup pasta if you’re not familiar (630 yen, $5.15)


And then of course there’s the dessert menu. It’s hard to go wrong with dessert, and while it’s not a banana split or chocolate sundae, these choices don’t disappoint.

▼ Uji matcha parfait on the left, and Uji matcha cream anmitsu, which is a bowl of fruit and red bean paste drizzled with a sweet—usually black sugar—syrup. Yummm! (401 yen, $3.25; 480 yen, $3.90)


▼ Chocolate & chocolate French toast (453 yen, $3.70)


Okay, yes, not having the traditional Denny’s fare on the menu is a bit disappointing, but I will admit that some of these dishes look like they could be pretty good! If you happen to be passing through Tochigi, be sure to check it out:

Restaurant info:

Tochigi-ken Sano-shi Asanuma-cho 427-1
7am – midnight (last order at 11:30pm)
Grand opening
Tuesday, December 1 from 9am

Source and images: Entabe
Top image edited by RocketNews24