Gyudon meets gacha.

Yoshinoya has a special place in Japan’s heart. It may not be fancy, but Yoshinoya’s decades of providing hot, filling, and satisfying meals at extremely affordable prices has made the chain a favorite of students and young adults looking to stretch their budget and fill their stomach, and it retains that comfort food status with many people even after they reach a point in life where they could afford to spend more.

And this being Japan, one of the surest signs that something is loved is when it becomes a capsule toy, which is what’s happening this month with Yoshinoya’s beef bowls and other menu items.

Toymaker Kenelephant’s new Yoshinoya Miniature Collection is a follow-up to their first tie-up with the beef bowl chain from last year. This time, five Yoshinoya menu items are getting the random miniaturized replica treatment, plus one “lucky item.”

Starting things off is the Negitama Gyudon (pictured above), a popular spruced-up version of the Yoshinoya beef bowl topped with diced green onion and a raw egg. It’s accompanied by a side of kimchi, plus a pair of chopsticks.

Also new to the second round of Yoshinoya gacha toys is the Gyusuki Nabe. This is a sukiyaki-style hot pot that’s only offered at Yoshinoya during the late autumn and winter, but this miniature version lets you gaze at it longingly all year long.

To the untrained eye, this might look the same gyudon that was in the first round of Yoshinoya capsule toys. Don’t be fooled, though, because the scale here (in comparison to the accompanying chopsticks and pickles) tells us that this is actually a Tokumori Gyudon, or Extra-large Beef Bowl.

Rounding out the lineup is a Gyusara Teishoku, a set meal in which the beef and onions are served on a plate, with the rice in a bowl by itself and miso soup and raw egg also in their own dishes…

…and the Takeout Gyudon, complete with packets of shichimi pepper seasoning, pickled ginger, and a lidded cup of miso soup.

Finally, the sixth potential capsule toy you’ll receive, designated as the “lucky item,” is a replica of the 47-hole ladle that Yoshinoya uses to scoop the beef bowl toppings out of the broth they simmer in just before they’re served. The food miniatures are separate pieces from the plates, and the designers say you can place the beef on the ladle as an intermediary step for some extra Yoshinoya authenticity.

In an unusual quirk, the replicas are offered both in plastic capsules and in blind boxes, with the former priced at 500 yen (US$3.50) and the latter commanding a 50-yen premium at 550 yen.

▼ Capsule version

▼ Box version

The beef bowls measure about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in width, and the set meal trays 5.5 centimeters, making them a great size not just for displaying on a shelf or desk corner, but also for using as props with anime character figures if you want to set a scene of them chowing down.

The Yoshinoya Miniature Collection goes on sale later this month, and preorders can be made now through Rakuten here.

Source: Value Press via Japaaan
Top image: Value Press
Insert images: Kenelephant
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