Find out which two chains are the ones to visit when the moon rises on this special festival day.

As the full moon rises over Japan on 29 September, the actual night of the traditional harvest moon-viewing festival, people everywhere will be gazing up towards the celestial orb, and some of them are likely to have a burger in hand while they do it, thanks to the massive marketing push for Tsukimi moon-viewing burgers sold by fast food chains around the country.

Our reporter Tasuku Egawa has tasted every moon-viewing-related fast food menu item since they appeared in late August, and if you’re confused about choosing just one, or possibly two, to enjoy on the actual night of Tsukimi, he’s picked his top two winners for 2023.

Though he wanted to pick one overall winner, he ended up with a tie for first place as he couldn’t choose between them. And because some favourites keep returning year after year, the shortlist only contained brand new menu items for 2023, to ensure a level playing field. So who were the two winners? Well, the first one is…

▼ …The Tsukimi Mocchi Burger from First Kitchen!

As the image above shows, First Kitchen had two new burgers on the menu this year — the Tsukimi Mocchi Burger (870 yen [US$5.93]) and the Tsukimi Mocchi Chicken Tatsuta Burger (740 yen).

Both contain mochi rice cakes, which was the unique selling proposition that made them stand out on the landscape.

▼ “Tsukimi containing mochi!”

They also contain fried eggs — tsukimi means “moon-viewing” but is also used to refer to dishes that contain egg in Japan, due to its resemblance to the full moon — so you essentially get to eat two items that look like the moon, rather than one.

While both burgers are delicious, Egawa recommends the Tsukimi Mocchi Burger. The beef patty pairs well with the mochi, and coupled with a Japanese-style seasoning, these burgers deliver a very Japanese flavour, making them perfect for a traditional event like Tsukimi.

And now for the second first-place winner…

▼ …the Hanjuku Tsukimi Wafuu Zeppin Cheese Burger from Lotteria!

Lotteria pulled out all the stops for Tsukimi this year, giving us a total of four new burgers — more than any other fast food chain — and each one was equally delicious. However, the one burger Egawa recommends is the Hanjuku Tsukimi Wafuu Zeppin Cheese Burger (Sunny-side-up Tsukimi Japanese-style Exquisite Cheeseburger), priced at 570 yen.

While the burger itself doesn’t look extraordinary, the taste is outstanding. It’s like a Tsukimi customisation of the chain’s “Exquisite Cheeseburger”, and Egawa thinks it’s so good it should be available year-round. Soft, rich and flavoursome, this is a burger you’ll want to hold up to the moon in gratitude and give thanks for its existence.

▼ The sauce adds to its deliciousness.

So after tasting the moon at McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Mos Burger, Wendy’s, Lotteria, and First Kitchen, Egawa’s picks for this year come from Lotteria and First Kitchen. As always, all these burgers are only around for a limited time so there’s not long left to try them, although the best time of all to eat them is when the moon is at its fullest this month, which is due to be around 7 p.m. on 29 September.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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