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Sirwin

Salarymen’s heaven, Matsuya!

By RoaringTiger | The Land of Samurai | 1 May 2021


There are 3 “gosanke”(御三家) in Japan you have probably heard about a lot. These are Yoshinoya, Sukiya and Matsuya, famous Japanese fast food chains. ⠀⠀⠀⠀

“Gosanke” means a combination of three key words: 有力(influential) , 有名(famous), 人気(popular).⠀⠀

Here I will share about Matsuya, but later on I will post about the other two as well.⠀⠀

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Japanese food chain Matsuya was founded in 1966 by Toshio Kawarabuki (瓦葺利夫). However, it was a Chinese food restaurant at the beginning and due to unsuccessful business was closed in 3 years.

Later on, inspired by the taste of Yoshinoya’s gyudon (or gyūmeshi) Kawarabuki decided to dive into gyudon research. In desire to recreate the taste that inspired him, Kawarabuki opened a new restaurant at Ekoda station (Nerima-ku, Tokyo) in 1968. Nowadays, this place is considered the birthplace of Matsuya. There were many schools in the neighborhood and the area was famous as a bedtown. It used to be crowded by salarymen in the evening and students during the day. Following the sense of the city, Matsuya has put an accent on curry rice, gyudon and teishoku (complex meal) which led to its popularity.⠀⠀

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There are 1126 Matsuya restaurants all over Japan, except Aomori, Akita, Tottori, Shimane, Kochi, Shiga, Nagasaki prefectures. Matsuya has expanded to China, Taiwan and the USA as well. Compared to its competitors, Yoshinoya and Sukiya, Matsuya mostly expanded in big cities. In Tokyo Matsuya restaurants are two times more than Yoshinoya.⠀⠀⠀⠀

In a hope to grow even bigger, Matsuya has opened sub-chains Matsunoya, My Curry, Cafe Terrasse Verte and several more.⠀

In 2018 Ambassador of Georgia to Japan was featured in Japanese TV eating at Matsuya thus bringing the topic up that foreigners like Matsuya.⠀

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