The last time anyone saw a Taco Bell in Japan was in the 1980s, when, after just a few years, then-owner PepsiCo closed the chain down there due to poor sales. On April 21 last week, armed to the teeth with Japan-only dishes added to its Western menu, Taco Bell returned to the Land of the Rising Sun with a fancy-schmancy new restaurant in Tokyo's Shibuya neighborhood. On opening day, before the doors were unlocked at 10 a.m., hundreds of people were lined up down the block to get in.

Some of them got there the night before and early that morning in order to be one of the first served.

(Images credit: Taco Bell Japan)

A small sample of the menu, slightly different from ours in the States.

Taco Man was there to lead the waiting customers inside one by one and to keep the atmosphere lively. From the smiles on those faces, I say he succeeded. A long wait like that would have had me starving before I could get in the door, though. 

I might have taken a bite out of the dude if he got too close to me. 

(Image creditFearless Records JP)

The first 100 people got free numbered T-shirts for their trouble, and three tickets  to the VIP party were up for grabs in a giveaway on Facebook. Sweet!

(Images credit: Taco Bell Japan)

At first glance, when you're approaching the place, it seems all crammed into a corner and doesn't look like much...

(Image creditBilly Grenham)

But then I saw the entrance, and where you get your food, and some of the furniture, and I thought Yes, I can dig that!  Escort me straight to The Lounge, if you please. 

What do you think? Chic, or not so much?

(Images creditabgk / Japanese website Gori)

Of course, Taco Bell has its anti-fans and always will. And for many years, it's remained mostly a North American business. But if the reports about the frenzy over the restaurant's return in Shibuya are any indication, there's a good chance that this crack at Japan might be a rousing success. 

Which brings the Sylvester Stallone movie Demolition Man to mind, where Taco Bell won the Franchise Wars of the future and became the only restaurant chain on Earth.

A little scary.

Let's take it one step at a time, for now. :) 

Cover image creditshivramv

See Kim So Hyun, BtoB's Yook Sung Jae, and Nam Joo Hyuk in the latest installment in the popular School series, School 2015:

Stephe is a fantasy and paranormal writer who lives for Anime, Doctor Who, telenovelas, and Asian dramas. She co-founded Cloud USA, a Rain (비) fan site for English speakers, with her best friend Terri and enjoys sharing interesting tidbits on DramaFever in her spare time.

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