20 American Things That Are Very Popular in Japan

Photo of author

By Jonathan Trent

Few relationships are as prominent as that between the U.S and Japan. The countries have formed a dynamic exchange of trends and traditions—including technology, lifestyle, and cuisine. Let’s take a look at 20 American things that are popular in Japan and that showcase the enduring impact of American influence.

Fast Food

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Fast food chains like McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King are very popular in the Japanese fast-food market. Business Insider says that Japan introduced a range of unique menu items to these restaurants to cater to the country’s tastes, and have collaborations with local brands and characters.


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Blockbusters like Marvel films draw large crowds in Japan, and theaters often feature special screenings and events. Some of the biggest movies even get better box office results in Japan than in the U.S.


Photo Credit: tartanparty/Shutterstock

American streetwear brands have a strong following in Japan, and influences from American celebrities and TV shows have a significant impact on Japanese fashion trends. Vintage Americana styles are popular among certain subcultures.


Photo Credit: bogubogu/Shutterstock

Music from the U.S. enjoys widespread popularity in Japan, with popular hip-hop, rock, and pop songs often hitting the charts. American artists regularly tour in Japan and collaborate with Japanese musicians to create hybrid genres.


Photo Credit: LittlePigPower/Shutterstock

Tech gadgets, especially those made by Apple, are very popular in Japan. American gaming consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox also hold a significant market share, and cutting-edge technology innovations from Silicon Valley quickly made their way to the country.


Photo Credit: aceshot1/Shutterstock

NBA basketball games have a huge fan base in Japan. American football’s popularity is also increasing, with rising interest in the NFL. Large sporting events, like the Super Bowl, attract Japanese viewership and parties.


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The American coffee culture is popular in Japan, with many Starbucks bringing in customers across the country. Other trendy coffee shops adopt American-style décor and menu items, and specialty coffee from American roasters is a hit among enthusiasts.

Theme Parks

Photo Credit: Konstantin Yolshin/Shutterstock

In Japan, Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan are major tourist attractions. American-themed areas in parks offer an immersive experience and collaborations with American film studios have led to special rides and events.

Street Performance

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Many American street performers entertain crowds in the urban areas of Japan, with dance crews performing hip-hop routines influenced by American culture. American hits played by musicians tend to draw large audiences in public spaces.

Food Trends

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

American food trends are gaining popularity in Japan, with barbecue, brunch, and craft beer featured on many restaurant menus and in stores. Food trucks serving American-style cuisine are a trend in major cities, and fusion restaurants combine American and Japanese flavors.

Language Learning

Photo Credit: Undrey/Shutterstock

English language lessons are in high demand in Japan, with a strong focus on American accents and many people looking to work or study in the U.S. According to the British Council, there has been a significant growth of the English-language market in Japan in recent years.

TV Shows

Photo Credit: Studio Romantic/Shutterstock

Lots of American sitcoms and dramas are popular on Japanese TV networks, and many reality shows are adapted for Japanese viewers. Streaming platforms in Japan also offer a variety of American content with subtitles.

Cultural Events

Photo Credit: Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock

Thanksgiving dinners, Halloween parties, and Fourth of July celebrations are increasingly popular in Japan. American film festivals are held across the country to showcase independent films and classics.

Social Media

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have large user bases in Japan, and influencers from the U.S. have significant followings. NBC News reported that even the Japanese royal family, the world’s oldest monarchy, has now launched an Instagram account to appeal to youth.

Automotive Brands

Photo Credit: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Big American car brands like Ford and Tesla have a strong presence in Japan. Electric cars from American companies are gaining traction in the Japanese market too, and muscle cars and pickup trucks are a hit among collectors.

Fitness Trends

Photo Credit: Inside Creative House/Shutterstock

American fitness trends are popular in Japan, with activities like yoga and CrossFit attracting dedicated followings. Fitness influencers from America often hold classes, and clothing brands such as Nike and Lululemon are highly sought after.


Photo Credit: connel/Shutterstock

Bestsellers from American authors are regularly translated into Japanese and a lot of the

English language learning materials used in schools often feature American literature. Japan also holds literary festivals, and book signings attract fans of American writers.

Educational Programs

Photo Credit: Feel good studio/Shutterstock

Study abroad programs in the U.S. are popular among Japanese students, and a range of American international schools offer an alternative to traditional education. English conversation schools value employing natives to teach American English.

Political Influences

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

American politics have significant media coverage in Japan, and diplomatic relations impact various aspects of Japanese society. According to Harvard Business Review, this works both ways, with Japan having a strong political influence on the U.S.

Entrepreneurial Culture

Photo Credit: Eric Broder Van Dyke/Shutterstock

According to Forbes, the technological developments in Japan drew inspiration from Silicon Valley. American success stories and major companies like Google and Amazon have further encouraged innovation and growth in Japanese tech startups.