American Expat Opens Authentic Burger Joint in Japan and Becomes a Local Sensation

Jim, an American expat, made the life-changing decision to move to Japan with his Japanese wife after she expressed her desire to return home. With no prior restaurant or business experience, and limited Japanese language skills, Jim took a leap of faith and sold everything to start a new life in Fukuoka, Japan.

U.S. Burger: Bringing Authentic American Flavors to Fukuoka

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Determined to bring a taste of America to his new home, Jim opened U.S. Burger, a cozy burger joint located at 2 Chome-3-2 Daimyo, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0041, Japan.

Despite the challenges of running a business in a foreign country, Jim’s passion for creating the perfect burger has made U.S. Burger a local sensation.

Handcrafted Burgers with a Touch of American Soul

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What sets U.S. Burger apart is Jim’s dedication to crafting each burger from scratch. He grinds his own 100% Angus beef, imported directly from America, ensuring the highest quality and freshness.

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Jim also cures and smokes his own bacon for 7 to 14 days, infusing it with a unique maple flavor that perfectly complements his burgers.

Custom Buns and Fresh Ingredients: The Secret to U.S. Burger’s Success

To complete the perfect burger experience, Jim has formed a strong partnership with a local French bakery to create custom buns exclusively for U.S. Burger.

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He was introduced to the bakery through a French Yatai owner named Remy-san, whom he met by chance one night. The bakery owner was impressed by Jim’s dedication and agreed to bake original buns just for U.S. Burger, even though they don’t sell them in their own shop.

He also grills fresh tomatoes to enhance their flavor and uses only the freshest ingredients available. This attention to detail and commitment to quality has earned U.S. Burger a dedicated following.

Overcoming Language Barriers and Embracing Japanese Culture

Without any prior restaurant or business experience and limited Japanese language skills, Jim fearlessly took on the challenge of opening U.S. Burger in Fukuoka.

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He designed the shop himself, using items he brought from home to create a welcoming atmosphere.

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To attract customers, Jim stood outside the shop every day, rain or shine, with an umbrella, menu, and shop card, using the limited Japanese he had learned to invite people in.

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He focused on learning essential words like “handmade,” “the real thing,” and “homemade” to convey his passion for his craft.

Jim also embraces Japanese culture by maintaining a humble lifestyle and creating a welcoming atmosphere in his restaurant.

Customer Reviews: Praise for U.S. Burger

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  1. “I went here on my last trip to Japan and can confirm this guy is the real deal! One of the best burgers I’ve had anywhere. I came in with limited cash as my money still hadn’t cleared on my card, as I could only afford a single burger he split the cost with me and hooked me up a burger with bacon and a coke!” – South-uh5wu
  2. “It’s super meaty! The bacon too, was crunchy and really delicious. It’s great that he makes each and every burger fresh for the customers.” – tsurugi3416
  3. “Jim is an EXCELLENT burger maker. His burgers always remind me of home here in Japan. 100% recommend!” – Amavisaj
  4. “I was lucky enough to have this man’s burgers when I went to Fukuoka (I live in Kyushuu). As a fellow American, I can confirm his burgers are some of the best I have ever had and I have lived all over the states due to work. Not only this, but he is an amazing host who makes you feel welcome and at home no matter where you are from.” – nicholassylver2102
  5. “Can confirm that this is THE best burger I’ve had in 6 years in Japan.” – Teddyrobinson

The Rewards of Following Your Heart

For Jim, the most rewarding aspect of moving to Japan and opening U.S. Burger has been the opportunity to follow his heart and support his wife’s desire to return to her home country.

As he puts it, “My wife’s Japanese. You know, she followed me for 20 years, so I’ll follow her wherever she wants. She said, ‘I wanna go home.’ So I said, okay, let’s do this.” Despite the challenges, Jim has found happiness and success in his new life in Japan.

A Must-Visit Destination for Burger Lovers

For anyone visiting Fukuoka, Japan, U.S. Burger is a must-visit destination. Jim’s commitment to creating the perfect American burger, combined with his warm and welcoming personality, makes for an unforgettable dining experience.

As one satisfied customer put it, “It’s more than a burger joint, it’s a hamburger home, a lil slice of American comfort in an amazingly bustling city.”

You can watch the full video of his story from the Japanese Food Craftsman Youtube channel.

One Comment

  1. I just got back from Japan 2 weeks ago. I wish I saw this before, I definitely would have gone to eat there!

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