Japan has definitely come a long way since I first got here 20 years ago. Then, there was one kind of coffee, one kind of burger, one kind of salad...you get the picture. Look how far we've come!
Today I walked by Lotteria -- kind of a low-rent Japanese clone of Macdonalds. You can now buy a burger with TEN patties. And for about US$11, it's not much more than a burger at a regular restaurant back home...although I'm sure not as tasty. And if I didn't want to have an artery go POP in by brain I'd try one. Actually, if you read the fine print on this poster it says "Free angioplasty with every burger!"
So I get home and I find that the only "beer" in my fridge are two non-alcoholic ones I'd bought the other day -- kind of a taste test to see which is less foul.
And check it out -- not only is the Suntory All-Free a decent tasting no-alcohol beer...it's zero calories. Holy crap. I didn't even know that zero-calorie beer existed. And I'd rather swill this stuff than diet coke, which makes me jump around like a 10-balled billy goat after drinking too many due to all the caffeine.
So Japan is starting to offer some choices. Nothing compared to what you can find in the US, Thailand or pretty much everywhere else -- but still much improved compared to before. From the world's first 10-patty burger to a zero calorie beer.