Seasons of Japan serves up big portions, value

A teriyaki chicken bowl served with fried rice, onions and zucchini from Seasons of Japan.

Be it fall, winter, spring or summer, the Seasons of Japan are in full bloom across the South.

Toshi Hirata seems to have found a winning formula for providing quick-service Pan-Asian food, as his restaurant collection now stretches to seven Seasons of Japan locations.

Hirata established the business model in 1999, exiting his former career as a golf teaching professional and a commentator for the PGA Tour’s Japanese coverage.

With headquarters in Savannah, Seasons of Japan is primarily Georgia-based. Still, Hirata’s holdings include locations on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston and on Old Trolley Road in Summerville.

The menu mostly consists of hibachi and fusion-style chicken, fish, shrimp or Angus steak dishes. Here’s a definite plus, too: Seasons of Japan provides sauce, lots of homemade sauce. Try the mild, mayonnaise-based white sauce; the spicy white sauce; a hot teriyaki sauce; a really tasty, thick ginger sauce; or a fun Sriracha-style ketchup. Kudos to the creativity and selection.

A solid assortment of sushi rolls includes the typical (spicy tuna, California, shrimp tempura, Philly roll), but also the uncommon like the monster roll filled with tuna, yellowtail, salmon, cream cheese, eel and avocado, deep-fried in panko.

But perhaps best, the restaurant divvies up generously sized portions into tasty “Express” or “Super” bowls ($9.95), which are about twice the size of regular bowls.

It’s a conventional Asian menu, sure, but because of Seasons of Japan’s value, cleanliness, service and variety, commendations are accorded.