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What Owning a Ramen Restaurant in Japan is Like

What Owning a Ramen Restaurant in Japan is Like


I am Kunimoto,
the owner of Mengokoro Kunimoto Have you ever dreamed of opening up
your own ramen shop? While most ramen-ya’s kitchen’s
are wide open to see, you may be surprised at all the work that
goes into owning a ramen store yourself. Ticket please. Please wait. Shio (salt) ramen While ramen is Japanese fast food,
it’s not a fast process to make. It takes time, dedication,
hard work, and knowledge. While he does buy his fresh noodles from
a men-ya (that means noodle store), most everything he makes is from scratch. Thanks for waiting, here you go.
Here you are. Thank you for waiting.
Here you go. What kind of hours does he work? 8am to 11:30pm, six days a week. And this is not the, I’m out of the house,
from 8am to 11:30pm, so I’m working all that time
even though I have breaks. This is non-stop hard work from when he
enters the shop until when he leaves. If you add it all up, and I did,
that’s an 80 (really 93) hour work week! My father used to own a Ramen restaurant. He used to be a salary man,
but he quit start his own restaurant. When I was a teenager,
I helped in the restaurant. At that time, making Ramen wasn’t what
I wanted to do with my life. It was just helping
and it was a part time job. I wanted to get out into the world
so I started to work as a sales man, but it was not for me and I came to realize that I wanted to create something and make people happy That’s what I wanted to do. I start working at 8:00AM.
I make fish broth everyday. And while I make the broth,
I also prepare eggs. Menya Musashi, No.1 Ramen restaurant
in Japan at that time, came to my mind, and I made a phone call to ask them to take me as an apprentice. I started at the Menya Musashi
Shinjuku main shop, I worked there for 4 1/2 years. Kunimoto’s restaurant has 4 main dishes. Of course they all contain ramen noodles, but they’re actually not
all the same thickness, nor are they prepared the same way. This is regular ramen. Each restaurant will have
their own take on the dish. Kunimoto’s version has a
flavourful broth with fatty pork. This is Shio ramen,
and shio stands for salt. It has a light broth and lean pork. The noodles used are thinner
than the regular ramen’s. – Large Shio (salt) ramen, here you are.
– Thank you very much for waiting. This is Noukou (thick) ramen. This one has a thick broth,
and you can really taste the fish. It also comes with plenty of onions. This last dish is Tsukemen. The broth and noodles are
separated in two different bowls. Its flavour is most similar to the
regular ramen, but it’s broth is richer. The noodles are cooled down,
and the water squeezed out. While the noodles are served cold,
the broth is hot. So you have a little break from
3:30pm to 5:00pm? I… don’t get a break. I constantly cook broth, and do some other chores,
cook soup, and cool it down. I don’t really take a break,
maybe 15 minutes if I can. At 9:00am, a part timer comes
and works until 3:00pm. And from 3:00pm, I start preparing. I have been looking for workers.
I can’t find anyone at all. Right now, My parents help me.
I feel awful to ask them to work for me. If you expect other people
to work like you do, It can be too much for them
as they’re not an owner. To train people as you
would train yourself is really tough… Former co-workers at Menya Musashi, They all have their own restaurants. Everyone works crazy hours. It is worse than mine.
Like some work from 5:00 AM. It’s a tough job. Since I work for myself,
and I’m not someone’s employee, this is my only chance.
I won’t get another opportunity like this. When I first opened this restaurant with
my little brother, I gave it my life. Make a living… yes I can. What’s the least favourite thing
about owning a ramen restaurant? There’s nothing I don’t like. -Good work.
– Yes, good work. One by one, as much as I can, I put my very best in every bowl I make. With ramen, out of 100 customers,
not everyone will like your food. How can I say this… As much as I can, with everything I have, I try to put my very best
into each bowl of ramen. Then if someone says it’s delicious,
that’s the best feeling. When you think about being an owner,
you think you’re the boss of everyone, and sure, you are, kind of… But what you may not know,
is that the shop owns you. And instead of one boss, you have all your
customers who you need to please. If you think you’ll get away
from having to do the dirty tasks, you may be sad to realize that you still
may find yourself doing all of them. From cleaning dishes, to washing walls,
to scrubbing floors. I asked him, if he had another
owner-like employee, would he be able to not work so much. I can’t believe his answer, which was that he would have the mentee
open up a second restaurant! -It wasn’t busy today so I finished early.
– Oh! I normally finish at this time (11:30pm),
but I didn’t. Kunimoto is the first person in
and the last person out. So kids, this is what it’s like to own
a ramen restaurant. Thank you! – Thank you!
– Thank you! Oh hey! You’re still watching? If you’re Kunimoto-san, then thank you so much for letting me
invade your restaurant for a couple days. I would say keep up the hard work, but you don’t need me telling you that. A special thanks to all those on Patreon who supports these little
documentaries of mine. It means a lot to me. And thanks to my wife, who helped
translate and worked with me to chop down 5 hours of footage
into these 10 minutes. Peace!

100 comments

Como quisiera comer un ramen de verdad ….felicidades …tu eres de los mios solo paramos cuando nos acostamos 👏👏👏👏saludos desde PANAMÁ🇵🇦

i cant help but pity people who have to work so much like this just to get by and live a fairly humble life
at least they seem to enjoy their work

Admirable for what he does and love. It doesn't surprise me that he works that many hours especially since he doesn't have anyone really working for him except parents and a part-timer and Japan in general does crazy hours, not just Ramen shop owner or employee etc but any sort of work in general. But the thing I'm always surprise is, how much energy and awake they are. Seriously working like this and getting to work so early, it's hard not to yawn at all or show tiredness.

He looks happy and seems like a very nice chap. Wish him all the success and with that said I hope anyone who goes to eat at his place just now and again mention quickly that his food is delicious, it seems like that would make his day.

He is a hard worker and all but I'm seriously hoping one day if he does get a very good employee, he would instead work a bit less hours and hopefully be able to get a few more assuming if he can afford to employ some more people to allow his parents to stop working (assuming if they really wish to just go for retirement or something). Working hard and all that energy is a great ethic and certainly admirable but I also hope he can take better care of himself as this would most likely cause some long term health issue at some point.

Regardless wish him the best and hopefully he becomes more and more successful but also have a chance to employ more people which is what he needs.

This guy – if my employee works for 6 hours, I'd do it for 12!
My employer- if my employee works for 6, why will I even go to work man?! Oh and she still has 2 hours left…

I five respect for ramen shop owners! They are unsung heroes in their culinary fields! Ramen is complex flavorings all in one bowl!

Depending on where you from, the time of sunrise in Japan can be as early as 5am because of its relatively eastern location. As such 11pm would be like 12pm (midnight) in other countries.

I will never undestand that kind of workoholics. Why so serious if you don't earn a lot of money anyway and don't have time to spend even some you have. Life of a damn robot…

And here I am content with my Udon Chicken and Takoyaki side dish. From my local Hanaichi restaurant in Australia, Brisbane.

I love ramen noodles I eat much tho all those ramen noodles dishes look so good I wish I was there to try them all

im the absolut laziest person on the planet without a doubt and i always complain about minimal tasks, i respect this man really!

Россияне, если вы пойдёте за водкой 6:16, оглянитесь вокруг, возможно рядом есть этот ресторан)))

This guy is amazing! Working so many hours and still not give up . I totally understand this guy with having a hard time finding employees but with hard-work, a great mindset and somewhat a great team you can definitely achieve many great things. I also love the fact that they mention that guests are actually you boss whether you're the owner , boss or manager. Guests are the reason why you have the shop in the first so in a way the are the most important aspect of the shop

I just love watching this video again and again. There is something to be admired when it comes to japanese culture. Probably it is because i am having my holiday in japan now!

He's a hard working man and that's very admirable, but quality overrules quantity so if he ever gets less working hours I think he should focus on improving his shop rather than open up another one.

Вот блядь, смотришь на людей, ебашат, но делают свое дело, возможно совершенствуют, без всяких взяток налоговой, пожарной, санэпид и прочей пиздобратии. Посвящают себя делу, а тут вроде бы и хотел, так тебе же не дают и не дадут…
Эх, попробовать хоть раз рамм-эн 😔

Выносливость, трудолюбие и упорство – эти качества присущи нашему герою! Но он живёт на работе, не каждому это дано. Успехов вам !

I kept coming back. The owner seems like a good person. I hope he has time to enjoy his life, aside from his passion as ramen chef of course 😊

Excellent work. Its so busy and so hard working person when you became a owner and a head chef its so amazing. Im so proud when i see like that person…… Thumbs up👍👍👍👍

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