Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

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!


Reader Comments

  1. 外国人も成田から直通だから来やすいすね

  2. Japanese noodles are the best. I tried it once and other noodles are not the same again. No other noodles taste as good as the Japanese ones.

  3. I wish you all the happiness and health for all the soul and hardwork you put into what nature has called you to do.

  4. Work to life or life to work… I think it doesn't matter the second one, but if he is happy with that, its the important thing

  5. ここは、1回行きました。本当に美味しかったです^ ^

  6. He is really good, but i can't understand, why he doing almost all by himself. He don't have time and energy for improvement, for other life… This is sad. Is it a money question or something else?

  7. 夜中に見るもんじゃないな
    腹減った・・・

  8. Beautiful 🙏❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂

  9. Japanese are truly hardworking.Sometimes they rarely have time for themselves or for going out and have a great time with friends..

  10. Dont get how someone would be away from home 16 hrs everyday, he doesnt even have time to do anything on his “weekend” since he only has sunday off …

  11. What is your least favorite thing about working “ there’s nothing I dont like “ true ! When you work for yourself and your truly passionate about what it is that you do it will NEVER feel like work no matter how difficult it may be 🙌🏾🙌🏾

  12. I own the restaurant in sri lanka and I woke up every morning around 4am busy day end nearly 10 pm. I do this nearly 20 year's. I know his feeling. Hats off.

  13. I have Ramen outlet to in JAKARTA. Owner's ramen not like bos what's people thinking its so many hard workit and i enjoyed. GANBATTE

  14. なりたいと思ったことはないけど今度から食べる時見方変わるなぁ 大変なんだなぁ

  15. I am a garment retailer. I dont sell branded stuff. I travel far and buy from small manufacturers who make quality stuff and handpick each design. Its much more tiring than buying from stockists, but i get better prices and fresh designs. After the purchase, i try to handle each cystomer personally and give my best to find them the perfect fit and style according to their physique and personality. After all this work i charge only 20% mark up so my customer gets best value for money.

    I started with a 8×10 ft store and niw i have a 12×32ft store. I am not rich but can afford a decent lifestyle. I leave home at 9 and come back at 10 p.m. its tough work. But i am happy. I can understand why this man seems so content with life. Thats exactly how i feel. All the best to him and all other people who go the extra mile to satishfy their customers, irrespective of their field.

  16. Wonderful documentaries. You are really talented and very profi, you disearve more than an youtube channel ☺

  17. ive watched this video about 5 times and still think its one of the best you have done.the guy looks exhausted yet still smiling

  18. 働きすぎ!人生楽しいのか?
    俺なら絶対に無理

  19. 美味しいラーメンと同じレベルでお店の経営もしなきゃいけないのは凄く大変な事ですよね。
    一般の人は休憩時間だと思ってる時間も仕込みで休めない。
    利益がどう出てるのか興味があります。

  20. 私付麺嫌動画見見私付麺食望私所配達希望代金無料。
    (わたしは、つけめんきらいですけど、このどうがをみてたべたくなるほど、おいしそうですね)

  21. Their "Fast Food" it a gourmet meal here in the states. Our fast food, McDonald's has no nutritional value!

  22. 楽な方法を知ってる人が儲かる仕組みではなくて、頑張った人が金銭的にも報われるシステムになってほしい。ここのラーメン屋さん応援します!

  23. i see the ramen comes with free hand bacteria also… lots of touchy touchy right after handling other stuff. perhaps find a better way?

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