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 Replies to “What Owning a Ramen Restaurant in Japan is Like

  1. For someone who will go to Osaka but Tokyo…
    These are the very restaurants that I ,the local, can recommend with confidence


  2. The main ingredient is noodles which he doesnt make himself. Its like owning a pizza shop and not making the dough. In my opinion that is lazy and takes away from the whole idea of making a dish yourself.

  3. Only in Japan make the BEST Ramen because in another coutnry make worse and digusting fusion and gourmelt Ramen and the chef of japanese food is not a japanese and is foreigner who don’t know nothing and make a worse japanese food…who make maki and sushi rool ?is american style and that not sushi , sushi si raw fish and nto fried fish , avocato and mayonaise sauce….. thats worse …and in another country make a bussiness and killing the real japanese food

  4. 3:04 この黄色の道具でカポカポやってるのはなんて作業でしょうか。どういう意味があるのでしょうか。 What is he doing for?

  5. 朝早くから遅くまで働いて儲からなかったらやれないな

  6. Can a woman serve as the chief in a Ra-Men or SuSHi shop? In Taiwan, lots of shops do it; so na go do, i got confused very much.

  7. 海外から見たら働きすぎだ。だと思うかもしれないけど

  8. 少数栄の店の個人に求められる重荷な

  9. 1:40 8 am to 11:30 pm, 6 days a week… "If you add it all up, and I did, that's an 80 hour workweek!". Amazing. Outstanding. 15.5 x 6 = 80 according to the video. Quickmafs

  10. I love this kind of story . a different perspective . Keep up the good work . Auto Subscribes 🎉🎉
    Love, from Sabah, Malaysia .

  11. This why most of the japanese succeed in life cause' they're just not working for their own good but they grind harder to reach on top

  12. The background music at 6 minute is a song from "Your Name" my most favorite anime film of all time😍😍😍😍😍

  13. I'll just take a lifetime supply of "Indomie Mi Goreng" and be content with that, thanks though. What a lovely, sweet, genuinely happy man; you can see the joy EXUDE from his beaming smile! 😀

  14. I’ve been in Japan for several months and I can say that Japanese really has this hardworking trait in general. It’s part of their culture already. Bow down!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻

  15. Respect for his hard work! I have tears in my eyes…He is a good man. God bless him! He really deserves to be happy! So many People do not appreciate such People like this man. All want just work to Drive a Mercedes but this man work to make other People smile. Respect! Sorry for my bad English…

  16. I been wanting to move to japan since I was a kid. Having a job like this would be awesome. I worked at a sushi restaurant for a couple of years. Loved it. Hard work. But satisfying really. Getting only Tuesday’s off, working 9am to 9pm. Really enjoyed working there. One day I’ll move to Japan. One day.

  17. i would love to try a real dish of different ramen recipes. it looks so good. its looks like alot of hard work. it takes skill to fix the perfect dish of ramen noodles

  18. Eating ramen while listening to radwimps song is great feeling ever and this kind of man that earned my respect

    Salute to you sir

  19. You are a good kind and passionate person the same about your work, I enjoyed this documentary,Your parents I'm sure are Soo proud of you.. Thanks for sharing.🕛🛁🍴🔪🍚🌟🌷

  20. Yeah, a lot of people take cooks and chefs for granted, we tend to do hours that would make you break into tears with the physical and mental stress that can leave you so tired it's bone weary.

    Used to pull 60-70 hours a week, longer at times with special occasions like mothers day, I don't know how I used to do it but my gods, please don't be karen at a restaurant.

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