In 2016, there are some 20,000 ramen shops operating in Tokyo alone. And while the dish—a mixture of Chinese-style noodles served in an ever-expanding array of broths, styles, and flavors—is often considered “fast-food” in Japan, a new video from the YouTube channel Life Where I'm From sheds light on just how much grueling labor goes into operating a bustling noodle bar each day.
The video focuses on Kunimoto, the owner of Mengokoro Kunimoto in Katsushika City. According to the video, Kunimoto works from 8 a.m. to 11:30pm everyday, totaling a mind-bending 80-hour work week. Occasionally, Kunimoto—who took over the business from his father and did an apprenticeship at the famed Menya Musashi ramen shop in Shinjuku—will be able to take a 15-minute break. But mainly, he’s spending every waking moment brewing broth, boiling noodles, and tending to customers.
Still, Kunimoto says he loves what he does, and wouldn’t trade it for another profession.
“There’s nothing I don’t like,” he adds. “I try to put my very best into each bowl of ramen.”