business

Japan's ramen shops struggle to stay open as COVID hammers small firms

37 Comments
By Daniel Leussink

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37 Comments
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This is exactly what I always say!

The Ultraparanoia according Corona sheered by fear mongering people and media causes more damages and destroyes lifes than the Virus itself!

-9 ( +15 / -24 )

They should all be closed temporarily until the pandemic is under control and supported by the government of this so-called, rich country.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

This is exactly what I always say!

The Ultraparanoia according Corona sheered by fear mongering people and media causes more damages and destroyes lifes than the Virus itself!

Read the whole article, please:

He tried offering his ramen through takeout but was unable to make up for the income he lost after office workers' visits fell due to work-from-home restrictions.

It is the "work from home" restrictions implemented by the government that has a big impact on his business. Fear mongering people and media do not have the power to stop people going to eat ramen.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Hey, adjust to the situation. There is a (relatively) famous ramen shop down here in Okinawa, whose business literally exploded and expanded because of a celebrity from Taiwan who did a TV spot on the place a couple of years back. Corona hammered their business big time here, BUT they adapted, and started offering take away service, and customers from within the prefecture started coming back.

It takes some imagination, but they are managing to keep their heads above water, and from what I know, have not had to let any employees go either.

They are also going to be using Uber Eat's too, if what I hear is true.

Not everyone can adjust like this one did, but many could survive, if their product is worth it!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

It is sad to see many of these small shop closing due to this pandemic,especially small family business and people that invested their life and passion for such activities.

Let’s hope this plague can be at least contained in the next year.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I don’t quite understand how can they just close temporarily. You don’t pay taxes if you don’t earn anything. Is it because of the landlords? Then the jgov should instead address that. Or am I too naive?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Yoshisan88

It is the "work from home" restrictions

Exactly, but why and who pushed the "work from home"?

Answer:

Corona and fear mongering topics 24 hours a day.

But even in home office, you have a lunch time, but because of the ultraparanoid fear, people don't go to lunch to Ramen shops like before.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

It's almost as if the government here should come up with a way to easily help small businesses...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My opinion:

We all should think about the life existence of these Mom and Pops Ramen shops and small Izakayas.

I still visit my favorite Izakaya in my neighborhood, because they do their best prevention against the virus and I feel safe there.

They also shut down in May for about 6 weeks but me and all other regular customers support them with Take Out.

And this is what we all should do.

Stop staying in a paranoid status according the Virus. Prevention is the Key Point.

If you and the Ramen Shops and Izakayas do the best prevention, there is no higher risk to get infected like every day when you go to work.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

One more point:

Everyone is always screaming for the Government! Help with money, help with money!

I 100% agree.

But, we all, each of us, should do something to help these small family businesses to survive.

Especially because we are living in Japan and these small family Izakaya and Ramen shops are the heart of Japan.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

If you like your ramen restaurant you better go out to eat there.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

All local restaurants need to be supported now and hopefully the Japanese government will approve one of the vaccines soon and not take for ever like they usually do.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

One of the other main problem is the sudden disappearance of 34 million tourists overnight, the majority of them mostly eating in the cheaper restaurants with a few more expensive meals during their stay. Another the declining population, it is not difficult to understand that 500.000 less Japanese every year, and that decline increasing, means less business. Finally Japan has too many restaurants, far too many and that will get adjusted. Sadly the chains will weather that better than the individual ones. That website connecting owners with newcomers is good. Would also be good to have one for owners in trouble to combine their efforts and save 1 out of 3 restaurants by working together in the surviving one. In time that might make it possible for 1 or both of the closed ones to start again.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That's what happens when you sacrifice the economy and the productive people in order to save the old and infirm from a virus that has 99.8% recovery rate.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

This article is starting from a false premise: it's not a virus that's hammering small firms, it's the media- and government-stoked fear mongering and haphazard policy that's scaring people into staying away from them, thus gutting the SME economy. Over a virus that has a roughly 99% recovery rate. But never mind, in just a few years you'll be ordering everything online so you can safely eat in the socially distanced privacy of your own rented home. Because you've been told that by 2030 you'll own nothing and be happier for it.

Or you can choose a different future: think for yourself and engage in a fun bit of civil disobedience by getting out to your local ramen shop or wherever, treating the fear mongering with the contempt it deserves while supporting your local economy. If enough people do it, these shops will be there next week, next year even when the virus panic has passed and the next thing we're supposed to be afraid of is rammed down our throats. And it won't taste like ramen.

For what it's worth, we support our local shops and cafes, and I hope you do too.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Can I shock you? I don’t like ramen.

A good Vietnamese Pho or a Malaysian Laksa beats a ramen hands down every time.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

The Ultraparanoia according Corona sheered by fear mongering people and media causes more damages and destroyes lifes than the Virus itself!

That is based on the false assumption that if no economic measures were in place we would have the same public health problems. It is not logical to think the economic activity would be the same if life continue as usual and the projected swamping of health services happen. People would not be going around as if nothing when death rates elevate and hospitals will not be able to receive new patients. There is a reason why the professionals that deal with public health (and those working at hospitals) are between the most vocal when warning the population that things can get a lot worse.

This is not something that the media pulls out from the air while medical associations say there is nothing to worry.

Over a virus that has a roughly 99% recovery rate. 

As long as the spreading is contained and the health services can run normally, which is the whole purpose of the current measures. Thinkin for yourself is fine, but ignoring scientific evidence because of some hidden conspiracy that nobody can prove is not doing it, that is letting other people, with their own agendas, to think for you. To validly conclude every medical association of the world is wrong you need evidence, not fantasy.

One thing is to do your part to support the economy responsibly, another completely different is to think perfectly valid recommendations and measures are wrong just because they have costs so you can do as you please and nothing wrong will happen.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Virusrex, you know you're out of arguments when you have to resort to this:

but ignoring scientific evidence because of some hidden conspiracy that nobody can prove is not doing it

There's nothing hidden here, and your "side" does not have the monopoly of truth. There are thousands of qualified medical scientists, doctors and nurses around the world who disagree with your assertions, based on their observations and knowledge. Lockdowns and similar restrictions have been highly destructive to society for very little gain, and yet the people who implement them, like your Gavin Newsomes, British politicians, Macrons, IOC and WHO bosses and the like are living high on the hog with no restrictions on themselves. They can fly anywhere they like, dine in large groups without distancing or masks while telling the rest of us to do it. Doesn't the cognitive dissonance eat away at your mind?

The Japanese government's dithering is painful, but at least they don't have the legal authority to enforce lockdowns, the only thing that's keeping ramen shops and the like open.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

There's nothing hidden here, and your "side" does not have the monopoly of truth. 

Then why you cannot prove any of the supposed reasons why the terribly obvious health related explanations for everything you don't like are not true?

If there is a logical, rational, obvious explanation that has applied since epidemiology was adopted in medicine to explain all the measures, but you think another very convoluted reason that requires many conditions impossible to believe is the real cause of them, you need to prove it.

You cannot do it because there is no objective proof, and confronted with this fact the excuse is that its a conspiracy that leaves no proof (above innocuous comments badly forced into some sinister meaning). If it is not hidden then it can be easily proved, and if it cannot be proved it is not more than a hidden conspiracy, you cannot have both things.

There are perfectly valid reasons why very special care has to be taken for public spaces where people talk and eat, you thinking this may be for other purpose do not negate these valid reasons.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Virusrex, if this virus is so dangerous, why aren't our leaders subject to the same rules as we are? It's a very simple question.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Among ramen shops, the first to fold this year were those whose businesses were already on knife-edge before COVID-19, often run by elderly owners, said Takeshi Yamamoto, an independent ramen critic who tracks shop closures.

I don't want to be judgmental but as the above says, some places were already struggling to begin with.

Compared to udon and soba, ramen is subject to trends regarding flavours, styles, and presentation. I'm in my fifties myself, and I can imagine it being hard for older owners to keep up.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

kohakuebisuToday  11:05 am JST

Among ramen shops, the first to fold this year were those whose businesses were already on knife-edge before COVID-19, often run by elderly owners, said Takeshi Yamamoto, an independent ramen critic who tracks shop closures.

I don't want to be judgmental but as the above says, some places were already struggling to begin with.

Fair comment, but I think ramen shops are just an avatar for SMEs in general, particularly those that face customers directly as well as airlines and the like whose businesses have been decimated by government policy worldwide and the attendant scaremongering.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Virusrex, if this virus is so dangerous, why aren't our leaders subject to the same rules as we are? It's a very simple question.

Because they are imperfect humans, because they are too full of themselves, because they have access to the best medical science services, explanations are multiple, and none of them contradict the fact that the virus is dangerous and the measures against it perfectly logical and valid. If a doctor smokes does that makes you conclude that smoking is good for your health? that is invalid.

Is that the proof for the supposedly wide open conspiracy?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

A very poor analogy. A doctor smoking harms the doctor and perhaps a few people nearby from passive smoking. And the smoking doctor is not enforcing rules onto society or blowing the proverbial smoke into our faces.

These national leaders and bureaucrats are enforcing their rules on society at large while consciously doing the opposite - sometimes out in the open, sometimes in private. This is not a result of imperfection, as you suggest - it's completely conscious. And when they get caught they don't get any punishment, or just offer an insincere apology and go back to what they were doing. They're not stupid; they know exactly what they're doing. You don't get into positions of power like that without brains. But they are utterly amoral. And power without morality is extremely dangerous to an open and free society.

Their very actions betray their thoughts: that this virus is not very dangerous. If it was, they still couldn't be sure that all that medical care they have at their disposal would keep them safe.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

A very poor analogy. A doctor smoking harms the doctor and perhaps a few people nearby from passive smoking. And the smoking doctor is not enforcing rules onto society or blowing the proverbial smoke into our faces.

No analogy is perfect but is perfectly valid to demonstrate your point is worthless, rules are enforced according to objective scientific knowledge. So if a politician makes it illegal to smoke in public buildings this is not negated by the fact that some of the doctors or scientists that demonstrate it is damaging are also smoking.

Again, you are trying to deflect into details of no importance. If every leader were perfectly obedient of the rules would your conspiracy be proved false? how about half? how many countries are enough to do it?

In reality the measures are perfectly logical and based on epidemiology and other sciences that study how infectious diseases spread and how to control it. It is irrelevant how many people obey them or their position, that do not make the measures less valid, it only makes the people that disobey them appear as less smart.

Again, if you want to prove the measures are not logical then you need scientific evidence that contradict the one that is used as their basis. Thinking that showing someone without a mask in order to drink something somehow proves that all the data in the world about COVID-19 is wrong is illogical.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

But I thought the Olympics was going to be this panacea for the Japanese economy?! The Olympics may go forward as the Koike says or may not, but one thing is for certain is that many Japanese small businesses like these ramen shops will not survive until next summer.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Australia is generally regarded as a capitalist nation, yet manages to support its citizens so much better through this crisis.

LDP you are failing your honest, hard-working citizens who have been supporting you all these years with the taxes they pay.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If the virus were as bad as they say it is then inpatients and deaths would be overwhelming the medical system-it isn’t and they are not being overwhelmed.

Anyone in Japan can quite easily verify the above by checking at their local hospitals...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

But Japan can invest 730 Million offshore in 4 years to rebuilding Afghanistan.

Lets send the Afghan people instant Ramen in stead of yen.

Keep the money and invest locally our favorite Ramen shop.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Businesses and livelihoods are being destroyed all because 1% of the population (those who are already sick/obese/old etc.) might succumb to Covid. It is getting ridiculous.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

No they are being destroyed because the 1% at the top don't care enough to help out in times of need.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Virusrex, your moral argument is flimsy at best because you're apologising for the consciously contradictory behaviour of politicians, senior bureaucrats and the like who deliberately flout the rules they set for us. If you want to justify lockdowns, restrictions and vaccination, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that such drastic measures are necessary, and you won't do it. Provide links that demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that such measures are justified.

But you'd rather smear people with a different view, regardless of their expertise in virology, epidemiology, microbiology etc who think that lockdowns cause more problems than they solve while advocating for protection of the most vulnerable.

You need to understand the policies you advocate are doing horrific damage to people's lives and livelihoods - not just keeping people away from businesses like in the article above, but also keeping people who need important treatment away from hospitals, spreading poverty because many of the most vulnerable workers who relay on jobs that can't be done remotely can't work. Then there is the mental illness, domestic violence and suicide that has and will continue from that. Does that not matter? I'm not discounting the importance of saving the lives of people most at risk from this virus, but your "cure" is far worse than the disease.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Had some jiji who manages a hotel tell me: Well he is more than qualified to manage a chain outlet.

Real compassion of some people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But most Ramens do taste the same, very little pieces of meat. The bowl is full of water and unhealthy flour. So it's the dish that make people full by gulping 2/5 water, slurping 2/5 flour and 1/5 adds mixed with those that you don't feel that u are eating little slices of meat and veggies.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is the reason why Japanese suicide rates skyrocketed in this year.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I dream about my local ramen shop’s ramen-it is that good and the portion size is absolutely perfect!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Virusrex, your moral argument is flimsy at best because you're apologising for the consciously contradictory behaviour of politicians, senior bureaucrats and the like who deliberately flout the rules they set for us.

Completely false, my point is that this is just a terribly bad excuse, because even if each one disobeyed the measures that would do absolutely nothing to disprove them because that is done with scientific data. It would only prove they have a very bad judgment, intellect or morals.

Again I do not need to prove anything because my point is that experts are the ones at that role, and they have the information and experience to sustain their recommendations, even if nobody obeys them because of invalid reasons.

And still this is such an irrelevant argument and I have to thank you for proving it by so obviously ignoring my question. Since you are to afraid to say that even if each and every one obeyed the rules that still would not convince you that your fantasy based conspiracy is not real that obviously means it has no importance at all for you, its just an excuse.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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