Ramen pretty much embodies the holy triumvirate of things to look for in a comfort food: it’s flavorful, filling, and cheap. The last of those adjectives isn’t something that should apply to ramen anymore, though, says one prominent Japanese celebrity.
Keisuke Honda is one of the biggest stars of the Japanese soccer world. Following a career as a player in which he played for clubs around the world and represented Japan multiple times in the World Cup, Honda has parlayed his charisma and fashionable looks into success as a media personality as well.
Recently, Honda went out for a bowl of ramen and shared a photo of his meal on Twitter, along with his thoughts on the pricing of ramen in Japan.
“730 yen is too cheap for this deliciousness. The price should be raised a little. I mean, really a lot of industries should raise their prices a little more,” Honda tweeted, adding “The next time I eat ramen, I’m paying 2,000 yen. Absolutely.”
Though ramen’s trendy status in international foodie circles means it can command a bit of a premium overseas, in Japan it’s still very much seen as an affordable meal for students, young adults, and others looking to fill themselves up on a budget. 730 yen is right around what an average bowl of ramen costs in Japan, and Honda’s suggestion that the price should be almost tripled didn’t exactly have the rest of Twitter nodding its head in agreement, with reactions including:
“Just showing off that he’s rich.”
“Hey, rich guy, if it’s too cheap, you can always order a second bowl of noodles and pay for that.”
“Personally, I don’t think ramen would taste good anymore if I had to pay 2,000 yen for it.”
“If a restaurant charged 2,000 yen for their ramen, I wouldn’t eat there.”
“He can say that because of how financially well off he is…Ramen restaurants understand that the rest of us [don’t have that much money], so they set their prices where they do.”
“Surprised at how much of a cheapskate Keisuke Honda is. If I made as much money as he does, I’d pay 5,000 yen.”
“Can you please give me 100 million yen?”
For reference, as of October of last year minimum wage in Tokyo is 1,072 yen, so Honda is proposing that a bowl of ramen cost two hours’ worth of such workers wages. With his comments coming at a time when consumer prices are steadily rising in Japan, but wages aren’t necessarily doing likewise, a lot of diners are probably happy that Honda isn’t the one setting prices at their favorite ramen joint.
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