At this point in time, ramen has largely outgrown its image as a food only loved by the lazy and/or penniless. Yes, its unpretentious aura and bold flavors will always have a strong appeal to young diners, but being a ramen fan is now pretty much a lifelong gastronomic lifestyle choice.
So if you’re going to be eating ramen for your whole life, that means you’re going to be paying for it for your whole life too, right? Not necessarily, thanks to an unbelievably attractive offer from this ramen restaurant.
The Nishi Chiba branch of ramen chain Musashiya, located in Chiba City, recently announced a special offer: for a one-time flat fee, you can eat there for free for your entire life.
Granted, at a price of 100,000 yen it’s not exactly pocket change, and there’s the additional requirement that you have to be a student when you sign up for the eternal ramen plan. But the red text superimposed over the photo in the above announcement tweet promises that those who do sign up “Can eat for free until graduation” and also “Can eat for free after graduation.”
Getting back to the cost, once the sticker shock passes, is 100,000 yen really all that expensive for what Musashiya is offering? According to Japanese restaurant site Tabelog, a bowl of Musashiya’s standard ramen (which is the iekei style popularized in Yokohama, a pork stock broth seasoned with sesame and garlic) costs 600 yen. That means you pass the break-even point at your 167th bowl.
It’s a safe assumption that anyone who likes ramen enough to purchase a lifetime supply contract is particularly fond of the stuff, and probably craves it at least twice a week. At that pace, it’d take you a little under one year and eight months to start coming out ahead. Even if you’re only eating at Musashiya once a week, you’d still break even in three years and four months, so if you signed up as a college freshmen you’d be getting your money’s worth even before graduation.
And though 100,000 yen is a lot of money for a college kid to scrounge up under normal circumstances, Musashiya chose that price because it matches the standard stimulus payment the Japanese government is making to individuals as part of its coronavirus pandemic countermeasures.
It’s worth noting that the announcement tweet is sort of sparse on specifics, such as whether the deal is only good for the restaurant’s least expensive ramen, or whether deluxe options are also covered. There also aren’t any details on the frequency with which you have access to your free ramen, which is another thing you’ll want to confirm with Musashiya before making any payment. However, a follow-up tweet from the restaurant trumpets “At the moment you purchase this plan, you can reduce your food costs to zero for the rest of your life,” so it really does sound like you can stop by for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and if so, with Musashiya open seven days a week, you really could eat every meal there for free for the rest of your days.
Musashiya (Nishi Chiba branch) / 武蔵家（西千葉店）
Address: Chiba-ken, Chiba-shi, Chuo-ku, Kasuga 2-19-9
Open 11 a.m.-midnight
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