Welcome to my ramen dream... Currently being interpreted in Ramen Burger Land... Looking for a good slurp? Email me ! - Keizo

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Living The Ramen Dream...

Dear Friends,

We all dream. We dream about many different things. But primarily, we dream about the good things in life that make us happy. Some of us strive for them and some of us just admire them from afar. Regardless, these dreams help us live for the future and give us hope and reason. So today, if you don't mind, I would like to share with you my dream--my Ramen Dream...

It all started when I was young, very young. My mom often jokes that she may have eaten too much ramen while I was in the womb, but I still think she didn't eat enough. I was born in the U.S. but my parents were both born in Japan, so growing up we would often visit relatives in and around Tokyo at least once a year. It was during those times that I became obsessed with ramen at such a young age. As a kid, I was very picky with what I ate (I can eat anything now) and refused to eat any of the traditional Japanese foods because they all sounded and looked so gross. Apparently, this frustrated my mom. So being the great mom that she is and because she'd rather not see her son starve to death, she took me down the street to the nearest ramen-ya in hopes of finding something I would like. And what do you know, I did.

Now back to my dream. I began to realize it back in April during my inspirational ramen journey throughout Japan. At that time, I knew what I wanted to do, but I just didn't know how I would go about doing it. I even wrote on the last day: "As this dream is officially coming to an end, it has opened the door for a new one to follow." Well guess what? The day to enter that door has finally come. So without further ado, let me explain.

Last week, I submitted my resignation from my job as a programmer. And beginning next month, I will be moving to Japan to start a new job at a popular ramen shop in Tokyo. Most people think I'm crazy to give up such a good job just to go make noodles, but that's only because they don't really know me or my passion. This is my dream. It's my only shot at actually living it so I can't let this opportunity pass on by. I'm sure it will be hard and I know that I will struggle, but the mere thought of getting to actually live in Tokyo to work and learn the art of ramen from one of the best gives me goosebumps. I'm nervous, yet more excited than I've ever been in my life!

I'll reveal the shop and the master soon enough, but I first wanted to fill you in on my dream. I know I can count on you to support me. After all, we've come this far together and I thank YOU for letting me share all my ramen encounters on this measly blog. I will do my best to document my experience on a frequent basis as well as provide bigger and better reviews from Japan. So please stay tuned and join me as I live the Ramen Dream!

Yours Truly,

p.s. I leave for Japan on 11/2.


  1. Oh my gosh! Well! Let me be the first to wish you a heartfelt congratulations!!!

  2. Congratulations!
    Wow, you are brave, but you have a big heart, so I feel like you'll succeed in whatever you do. (can I have your old job? just kidding)
    I'm so excited for you. I'm so happy you're chasing after your dream!

  3. Does this mean I have to change the sheets on the guest bed?

  4. Always knew this day would come sooner than later. Best of luck dude, and I'd love to come visit when I eventually get my arse out to Japan.

  5. Congratulations. I too am a programmer and although I am American in all senses of the word, I've thought about doing that very thing many times. I admire your courage.

  6. This the awesomest news. You, Sir, are an inspiration. I mean that truly and deeply.

  7. That's all kinds of awesome. Ramen has a deep roots for my family (although Vietnamese, my parents were living in Japan when my siblings and I were born).

    And frankly, if you're going to be a real-life Tampopo, that's just ridic. Soooo cool!

    Now this is yet another reason for me to revisit my birthplace!!!

    Congrats, good luck, happy slurping, etc.


  8. Congratulations!

    I have to say, your blog is one of the best food related blogs I've discovered and it has been an invaluable resource to me and my girlfriend as we've traveled around SoCal trying all the different restaurants in your lists. I got hooked on Ramen a few years back after my first trip to Santouka and since then, I've learned more about Ramen and the different styles and discovered our favorite Ramen Ya, Asa. So best of luck... I'm both jealous of you and excited for you. I hope you still have time to share your new adventures with us.

  9. Congratulations! Very glad that you are able to follow your heart and pursue your dreams!

    Hopefully this will not be the end of GoRamen... even if henceforth I can't readily access any of the noodle awesomeness that you'll post upon.

    But nonetheless, I'll still rely upon your blog as a resource for all the ramen-yas around town.


  10. heh, coincidentally I was listening to Bump of Chicken's Tentai Kansoku when reading your post... hope you find your comet ;)

  11. Dear Keizo,

    I am very very happy for you to go after your life dream......I wish you the very best!!

    I will miss you....Pls keep in touch with us.....

    Alice :)

  12. SOOOO very exciting. Getting the opportunity to live the dream is SPECTACULAR!!!

    Can't wait to hear the tales of living and learning the lifestyle of RAMEN. :D You might soon smell like it.


  13. FUCK YEAH!

    The best thing I heard all day.

    Good luck.

  14. Congrats Keizo! I just know you'll be making some kick ass ramen over there!

  15. Remember your lessons Grasshopper

  16. I'm so happy for you! Way to pursue your dream.

  17. I need you to bring me some flour tortillas little bro. Soft taco size. And, if you have space in your suitcase, Miho wants some spray canola oil from Trader Joe's. And, if anyone else on your blog is coming to Japan, can you put that on your "bring to Japan list?" Thanks, Your First Customer

  18. winenomihoudai and greencurryramenOctober 23, 2009 at 5:05 AM

    The day you arrive 11/3 is a national holiday. Spain Bar then Bassa? Ask McDuckston and Nate "the guy who speaks better Japanese than I do" to meet us there.

  19. Yay Keizo!!!! This is so freaking cool! Best of luck to you and be sure to keep us posted on your ramen journey!

  20. Wow! This is the most comments I've ever had on a post. Well here goes my reply:

    @Wandering Chopsticks: thank you! congrats for being first! i suppose i can give u a tour of tokyo. haha :P

    @Smokeydoke: thanks! that means a lot! sure of course u can have my job!!

    @Jump7Miles: thanks! love the screenname!

    @Kung Food Panda: arigato! u gotta come to japan so we can hang out at Yokohama Chinatown!

    @Brian: Do I know you??

    @jadeandruby: yes please change the sheets. i don't wanna smell like you.

    @Liquoredonlife: thanks dude! definitely get ur arse out to japan!! u can be my cameraman!

    @Anonymous: i thank you for your admiration! it's alright if u call me crazy. haha.

    @Coffee Boss: wow thanks! now ur giving me goosebumps.

    @Chicken: Hi Hanh! thanks! ooh u were born in japan? cool! yes come visit!!

    @Jay: wow that's so cool to hear that! I'll do what i can to make time to share my new adventures!

    @H.C.: GoRamen will never end!!! did u see that light flash by?? haha.

    @Alice: thank you! i'll miss u guys too and of course i'll be keeping in touch!!

    @tallnoe: I smell like it now! and don't u dare try to lick me on friday! lol. :P

    @Ben: great comment!!

    @Dennis: thanks Dennis! maybe someday sd will have a great ramen-ya too. ;)

    @Wonton Forest: yes masta!

    @Protocol Snow: thank you! hopefully the dream will last forever.

    @your new landlord: anything else big bro? wine? beer? those personal enhancement pills? ahaha. jk.

    @winenomihoudai and greencurryramen: sounds like a plan!

    @Daily Gluttony: Thanks Pam!! I will be sure to keep you posted at all times!!

    @Brian: Once again, do I know you??

  21. I think it's awesome that you're pursuing your dream. Of course, you need to come back to LA and open up an amazing ramen-ya here. All the best to you!!

  22. Hi Keizo,

    We've already talked, but I wanted to congratulate you again on your blog in writing:

    Omedetou! (^_^)/

    Hounto ni sugoi desu ne? Can't wait to visit you soon. :)

    And finally...

    Gambatte kudasai Keizo! (^_^)/

  23. Congratulations on your move to Japan and the fulfillment of your ramen dream!

  24. I'm a long-time lurker on your blog. When I read this post I just had to come out and post a comment lol. It really did put a :) on my face. Congrats and good luck. Looking forward to your posts from Japan.

  25. Congrats! I'm going to live vicariously through you so I'm looking forward to all the posts! Heh heh. Hopefully I'll be able to meet up with you *in Japan* someday soon!

  26. @burumun: thanks! that could definitely be a possibility! ;)

    @Exile Kiss: Arigato~! this is just the beginning.

    @Anonymous: Thank you!

    @Lauren: Hi Lauren, thanks for being a "long-time lurker"!! Your comment puts a :) on my face!

    @edjusted: thanks ed! I hope we'll be able to meet up in japan too!

  27. Wow, this is exciting news, best of luck!! I will definitely visit the ramen-ya when I travel to Japan!!

  28. Hey Keizo,

    Good luck to you on that front! I'm very excited for you and would love it if you decided to open the shop up here in LA. If not, I'll have to go visit your ramen shop in Japan one of these days. This is exciting to say the very least.

    Congratulations buddy!!

  29. Excellent news! Congrats on your new position and good luck in Japan! Just one more reason to visit...

  30. Dude you are my hero. When I was in Japan earlier this year I had a piece of paper with the address of Ivan Ramen scribbled on it. I wasn't able to get there and for that I curse myself but your blog is great and until I can make it back to Japan I'm going to live vicariously thru you. Best of luck - and don't be shy with those noodle pics! :)

  31. @Anonymous: Thanks! Yes, definitely come visit. Ivan is a cool guy and he loves to chat with the customers.

    @Pepsi Monster: Dude you have to come visit now!

    @Marlon: Thanks that's very encouraging!

    @bitesandbolts: Thanks bb! Yes, come visit!!

    @Michelle: Haha. Thanks!! It's too bad you couldn't make it to Ivan's. Don't worry, there will be plenty of noodle pics to come!

  32. I haven't been here in a few months so I was shocked and thrilled to read about your new life. Good for you!!! Looking forward to forwarding to my husband-he'd do it too if we could swing it. Have a great time and when we come to Tokyo, we are coming in!


  34. That's Awesome!! I just started reading your blog and then clicked on your dream, since I have Ramen dreams as well!! Good Luck!!

  35. @Sue B: Hi Sue! Thanks. I'll be waiting for you!

    @Foo-Foo Tei: Murakami-san!! No time to play basketball. I only have time to work hard learning how to make good ramen. I miss all of you too. Can't wait to see you again and continue the dream in LA!

    @Darthuvius: Thank you! Good luck with your ramen dream as well.

  36. Hooooly crap, I can't believe I missed this!!! As soon as we moved house, the blog fell by the wayside and I haven't been able to even log on for awhile! Now I'm back and you've....Given up your career and moved to Japan for your passion?!?! WOW! My hero!!! :) I really hope I haven't missed you visiting Osaka again! We have actually found a restaurant that's got the best garlic chaashyuumen I've yet tasted, and I"d LOVE to see what you think of it and how you'd rate it against all that you've already tried! Will you ever visit Osaka again? I'd love to meet up for some ramen some time! :)

  37. I live close by and plan on hitting it up soon! People like you are an inspiration to us all! Live the dream brother, its not about $$, its not about fame, its about happiness... and happiness is in the bowl!


  38. @Nandakke: Ohisashiburi! Haha love the new blog name! Getting back down to Osaka is on the top of my list but I have no idea when that will be. I can't wait to meet up for some ramen with you. It would be awesome! Congrats on moving out of the ghetto! ;)

    @Jay2Dee2: Dude!! Thanks for coming in the other day! You have an awesome blog about my two fav things in the world--ramen and beer. We gotta hang out sometime! Hit me up brother!

  39. Keizo, sorry i'm late for the parade. But my wife just told me what you were doing and I just had to say that it not only takes determination to achieve a goal like yours and also some high risk. At the end of the day, it's not how much you make, but how happy you are... and of course, how delicious the food you eat is. Good luck in 2010.

  40. @edbm: no need to apologize and thanks so much for the encouragement! I wish you luck as well!

  41. You are my hero! I often find myself dreaming of Ramen in the middle of the day, and your story makes my passion not seem so crazy! It also shares with us that yes- we can do whatever we want in life! So, live it up Ramen man!!

  42. This is so awesome and inspiring!

  43. I know I'm a bit late but Congratulations on following your dream! Not many people really have the guts to do so and I say kudos to the ones who do! ^_^

    Does that mean I have some place I can crash in Japan now? O=D

  44. Hi, I came to your shop a few weeks ago and would like to congratulate you again!

    All the best,


  45. I've been reading your blog from the latest posting till here & now I realise what your dream is, even though I suspected it! LIVE LIFE BRO! Pursue your dreams! I regretted not pursuing mine & I know I wont ever in my life fulfil it! I admire your courage to break through the glass ceiling! :)

  46. Roberto

    Abbiamo lo stesso sogno, me tu lo hai realizzato, sei fortunato. Buona fortuna.
    We have the same dream, but you've realized this, you're lucky man. Good Luck.

  47. That is the most awesome thing ever. I only just discovered my love for ramen in Japan, craving it way too often that most of my friends don't want to eat with me anymore (they know where I'm heading):P Good luck and all the best with a ramen filled future :D