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

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A change of tune...

Day 503:

Dear friends,

Unrelated to all the events that are currently happening in Japan, I have decided to leave Bassanova. Tomorrow is officially my last day. Forgive me for not informing you sooner, but with all that has happened in recent days I didn't feel it was appropriate. About a month ago I was approached with an opportunity that I couldn't refuse. I was given a chance to learn from the best of the best.

Exactly one year ago, I began working at my favorite ramen shop in the world. It's been nothing but amazing and easily the best job I've had so far. To say that it has been a dream is definitely an understatement. There are no words to describe my experience here. I have met some of the greatest people and made several lifelong friends. It's not an easy decision to leave something I love, but my Bassanova family insists that I not let this opportunity pass me by. They have been incredibly supportive and I am very thankful for that. I feel extremely horrible for leaving them at a time like this, but with Boom returning shortly and my replacement having been found, I only become a distraction.

With that said, I'd like to thank everyone, whether you've been to Bassanova or just read about it on my blog. Bassanova and its people will always have a special place in my heart. I often get mistaken as being the owner, which I'm not, but who knows...maybe someday...

Anyway, I was up early chatting with loved ones before work and realized that I still had time to get Mcdonald's breakfast. Sausage Mcmuffin and coffee for only 200 yen!

Then it was back to working the lunch shift with Chee-chan. Life in Tokyo seems to be getting back to normal. Hopefully we can soon start concentrating more energy on those who literally lost everything due to the earthquake and tsunami and to those workers who are risking their lives to save ours. It's really unfortunate that the nuclear scare has overshadowed all of this but these are all serious issues. I don't blame anyone for fleeing Tokyo. And I know the people, Japanese or not, who remain in Tokyo don't feel like this either. The people in Japan are respectful like that. Hence, no looting, no rioting, no violence, etc. It seems like the only people making anything an issue are those that are doing it from a distance. If you want to know what it was like from my friend's perspective, please read her post Aftermath & Afterthoughts. Yes, we are very fortunate to still have our lives and the ability to return to a normal life, but stress in any form is not something easy to deal with for anyone, even robots.

Coincidentally, Chee-chan will also be leaving Bassanova. This would be our last day working together. At least for now. If I ever open up a shop in the US, I will be asking for her help.

With the 21st being my last day, I was looking forward to my going away party on the 22nd. But since I don't start the new job until next month and it would be pointless to stick around without work, I've decided to calm the nerves of my loved ones and leave Tokyo for the time being. My girlfriend will be waiting for me in France. I leave Tuesday. From the looks of it, there's no ramen in France so I guess this could also calm the nerves of the people who think I eat too much ramen.

After work, I went to visit Jake-san to share the news that I would be leaving Bassanova and incidentally wound up finding Nemo. Jake-san had adopted this fish tank from someone who couldn't take care of it any longer.

I was in the mood for his shio ramen.

And of course, I couldn't leave without the yabayaki.

It's time for all of us to become closer.

My trip to France will not be for vacation. Sure I'll probably be seeing some sights and researching how ramen would work in Europe, but the main reason is to help raise money for those affected by this tragedy in Japan. My girlfriend, who is also a poet and has a following in France, has already started working on raising money and awareness for her home country.

I thank you all for taking time out of your busy lives to read my measly ramen blog. This is how I stay sane. I really appreciate all the comments, emails, and support. Let's hope this great country can go back to what it was and more. Peace.


  1. good luck keizo, and have a safe journey to france

  2. That's great Keizo, I'm glad you will have your "Assistant" restored to you.

    I am an expat living in Yoyogi Uehara (well, until last week anyway) and was hoping to meet you one of these days. I'm being sent to Singapore now but hey, maybe later. Best of luck in your endeavors.


  3. Good luck Keizo, and glad you're reconnecting with loved ones in the time being. Go Ramen!

  4. Have a safe trip and a wonderful time in France, Keizo! Hopefully we can meet again, when we're all back in Japan. - Emma (PS: Thanks for the link! :)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. if there is any ramen in France, you will be the one to find it. good luck, wall st. pundit.

  7. Peace, health and prosperity to you and everyone else in the midst of the changes afoot.

    In the meantime, safe travels to you!!!


  8. Good Luck in France! If you make it to Portland, be sure to come say "Hi" at Boke Bowl! bokebowl.com


  9. Whadya mean *if* you decide to open up a shop in the US? What good is all that skill and knowledge you've picked up if you're not gonna come back and share? :P j/k. Good luck finding ramen in France. When I was there a few years ago, all I could find in Paris was a place called Opera Ramen on Boulevard des Capucines. I didn't have time to stop in at the time, but there's a big "Restaurant Japonais" sign above it and they advertised gyoza and ramen in Japanese.

  10. Hey Keizo, I wish you a safe journey to France and and a great success for your and your girlfriends campaign.
    And afterwards I wish you the best for your new job! Even though I thought about visiting you at Basa at my next trip to Tokyo...
    To the comment of Anonymous to entry ago I only can say he/she is absolutely wrong. Even though I live in Germany we were massively affected from the accident in Tschernobyl 25 years ago. There were times people in Germany weren't allowed to leave there houses and the crops in the south were heavenly polluted. If something will happen everyone in Japan and around the world will be affected...some people ar just so stupid.
    Anyways, good luck!!! And please bring good Ramen to Germany someday ^^

  11. Good Luck Keizo at the next ramen ramen shop, but until then, have a fun and safe trip to France!

  12. @ to even compare chernobyl with the fukushima situation shows your complete scientific ignorance. sorry, no point to discuss this further.

  13. Hi Keizo. I've been following your blog for a while and am a big fan. I'm only sorry to hear you won't be writing it for a while. If you plan to blog about your experiences in France, please be sure to let us all know (I'm particularly interested because I grew up there...). Good luck to you! Fugitive Patrick

  14. お疲れさんでした。Good luck to you! Go Keizo! Go Raman!

  15. Bon voyage, mon ami! I'm sure you will find plenty of good things to eat in France. If not Ramen, there's plenty of good pho. Of course, there's aways McDonald's, too!

    PS, I knew there was something up when you cryptically ended a post with post "I'm goning to miss the GCP".

  16. Even though I'm a new reader, it has been an extreme pleasure to take a break from the media and read how you've been able to still find a sense of daily normality in work and in a bowl of ramen. Safe travels and I hope you continue to update your blog.

  17. have a safe trip to France. can't wait to hear about your next chapter.

  18. Thank you for everything you've shared with us over the past year(s). I enjoy reading your blog tremendously.

  19. Hope you have a good trip to Frnace and just wanted wish you on your new journey to come!!! Love you blog!!

    btw my husband is Japanese and when we lived in Paris the closest that we got with good japanese ramen was this place called Ebisu in the 1er arr. Their shio ramen & tantan men with their homemade gyoza was to die for....i know being in france its hard to get good Japanese food but we got our fills there so if you have time you should try! Hope this helps and once again BIG FAN of your blog and hope to see more!!!

    19 rue St Roch 75001Paris
    Neighborhood: 1er arr.
    TEL 01 42 61 05 90


  20. Hi Keizo,
    Best wishes for your future endeavours. We have no doubt you'll do great. Enjoy your time in France with your girlfriend. No doubt, Japan will go back to what it was and more.
    Take care,
    Eugene & leanne

  21. Keizo!

    Osokunatte gomen nasai! I wish you the best in France, and we gotta keep in touch! Gambatte kudasai~ (*'-')

  22. @beruang buncit: thank you!

    @heller66: Rich! thanks for all your comments. i was hoping to meet you too someday. i'm sure you've noticed but i've been in living in uehara lately too. perhaps we've crossed paths and not even known it. best of luck to you in Singapore!

    @Dennis: Thanks Dennis!!

    @shichimi: Emma!! Thank you! Can't wait to do hanami when you get back.

    @Tamaklkat: Merci!

    @wall st: you know me all too well.

    @J: Thank you!

    @macurious: Brannon! Thank you! I'm looking forward to trying Boke Bowl someday. I'll let you know if I ever make it out to Portland. Good luck with the shop and feel free to email me if you want to share ideas.

    @edjusted: 'if' i decide to share, you will be the first. haha. thanks ed!

    @Stella: Thanks! Yes ramen in Germany sounds like a great idea!

    @KFP: Thanks Danny!!

    @Patrick: Thanks dude. I'll continue to blog don't worry. :)

    @Jay: ありがとうございます!元気?

    @MRatito: Thanks! I can't get anything passed you. Care to guess where i'm going next? There are plenty of hints. haha.

    @MunchBrunch: Thank you for reading!

    @jeesung: Thanks! I can't wait to start!

    @Cailin: Thank you for being such a faithful follower!

    @sheena: Thank you so much! I appreciate the rec but I wasn't able to make it out to Paris.

    @Eugene: Eugene!! Thanks for the comment. I hope you are well. Tell Leanne I said hi.

    @Exile Kiss: お久しぶり!元気?頑張りま〜す!