An Inside Look at my Udon Shop Job in Japan

Near the end of November of last year, I saw a post on JALUP about Share House, a new project from the directors of 笑ってコラえて. I have an unusual job for a foreigner–working in a Sanuki udon shop–so I figured that I may as well go ahead and submit a questionnaire. Filling out the questionnaire involved writing more Japanese in one sitting than I’ve ever written in my life, but the hard work I put into it paid off and I landed an interview!

New Years Special 3

After a bit of waiting, I got a phone call asking if I would like to appear in a different segment on the 笑ってコラえて 2-hour New Year special. The premise would be similar to Share House: highlighting foreigners with a dedication to a Japanese dream: in my case, learning how to make udon.

New Year Special 4

Filming was a grueling, but a very rewarding experience! The company I work for was completely on board, and they bumped my training ahead a little bit for the occasion. In interviews, I spoke about my interest in Japan and the time I’ve spent here, and learned a lot about the people I work with from their interviews as well. It goes without saying that my Japanese got better during this time too.

New Years Special 2

Here’s the preview on the site of the segment I will appearing in.


Check it out! Broadcast date: 1月15日(水)19:56~

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Akebi spends her time playing copious amounts of video games in Japanese, when she's not learning the craft of making delicious noodles at her part-time job.


An Inside Look at my Udon Shop Job in Japan — 7 Comments

  1. Great job! That was a really fun episode.

    I loved your “ninja” introduction haha.

    I didn’t realize you have been training for 3 years. You must be a pro by now!

    And interesting nickname there as well. I get the ね was taken from your real name for 音 (おと), but did the owners come up with that?

    Really excellent story to show here that you can go to Japan, start as an English teacher, and as long as you get good at Japanese and really discipline yourself, you can branch off into whatever you desire.


  2. Hahaha, the ninja introduction was unexpected!

    I’ve been at the job for 3 years, but I haven’t been doing training for quite that long. I’ve probably had a year of training, all told, spread out over two years or so. It all depends on what the personnel situation looks like, since the number of people who can teach the upper-level stuff is small.

    On the nickname, during my homestay in Yokohama somebody picked kanji (蛇音流)for my name and I remembered that on my first day at the job when they asked about a nickname. My first name is difficult for natives to pronounce easily and I also wanted something that sounded different from the staff members at the time (a lot of -a names at the time, like Maru and Fuuka and Risa), to pick it out over all the noise. Someone on 2chan correctly guessed that the first kanji was 蛇 and was asking why not へびちゃん, but I think that’s obvious. I mean, I think snakes are rad, but most people I’ve encountered think they’re either gross, or bad luck.

    This was a fun episode, not because I appeared, but because of the elementary-school pro-wrestler! What a kid!

    • Here’s a link to the episode:

      And yes really cool episode! I laughed out loud when wrestler-kid did his introduction. Man, that kid is so freaking awesome! :D And who’s the special guest little girl? I got that she’s smart (頭がいい)and she likes to read Edo period novels. Also I have to say I was a bit shocked when they showed the manga decapitation with the little kids watching haha

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