Tokyo, Japan – December 20, 2016 – KLab Inc., a leader in online mobile games, announced that KLab Food&Culture, Inc., a subsidiary of KLab founded to focus on the exportation of Japanese cuisine and culture to the world, opened its first “Ramen Arena” in China on December 19. The new food-centric theme park is located in the heart of Shanghai, in the area’s flagship shopping center, Joy City.
*From Left: Michiaki Oguri (President of Japan External Trade Organization Shanghai), Ikuyo Murashima (Consul Political and Economic Chief from Consulate-General of Japan in Shanghai), Wilson Wei (General Manager of Joy City (Shanghai) Co, Ltd), Tetsuya Sanada (President and CEO of KLab Inc.), Masaru Matsumoto (President and CEO of KLab Food&Culture Shanghai Inc.), Hantsu Endo (Ramen Arena Honorary Arena Master), and Mamo Negishi (President and CEO of KLab Food&Culture Inc.)
At the opening ceremony, KLab CEO Tetsuya Sanada was joined by Ikuyo Murashima, Consulate-General of Japan in Shanghai, Michiaki Oguri, President of Japan External Trade Organization Shanghai, and Wilson Wei, General Manager of Joy City (Shanghai) Co, Ltd, along with other honored guests, to commemorate the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
KLab Food&Culture CEO Mamo Negishi stated, “Opening our first Ramen Arena in Shanghai today was an incredible experience, and I would like to thank everyone who helped make this new venture possible. Each store brings something unique to the table, and it has been both an honor and a privilege trying out each one. At the same time, this is only the beginning. We are laying plans for a franchise-based series of Ramen Arenas that will reach large-scale shopping centers around the globe.”
Honda Shinichi, head of Menya Makoto (Ramen Kurume Honda Shoten) commented, “I was excited about the idea of bringing our home-grown ramen to the international food scene. That’s pretty much what convinced me to throw my chef’s cap in the ring. We received a lot of support in this effort, everything from contracting vendors to hiring local staff members, as well as dealing with local tax laws and other accounting services. This allowed us to focus on bringing the best quality of our unique brand of ramen, along with the freshest ingredients, in order to open our store in Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in our ramen, and a lot of love goes into each bowl. We sincerely hope that everyone who visits the Ramen Arena will be able to enjoy a unique experience and the taste of Japanese ramen.”
KLab Food&Culture has searched all over Japan for ramen shops that best represent the unique cultural aspects of Japanese Ramen. Of these shops, it has selected only the best to be part of the development and operation of its first food theme park. The Ramen Arena in Shanghai is directly owned and operated by KLab Food&Culture and its affiliates.
Plans for future Ramen Arenas, specifically the second and third in the series, will involve working with large-scale shopping facilities and other potential partners interested in franchising opportunities. KLab Food&Culture is currently searching for owners and developers of shopping facilities, business partners interested in the joint-operation of Ramen Arena facilities, and ramen shops interested in opening up shops internationally.
Interested parties are encouraged to contact KLab Food&Culture here:
The Ramen Arena project was supervised by the renowned food journalist Hantsu Endo. The business seeks to create food-centric theme parks in new locations around the world.
Hantsu Endo, Honorary Arena Master, commented, “Shanghai is a bustling metropolis of over 24 million people, and we were given the opportunity to open a ramen-centered theme park on a grand scale with the help of some of the best ramen shops in Japan right in the heart of the city. Despite the challenges inherent in expanding to new locations, each shop was able to produce top-quality ramen through countless hours of intense culinary research. I was awed at each participating store’s ability to overcome the barriers facing this cross-cultural project and produce such a fine product. These men and women are the true Samurai of our era. I am also extremely pleased that we are able to bring a variety of ramen shops from different parts of Japan to the world.”
The first ramen arena was modeled after a bustling Japanese market. The interior is modeled to give it a distinct Japanese feel. The facility is anchored by seven ramen shops selected from the best Japan has to offer, and also includes seven stores focusing on popular Japanese merchandise.
Shanghai Ramen Arena (Chinese name: 拉麺競技館): http://www.ramenarena.cn
Hantsu Endo is a Japanese journalist. His first major breakthrough was a series of magazine articles focusing on international travel. He went on to garner national fame for his food journalism. He has been featured on television, magazines, and has published his own books on the subject, as well as producing his own restaurant series. He used his knowledge and personal experience with Japanese gourmet food from across the country to assist Namco Limited in their food theme park business, supervising projects such as the “Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku” in Hokkaido, and the “Tsugaru Ramen Kaido” in Aomori.
Founded in August 2016, KLab Food&Culture, Inc. is headquartered in Tokyo and led by CEO Mamo Negishi. The company was created to assist Japanese businesses with establishing overseas operations, and offers consultation services for food industry partners. KLab Food&Culture is a subsidiary company owned by KLab Inc. (70%) and Food Marketing Asia Inc. (30%). For more details on the company, please see http://www.klabfoodandculture.jp/.