Opened the old main storeFebruary 1984
Opened Onojo storeFebruary 1993
2nd store openedFebruary 1994
Opened the current main storeFebruary 2001
Akasaka store openedJune 2007
Hakata store openedDecember 2020
- Main store
- Onojo store
- 2nd store
My brother founded "Yamanaka" in Ohashi in 1984, and about three years later, I was invited to the store.
At that time, there was only one old main store, and there weren't many customers.
The upper part of the house was a residence, and when the number of customers gradually increased, the second floor was also renovated to become a store.
I entered a few years after Koichi joined.
It was the first time I came to Fukuoka from Saga to go to a university, and I went to a part-time job interview when I was living alone for the first time.
Yamanaka Why did you decide to work part-time at the Motsunabe restaurant?
I was a teenager, so I was attracted to places where I could eat delicious food.lol
I didn't know that Yamanaka was a popular restaurant, and I jumped in without knowing anything so much about Motsunabe.
Yamanaka At that time, it was a busy time with a large number of customers.
Koichi had a soft and calm impression when he was talking normally, but when he was busy, he saw that he could move smoothly without waste, and from the first impression, I admired "it's amazing".
When I was a student, I didn't have the opportunity to work together in the kitchen because I was a hall staff, but I was always studying from you.
Yamanaka The number of stores has increased steadily, but each store has a small and cozy atmosphere, and I think that is the same as it is now.
Yes, I was kind of nervous for the first time, but within a few days, I was able to get along well.
At that time, the store held a "Motsu-kai" once a week, and we, the part-time staff, employees, and Koichi-san, had the opportunity to sit around the table and have the Motsunabe. I was looking forward to it.
In our busy schedule, one day goes by quickly, and sometimes harsh words come and go during work, but I felt like we were becoming friends by eating the same Motsunabe.
Yamanaka Tominaga-san had high expectations from everyone and helped set up a new store even though he was a part-time job.
"Yamanaka" gained popularity, and the number of customers increased steadily as the media picked it up like the representative of Fukuoka's Motsunabe.
The number of stores increased, and there were not enough human resources, so I was just doing my best.
Yamanaka I am the same. Looking back, there are times when it seems that we have joined the ranks of long-established stores due to our long history, but basically, we just do what we can to make the customers in front of us happy.
While experiencing both the hall and the kitchen, I realized how "Yamanaka" has taken on each challenge with the customer in mind.
And I'm glad that the customers who have come for many years understand it.
For example, we created the two-hour system because we feel sorry for keeping customers waiting outside for too long.
When they tried to make a reservation on the weekend, they had to wait for 2 to 3 months, and even though they came to the store, they could not easily enter, so we divided the time thinking that it will be comfortable for as many customers as possible.
I was impressed when I heard that the reason for using a sukiyaki pot with a good heat passage and serving it in a cooked and ready-to-eat state is to serve it to hungry customers as soon as possible.
I only knew "Yamanaka", so I took it for granted, but I'm proud to be able to work at this store every time customers praise us that this is something others can't do.
Yamanaka Some things change with the times, but we want to firmly protect the taste of Motsunabe made by my brother and the "Yamanaka" style.
Yamanaka It is unique to us, who have history and tradition, not just to keep the tradition but to conduct an aggressive strategy.
We were surprised when the Akasaka store was opened.
The store that the wife of the former owner created while discussing with the architect, with a firm feeling for space, had a completely different atmosphere from the image of Motsunabe store that had been held until then.
Yamanaka It's a very sophisticated space like the Western-style building, and it's a place where adults can enjoy extraordinary life.
Tominaga I was assigned the position of a so-called master chef from the time this store opened, so I was under pressure that I couldn't even sleep at first. When I was a student, I used to wear a T-shirt, torn jeans, and an apron, but at the Akasaka store, I thought my spine grew because we had to serve the customers in uniforms like a luxury hotel.
Yamanaka Clientele has changed dramatically from families to the business people at the time of Ohashi.
Yes, by keeping the store beautiful, the number of a group of women coming together who had rarely been seen before increased.
However, the charm of "Yamanaka" is the deliciousness of Motsunabe.
Having a core that the customers are here for Motsunabe and taking the same perspective to make the customers happy.
So far, I feel like I've reached this point while I was looking forward and running hard.
There were also hardships we could do nothing about, such as mad cow disease and corona sickness.
However, we have overcome it by firmly preserving our unique taste.
I want to continue to inherit this traditional baton firmly.
Yes, I started to work when I was a student, and now I'm a master chef, and I'm playing a role in inheriting the feelings to the younger generation.
Numbers can measure some parts of the Motsunabe recipe, but numbers cannot convey many things.
I want to inherit the feelings I received from the previous owner and Koichi-san, and the pride of being loved by customers to the young generation, and I want to make it a store that will continue for even 100, maybe 200 years. This is something only I can do because I've been watching this store's history firmly.