Monday, 15 April 2013

Cup Noodles, Afros and Yokohama

So, after quite a long while of distractions, I have finally decided to pull my finger out and finish off the holiday I had in Japan last year.

>_>

Yearp, you heard right.

August the 4th 2012

Here comes the day I was looking forward to for a while.  A special trip into the shopping heart of Yokohama, around the wonderful area of Landmark Tower to go to a place that is bound to have a special place in my heart.

The Cup Noodles Museum.

You heard right!

As we approached, I saw it across the road.  I was initially disappointed.  I mean it was a ‘Museum’ based on cup noodles, and for something like this to crop up, you’d expect a little bit of wackiness surely.  But the building was surprisingly plain.  I thought there’d be a huge cup noodle jutting out of one of the walls somewhere.  Maybe this is a contemporary interpretation of the famous cup noodle packaging or something.

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It was during school holidays and the place was packed.  The museum is well known for the option of being able to make your very own cup noodles, which includes flavouring as well as decorating the package.   You need to make a booking for this though as they only have limited places and being school holidays and me a late riser, the earliest I could get in was about 3pm.  I had other places to be by then, so I skipped.  Next time.

Once in (the foyer had a very hotel look to it) I was impressed with the levels.  They had FIVE levels of cup noodle fun!
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Although admittedly the first level was the foyer and gift shop.

The first level was the most museum like part of the whole place.  It had all the packaging styles of Cup Noodle Products arranged by year.  It was really Fascinating.  I enjoyed this part the most I think.  Just having a look to see if I recognised any and to see the original ‘Chicken Ramen’ noodle pack that started it all.

Yes that’s right ladies and gentlemen, Cup Noodles started the 2 minute noodles.  I think I used to have one a day when I was a kid/teen after school.

The room was square and full of not only noodles but people as well.
            Original “CHIKIN RAMEN.”                             Obviously a bit empty in the beginnings.
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That guy with the moustache reminds me of two people.  Sgt Slaughter and this guy from Godzilla Final Wars, Douglas Gordan (Never trust a man whose first and last names are both first names), played by Don Frye
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Milk Seafood. What the hell??

And a pan of the room.

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Next up was a trip to the Cup Noodle theatre, which naturally doesn’t allow you to take some photos.  Ratchet did sneak one in before it all started.  The movie was a lovely little piece of propaganda telling everyone the humble beginnings of the old Cup Noodle, the inventor guy worked quite hard with the intention of becoming rich and it was pretty interesting actually.

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Once you leave the cinema area, there is a little model of the guy’s house (I forget his name) with some working props and displays going on.  It’s actually interesting to see what set up he had when he started exploring the way of the noodle.

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They had a projector set up to simulate the boiling the noodles in oil, as real oil would be dangerous. 

Of course.


After that is an area full of the changes that instant noodle brought on on a wall, which then led to some interactive displays.  The whole place is aimed at kids and families.  Preferably younger kids.

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I will say they certainly like to blow their own trumpet here. 

The next sign really caught my eye:
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Hmm, ‘If it can’t be sold, find out how to sell it.’ 
Or perhaps change the product because it’s a bit of crap.  This sign changed my view of the Cup Noodle inventor, sure the guy has get-up-and-go all right, but this is an extremely capitalist way of looking at things and it really got my goat.  This idea is pretty much stating that people will buy any old piece of crap if it’s marketed well.  Which is pretty true, but it’s a bad philosophy.  Anyway, enough of my political ideological ranting.

Moving on, there was this rather cool wall are with an inspiration comes from anywhere theme and generally that was the gist of the museum.  Almost everything stems from something else, sort of thing.  There were these images on the wall and when you pressed them ‘shadow’ would float up and take form of the inspiration for the thing you pressed, they also had some sounds as well.  It’s hard to describe, but luckily I have some video footage of one of them.





Interestingly they are too sharp to be actual shadows, so they must be black projections, but I couldn’t spot where they were being projected from!  No matter where you stood, you didn’t black the image.  Rear projection perhaps?  The wall appeared to be solid.  The only thing I could think of is a projected mounted in the roof, but the angle of projection would have been so steep, even the projector’s keystone settings wouldn’t have been able to compensate.  Intriguing. 


Anyway, moving on a bit we hit the area of the guy promoting himself and  his wonderful cup noodles and mighty power.  I will admit it was a bit self-indulgent in a way.  Eventually you come across this big stand with him standing amongst other ‘peers.’

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Yes, that’s right he’s up there with Albert Einstein and um, some baseball guy…  What an eclectic mix.

Soon after that we hit the “Make your own Cup Noodle floor.”  Once again, you had to book for this and the wait was long, as a result, I have snuck some shots of other’s cup noodles. Hee hee hee.

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Check out that sign, the times with the circle are the ones that are available.  I took that photo at 11:30 in the morning and the first session wasn’t available until, um, 3:30 or so. Yowsers.  And it was a big floor too.  everybody seemed to be having fun.  Once you were done, you could pop your noodles into a little air bubble bag thing.

Anyway, after that we went looking at the themed playground and it was pretty well done.  Then next up was the food market hall, which had a large variety of (you guessed it) noodles from around the world, it was pretty well done.  the serves were small though, but then they were meant to be samples.  Each corner had a specific theme/feel to it, so the Chinese section had a different look and feel to it when compared to the Thai section.  All in one room.

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Then we went outside and well, it wasn’t the bestest of weather.  But there was some band/concert thing going on somewhere or the other.  Naturally, I though it a good time to test out my new camera!

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All those little traffic controllers down there, how could I resist the temptation to use my miniature mode optionsss!

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MWA  HA HA HA HA!
Anyway, despite my initial excitement at the 5 levelled goodness that the Cup Noodle Museum represented, the conclusion that I came down to was that there wasn’t all that much there really.  But for what it was worth, it was good fun.  I recommend it.  there is heaps of English, the movie has an earphone piece thing you can listen to if you want to hear it in English (although the voice work is, um, interesting).  Finally before we left, I spied this big fellow.

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A very nice metaphor for the world’s politics hey?

Oh? No?  Oh, um yes, inspiration comes from the most unlikeliest of sources.  Yeeees….

A quick zip around the gift was shop, well a little disappointing for me.  I could think of heaps fo exciting junk that they could make, but it was decidedly lacking in a way, so no goodies for me.  But that’s ok, after going over the road we headed into some ‘market’ type place and found some lovely amusement for me.  Although I must have been feeling a bit nasty on this day…

First up, a lolly shop.  this place was GOLD and despite the sign saying no photos, I queired the chicky at the shop and she said I could! 
:3

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Candy roll-y things, random bags, clip things shaped like Snickers bars.  And little lollies with faces!!

Best bits coming up.

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The place had a good feel and theme to it.  Very nicely indeedy.  And check that out, Strawberry Cheese Cake flavoured Kit Kats?!?!?!?!?!??  AND Green Tea flavoured ones too. O M G!

But those aren’t the best bits baby!

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Check that sign. Damn I loves me some Engrish!

But it ain’t over yet!

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BA HA HA HA HA HA!

WHAT THA HELL?  I love that sign.  It is too awesome for words!
Obama, popcorn, bears and Teast.  It all makes perfect sense. 

I love you Japan.  I just want you to know that OK?

Some more wandering provided this:
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I think they have demo of some Tuna cutting for the sashimi for lunch.   We were too late, but man, that would have been fresh!!

Our ‘lunch’ well snack really as we had previously scoffed a small bowl of noodles was not nutritious.
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Mmm, mm!  That’s some unhealthy stuff right there.  But it was good.  So we munched our little crepes and enjoyed them immensely and made out our way home as by now it was getting a bit late. 

But hold tha phone!  What’s that?  Why I do believe it is one of the most wonderful things in Japan.

That’s right boys n Girls, it’s a

パン屋さん

Or a Pan Ya San.
Bread Shop to you and me. 

Check out all these yummy pictures!

Big Fluffy looking Melon Pan down here!!  OMG I WANNA EATS IT!
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Aaw damn, Lookit alla that thar bread!  Oh man, it’s making me hungry!!

So we went outside to the wonderful world of Yokohama.

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On the way through Landmark tower to the train station we came across some dance off thing, hosted by some comedian, um, dude, who looks familiar.

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He didn’t look too excited to be there….


Somehow we made our way home and the local park had a matsuri going on!  Woot, and off we went.
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It wasn’t anything super major, but there was a cool local atmosphere to the whole thing.

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Oh yeah, then the burning of little fireworks started! MWA HA HA HA HA!  It was a good day overall.  We bought our dinner from one of the stands at the matsuri and finally called it a day.

5 comments:

  1. tets it is my destiny to get Bruticus finished. his parts have reared their faces again at Wal-mart and i heard the word Christmas wispered between my mom and dad when i told them what i had found-- mwaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha they will be mine and i will take over cybertron once more!!!!!!!!!!!-- Megatron get off my laptop what are you doing

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  2. Replies
    1. Yeah, It was a beautiful sight! Next time I go, I will have to make a trip to the Ramen Museum in Shin Yokohama

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