Woah another post?
On October 16th, my host family took me to another of the places that I had been wanting to go to for a while: the Cup Noodle Museum located in Yokohama. At this interactive museum there are many different areas to explore. Some of the areas include a food court that has different noodle dishes from different countries, a cup noodle themed play area for young children, a place where you can customize and create your own cup noodle, and also a kitchen where you can sign up to make your own chicken ramen.
Our first stop was the chicken ramen making experience. In the shiny and striped kitchen we were all given aprons and a bandana to wear. There was a little introduction given by the staff and then we were also shown a video about the history of chicken ramen.
After everyone washed up, we had a chance to begin decorating the packaging of our ramen. Then, when it was our turn we headed into the kitchen to begin making the ramen. It was pretty fun because we got to start from the flour and mix the dough, roll it through the noodle press, and then make and cut the noodles.
It’s all a very organized process. They even keep help you to follow your own noodles through the process of it being cooked and will show you it once it’s done through the window.
Once the noodles are done being cooked then the staff did a little closing than you and then everyone was called up to have their noodles packed up and sealed. They even let you eat the parts that broke off as a little sample. I think that it was a good experience to get to make the noodles and we were given a couple of extras such as another package of chicken ramen that was factory made and then we were allowed to keep our bandanas. Even the bag that we were given is pretty interesting. Please try to read it if you’re interested! I like the sound of “human beings are noodle beings” LOL
But wait, the noodle fun was just getting started. After making our own chicken ramen then the ramen experience team made up of my host mom, host brother, and I met up with the other noodle playground team made up of my host dad and host sister to go an eat lunch at the food court. It was really nicely decorated and the atmosphere was cool since it was a mix of the noodle dishes from different countries. Most of the dishes were kind of small so that you could go and try food from more than one place.
The first dish that I tried came from the Korea food stall. It was actually a cold noodle dish that was a little bit too chewy for me to comfortably eat. Since I wasn’t that happy with that, I ended up eating another dish that was like a stir fry with shrimp.
I actually really liked this one and I wouldn’t mind being able to eat it again as I am writing this post.
Once our stomach was full of noodles it was time to move on to another noodle-related activity. This was the My Cup Noodle Factory experience. This was something that I had seen Facebook videos about even while in America and I was excited to finally be able to do it. How it works is you purchase an empty cup from the vending machine, then wait until you are seated at one of the tables.
At the tables you can use the pens to draw on your cup. After you are satisfied with your work you get into another line where you will be able to spin a crank to put the noodles in upside down, choose your soup base, and a few toppings. For me I chose the original soup base and put the chicken shaped fish cake, egg, green onions, and maybe shrimp.
After choosing the toppings the worker puts your cup noodle into the shrink wrap plastic machine and you are able to pluck it out. Just like the chicken ramen making experience, everything is super organized and streamlined so you just move through the line.
Once you’ve got your own original cup noodle in hand then you can pack it up so that you can carefully carry it home. You stick your cup noodle into this plastic sleeve thing and then pump air into it so that it inflates, holding your cup noodle in place. Then you tie a string through the carrier and you are ready to go.
After this we were done at the Cup Noodle Museum but we weren’t done with our noodle themed excursion day yet. We did take a short detour to look at the bay and the nearby shopping areas though. I would have to say that Yokohama is one of my favorite places. It just feels so refreshing because I love being near the water. It is also just a really attractive place in my opinion.
We stopped by the Akarenga or Red Brick Warehouse, looked around the stores a little bit, picked up a snack, and played hide and seek. There are actually a lot of cute little stores inside as well as an extensive food court. It’s a really nice place but we were just there for a quick pit-stop and we had kids who aren’t really interested in that kind of stuff so we spent most of our time sitting outside.
After we were done here we headed back to the train station to head towards the Yokohama Ramen Hatsubutsukan or Ramen Museum.
I will have to admit that when we first walked up to the building I was slightly disappointed because it looked so underwhelming, but that quickly went away as we actually went inside and downstairs to where the ramen stores were. It was decorated completely to feel like an old-Japan setting. It was like a little town in itself but all of the stores were ramen shops specializing in different types of ramen.
My host dad wanted to eat something spicy but the kids can’t eat that since it’s “otona aji” or “adult flavored” so instead we went to a different shop.
I got my favorite type of ramen which I found to be pretty much anything with an egg and charsiu in it.
After we ate we walked around, went into the old candy shop and picked up a cheap dessert, then left the museum to begin the hour and a half long journey back home on the train.
It was a really fun day that was mostly for my benefit so I am so grateful to my host family for taking me. I feel bad when we go out because the kids can be a handful but my host family never complains. They also give up a family day where the dad doesn’t actually have work to take me to places so I am really lucky.
This was one of my most memorable adventures that I had with my host family that I actually included in my speech to give at the Host Family day at school. That came a lot later though so hopefully I will eventually catch up in my blog posts to be able to talk about that.
Thank you so much for reading!