Between contracts I was able to take a two week vacation in the US and an amazing trip to Japan with my friend Deanne. To be honest we spent most of the week in Tokyo gorging on ramen and sushi, but I thought it was time very well spent. In between eating sessions (needless to say the food in Japan is amazing) we managed to fit in some shopping and visits to the main tourist attractions. Though the Shinto shrines and shopping were incredible we agreed that our greatest discovery by and far was the CupNoodles Museum in Yokohama (located in the outskirts of Tokyo).
That's right. There is an entire museum dedicated to the sodium filled joy that is Cup Noodles. Though some might be quick to write it off as an over the top marketing ploy, it actually has some cool art installations, and you can make your own custom Cup Noodles! You can even learn how to make the noodles from scratch and learn the hot oil drying process used to harden them. Unfortunately we didn't get to the museum early enough to make our own noodles, but it certainly looked like fun.
The custom Cup Noodles making experience begins with decorating your own personal cup. Then once you finish and the noodles are put in place, you can chose your powder flavor and four little dried vegetables and/or meat additions. Then you watch as they shrink wrap the container and voila! Your own custom Cup Noodles is complete. Perhaps I am easily entertained, or perhaps it was actually really awesome.
You can see my sad attempt to draw a bowl of ramen above the "S"...I blame the lack the fine tipped markers.
The awesome custom noodle factory people.
The gentleman working at the counter was kind enough to pose my custom noodles for the camera.
The great man himself.
I thought the most amusing part (aside from the above statue) was the ramen bazaar, a labyrinth of mock cheap noodle stands modeled after their counterparts in various countries. It serves as the museum's restaurant where you can buy and eat noodles as they are made in different cuisines, from Chinese to American to Vietnamese.
I like how they purposely made the stand on the right look particularly dingy, though it didn't do much to wet my appetite. Not that it mattered much since I was able to enjoy this ramen the day before (if you are bored, at work, and very hungry, I suggest you skip the next photo):
Overall, I'd say it was a very very positive day: