Yokohama has its own vibe, from what I saw of it today. Lizzie and I went out with 2 goals in mind – go to the ramen museum, and hit up Chinatown, as Yohohama has the largest one in all of Japan. Spiffy place! So let’s kick it from the beginning.
Or at least, the almost-beginning. While we were trying to get our crap together and figure out how to get to Yokohama, these Japanese kids just came up to us tittering excitedly. A little weird, but okay. Then they asked us if they could ask a few questions in English, something Lizzie and I were both amused by and okay with. So they asked where we were from, our favorite Japanese food, how we liked Japan and maybe one more thing. Lastly they said that they wanted a picture – why not? I got an old lady to snap one on my phone too.
The Cup Noodle Museum (also known as the Ramen Museum) was what really started our day, and what a good decision that was!! It took an hour or so to get there at 11:30, which is when we bought tickets. 2 sets of tickets actually; 1 for general admission, and the other for a ramen-making workshop. As in, we actually got to make our own ramen from scratch! We went through the dough mixing, rolling, noodle machining and more. The staff did the actual noodle boiling and all, but still a pretty hands-on process for us lugs. We even got to do it in adorable aprons and bandanas, the latter of which we even got to take home! That, plus our handmade ramen in personally decorated packaging, and beyond that another pre-made ramen packet was just ~$5. Way to go
Once we were done around 12:30ish, having not yet eaten and being tempted by the smell of the chicken broth in the workshop we grabbed lunch. At the World Noodle Bazaar! I believe they had 8 varieties of ramen, including from China, Malaysia, Thailand and more – I went for Malaysian laksa while Lizzie tried the Chinese noodles. Spot on delicious and something I’ll now be looking for in stores. They even had koori, and not just any kind but fuwa fuwa (fluffy, specific shave ice) style that I’d always wanted to try here. I went with my classic matcha and azuki ❤
As for the actual museum part, that was pretty rad. We met the immortalized version of Ando Momofuku, aka Mr. Cup Noodle Man himself. There was also this huge spread of famous people in front of a ‘Never Give Up’ background, including Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, the Wright Brothers, Helen Keller, Babe Ruth and way more people that I’m forgetting. Pretty spiffy. There was also the cool ramen sculpture pictured below, with a word engraved in a tile lying on each corner of the sculpture. At first we thought that was how you were supposed to feel by admiring the sculpture from that perspective, but that was wrong and stupid. No, the strands actually spelled out the words (happy, global and 2 others) and you were able to see them only from that position. I love those types of things! There was also a room with a replica of Momofuku’s home/work station, as well as a clever mini-movie sequence that operated by projecting lights behind a mini forest scene. As the lights ran up/down and side-to-side the trees turned into forest, zoomed out or focused up to one huge tree, and overall carried a message of ‘growing a forest of ideas’ because everything deserves to be nurtured. A very great idea.
World Porter’s was just across the street and seemed like a shopping hub, so we went there next. The whole first floor was a food heaven, starting with the Coldstone Creamery – they’ve wiped this ice cream gift out of CT, so it’s been just a fond memory for the past however many years. But today that changed, and Lizzie even tried it for the first time (first it was Baskin Robbins, now its Coldstone – what comes next?). I had a matcha/imo combo with m&m’s, and the did the whole toppings mixy thing on the slab in front of you. And if you tipped them, like I did, they sang! It was something to the tune of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ if I’m remembering correctly, and it was charming. Good way to spend 50 cents. There was also a little Hawaiian section, where I saw Teddy’s Burgers (flashback to my last night with Ed and Elaine!!) and POG (passion-orange-guava juice). Ahhhh, I still miss Hawai‘i so much. Anyways, we also goofed off in a manga store upstairs (I bought a Noragami special and a Magi character encyclopedia) and in a general goods place where I bought note paper that folds up into a cute whale or something. And that was that.
Chinatown, the largest one in Japan actually, was our last site in Yokohama and you know what, we didn’t even eat there. It was all very lit up and exciting, but everything was buffet style and neither of us were that hungry. I ended up getting a sticky rice + pork + mushroom lump in a banana leaf, which was super good and reminded me of Taipei Tokyo takeout with Danielle, but that was all. A bit more idle wandering and we were on our way home to Kamakura, with one final pit stop.
Last night at Daisy’s!! We got home with about 2 hours to spare there, and dang did we use all of it (and more). We walked in to a Brit siting at the bar, playing the pirate barrel game where whoever stabs and pops the head off has to drink. I didn’t lose (unfortunately) but it was fun and one of those things I feel like I always read about, but think would never happen to me. The guy was learning Japanese, so we all had easy enough communication between that and English, and it was just entertaining. The lady staffer was a bit hopped up on tequila, and ended up heading out a bit early after making a salmon-avocado sandwich (yum) for us. Then we got to the main point of return, Lizzie’s cafe Kahlua. Which, despite my distaste for coffee drinks, I could appreciate. I much preferred my choice, however, of cocoa tequila. Damn it was good, basically a hot chocolate topped on tequila. Fantastic.
Unfortunately most lovely things do wind to a close, and Daisy’s did about 15 minutes before we actually went on our way. The owner was so sweet, he wished us safe travels and a future return (you and me both, bro) and even walked us out the door before waving from the window. Here’s a final shot of him and the cafe – one of the best places this whole trip, if you couldn’t tell by our 3 visits there. Tomorrow is Tokyo and homeward bound, so for now it’s rest time. Sayonara, Kamakura!