Current location: Osaka, Japan.
Current situation/mood: Just lying on my futon in my traditional apartment editing a vlog. Here to say hello.
It’s been a little over a week since I’ve been in Japan, and it’s my second night in Osaka. So far, the weather here has been a balance of cruel winds, impromptu drizzles and an occasional burst of sun. In short, it’s freezing, and the environment either makes or breaks it.
So on my second day in Tokyo, I made an impromptu decision to head to Yokohama (on a friend’s recommendation). I never really thought about Yokohama, or knew much about it, but it was a different atmosphere in comparison to the regular tourist spots, so why not?
I learnt in the span of two days in Tokyo that their train lines are ridiculous. I changed four train lines just to get to my apartment from Haneda Airport on the first day, so I was expecting to get lost enroute to Yokohama.
Plot twist? I didn’t. Smooth arrival at Yokohama station. #achievementunlocked
Anyhow, I made a new friend. Masa-san. He’s just tall. And really bookish. Thanks to him, Yokohama was no stranger to me after the day-trip!
If you really want to enjoy Yokohama like I did, walking is the best way to go. Actually, walking is the best way to enjoy the scenery and all in Japan generally.
Along the way, we actually saw a film crew at work and their model as well. No idea what show it was for, and I didn’t manage to film it because the officers were asking us to get a move on. I sneaked a tiny corner of it into my Yokohama vlog though, so I’ll have to see how that turned out!
We walked (and climbed a godforsaken number of stairs), and we finally made it to the Cup Noodle Museum.
Yes it's a thing.
The building itself is pretty simplistic, and it does not look anything close to a museum. More like an office building or a small mall.
It’s 500 yen for the entrance fee, and an additional 300 yen or so to be able to personalize and make your own Cup Noodles. Obviously I paid the extra, because who gets their own personalized cup noodles?! Me, now. Oh, they also have chicken ramen making, which I took part in as well.
I loved how the museum offers such hands on activities. It was an eye-opener to see the origin of cup noodles. It’s a new outlook on history in comparison to the normal historical museums you visit when you travel.
Basically you get to design your cup, and then choose the flavourings and ingredients that you want in your cup noodles before they seal it up. It’s valid for a month if I remember correctly!
We still had time before we had to make chicken ramen (chicken ramen is where the idea of cup noodles was born from), so we decided to take a walk to the Red Brick Warehouse, and to Yokohama Bay. Not before having lunch of course!
Chicken ramen from the Noodle walk or something. They sell noodles from various parts of the world, like laksa from Malaysia – authentic or not, it’s questionable. ;) They also sell soft-serve ice cream in noodle flavours – i.e. curry, seafood or original soy. I tried the curry ice-cream, and it was prettyyyyyy weird, but I guess I got used to it? HAHA. It’s a YOLO moment, I’d say.
red brick warehouse
Walked through the bay area, and toward..
The Chinatown in Yokohama is what it's actually famous for!
Singapore's Chinatown vs Yokohama's Chinatown -
I’d say, they specialize in selling dried food products, and really delicious street food. Also, instead of just one main street, they have little alleys off to the sides that you can venture through and explore (they have so much more stuff). Everyone heads there for Asian condiments, herbs, maybe dried or packaged food. It’s a pretty big place, and relatively crowded for a weekday.
We headed back to the Cup Noodle Museum for our 3.30 chicken ramen making session. No photographs were allowed, and I didn’t have the time anyhow! It was so hands on-making our own dough and sauce and everything. I regretted having long nails; all the noodle dough got stuck in them and it was a right pain washing them out. :/
Also, they have english step-by-step guides on how to make the chicken ramen if you so happen to be Japanese illiterate, lol. There are guides who speak Japanese, but they hand you English “translations” so that you understand better~
At the end of it all, we had our own chicken ramen (with personalized packaging), and an extra pack that they gave us, plus a cute chicken bandana to keep as a souvenir~
Walked back to the Red Brick/Bay area to catch the Christmas Market in all its lighted up glory.
It resembles Oktoberfest a little – beer, food, people milling around the Christmas tree taking pictures. There was ice skating going on in another corner. Twas the Christmas spirit come alive.
I had to leave Yokohama for Shinjuku to meet up with some old friends for dinner, and the illuminations on the way back were of course, no doubt, gorgeous.
“It’s so romantic,”
And it was, with the Christmas music playing over speakers scattered through the park, except for when there’s throngs of people just walking everywhere and I don’t see how a couple can get any intimacy… #justsaying
It was definitely a worthwhile trip to Yokohama (especially since it ended with a visit to the Yokohama Pokemon centre). A place where instagram-worthy photos know no bounds and you get to just experience the serenity of the area in comparison to hectic, fast-paced Tokyo.