Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2016 Japan Vacation, Day 12: Yokohama... CupNoodles, Japanese Baseball, and More

On our only full day in Yokohama, we started out be touring the CupNoodles museum. Yes, they actually have a museum to celebrate the iconic dried noodle product that so many of us had in our youth.

They had a place where you can create your own customized CupNoodle.

Kai decorated his cup with Pokémon, of course.

You then take your customized cup and choose your own contents. Each cup starts, of course, with the dried noodles.

Here the noodles are being inserted into Kai's cup. The cup actually covers the noodles from the top, before being flipped right side up.

You can then choose up to four ingredients. Kai selected the curry flavor as his base, and his ingredients included shrimp, corn, and green onion.

The cup is then vacuum sealed.

Here's Kai with the final product. You can protect the cup in an air-filled bag.

We then walked around the rest of the museum. They gave the history of CupNoodles and showed the history of products.

I thought that the little museum was better than I thought it would be. They told the story of how the inventor of CupNoodles had failed in many previous ventures but kept trying, never giving up, before finally inventing CupNoodles when he was in his 50s. Here we are with a photo of the inventor along with other inventive thinkers including Edison, Einstein, Ford, and other Japanese business icons, among others.

The exhibits communicated how you need to think outside the box to be creative.

After the CupNoodles museum, we walked over to the Red Brick Warehouse, a historical building on the bay that is now a shopping mall.

And then we took the water taxi in the bay to another part of town.

We returned to Chinatown for lunch. Kai loved the coconut juice saying it was the best he ever had.

After lunch we walked through a park.

It was hot and humid so we were all a bit tired of walking, but Kai posed nicely for this photo.

Later in the afternoon, he headed over to Yokohama Stadium where we would watch the BayStars baseball game. The subway was already starting to get crowded, not just from fans attending the baseball game but also because there would be a fireworks festival this same evening. Some of the people attending the festival were dressed especially nicely.

We arrived at the ballpark a little early, giving us time to settle in and see the cheerleaders warm up the crowd. The ambiance of a Japanese baseball game is very different from that of an American baseball game. There are cheerleaders, bands (for both the home and visiting teams), and the crowd cheers, chants, and sings almost constantly.

My father-in-law had gotten us great seats on the first base side.

We had shaved ice covered with mandarin oranges for a snack. (I forgot to take the photo until after we had eaten half the oranges).

About an hour after the game started, the fireworks from the festival began. For the next hour, we were turning our heads back and forth from the game to the fireworks.

The visiting Hanshin Tigers from Osaka had many fans at the game, and their own band. They filled the entire left field bleachers as well as part of the third base side grandstand. They were very loud, especially when they took the lead in the 7th inning.

But the Yokohama fans were loud, too. Here they are celebrating the 7th inning stretch.

I love the sight of all the balloons being released together at the conclusion of the 7th inning stretch.

My wife and Kai were enjoying the game, too.

Kai was cheering constantly, along with the rest of the Yokohama crowd. Here he is waving his fans along with the music.

When Yokohama tied the game, he was ecstatic!

Alas, the opposing team scored four runs in the ninth inning and the BayStars lost. Still, it was very fun.

We had some issues after the game.

Kai got very upset when he could not catch a rare Pokémon because the app glitched just at that time. And while I can understand the frustration, he has to learn to control his anger or we cannot let him play a game where technical issues will always be a factor. He was very loud for about half the subway ride back.

And speaking of the subway, we got our taste of a real Japanese subway experience. Between the baseball game and festival, the subway was very crowded. I had my backpack and small suitcase and at times felt like I was barely able to hang on. At one point, I thought I was already crushed against the back of the car when even more people crowded their way on. The whole trip from the time we left the ballpark to the time we got back to my in-laws' house was about two hours. The train stayed full most of the way back, and I never sat down on the train.

It was about midnight when we got back. We were hot and sticky, and very tired. But it was a good day all in all.


  1. Now, that is one I had never heard... Cupnoodles Museum.

    A piece of trivia...did you know that the world's most popular grain is wheat...and not rice?...even with the two most populated countries being Asian countries...because of noodles.

    Ah...I remember the Hanshin Tigers. I lived in Osaka for almost a year.
    At least Kai had a good time cheering with the others.

    Oh...I hated rush hour on the subways. The crowds at almost any event prevents me from going in the first place...unless there is reserved seating. I simply cannot stand crowds. Does Kai tolerate crowds well?

    1. That's a good trivia question... I think of wheat being mostly a western grain but didn't think of all that goes into noodles.

      Kai does reasonably well with crowds; he doesn't like them, but he tolerates them okay. He likes to sit down, though. He can get upset if he has to stand long. On the way back from Yokohama, he was able to grab a seat before too long.

  2. I knew all about Ramen, of course.

    Hate it when apps glitch! It must have been so busy.

    1. We tell Kai that there are bound to be technical glitches from time to time. It is very frustrating, but he has to learn to control his anger when those things happen.


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