こんばんは！ Last Saturday my school, 1sho, had a teacher’s trip to Yokohama!
Early in the morning we boarded a bus in the school parking lot. We got a snack bag (a bottle of green tea, various savoury/salty snacks – there were a few dried squid in there, too, I think) and headed out!
I’ve never been out on the highway that early in the morning. The mountains to the northwest, including Mount Akagi, were snow-capped and absolutely gorgeous; and to the south we could see clearly Mount Fuji (and it looks surprisingly close!) I always forget how small Japan actually is.
(I don’t have any pictures of the mountains because we were all too busy talking!)
It was nice to see Tokyo from up on the highway:
We played a small game on the way. Some of the teachers had taken close-up pictures of various places around school, and we had to guess where and what those pictures were for a prize.
Our first stop was the Cup Noodle Museum! I’ve been to Yokohama several times now, but we always go to Landmark Tower, and the ferris wheel is always just a fixture on the horizon. At last I got to see it up close! It’s literally right across the street from the museum!
We went up to the 3rd floor first, where we got to make our own cup noodles!
They handed us each an empty cup, and we sat at a table and decorated our cups.
I’m really bad at drawing, wooo!
First, we handed over our cups, and they placed them on top of a ball of noodles. We cranked the handle six times, which flipped the cup over and tipped the noodles into it.
Next, we picked a flavour (basic, curry, seafood, and chili tomato – I chose curry!) and four toppings (corn, kimchi, garlic chips, shrimp, egg, green onions…there were a lot to choose from!)
Next they put the cups in a machine to be sealed and put it through a microwave-thing! (Note the adorable cat-cup and whale-cup my teachers made!)
We took our completed cups over to a wall where we placed them in a plastic bag and inflated it, presumably so the precious noodles wouldn’t get crushed. I realised afterwards when I hung my noodle-bag around my neck…I’d put mine in upside-down…
Mr. Tajima’s Dragonball noodle cup is awesome! (He teaches 6th grade.)
In the next room, you could make the noodles themselves! Alas, we didn’t do that; I could only look on enviously.
After we made our cup noodles, we had a snack at the Noodles Bazaar, where food stands boasted noodles from all around the world. I settled for some good ol’ tom yum gung.
…I did not try the Cup Noodle Softcream.
Next we went to the Instant Noodles History Cube! They displayed noodles from the very first in 1958 to the present. My friend, Ms. Yamamoto (who teaches 4th grade), took a panorama!
Her English is amazing, and she helped me all throughout this trip. Thank you for being so kind and patient, Yamamoto-sensei! ^-^
My favourite design, two dudes from Fist of the Northstar. I can’t remember their names, but as my friend Mr. Ikekawa (who taught 5th grade with me) explained, “They’re rivals. And not sisters. Brothers!”
The exhibit started on the left wall and went to the right. It started out fairly sparse, and then picked up density as it got to the present-day:
I see these noodles in the grocery store every week!
After the History Cube, we posed with a statue of Mr. Ando Momofuku, one of the inventors of instant noodles:
And we posed with cut-outs of famous people (well, I just admired this dude while Mr. Tajima and Mr. Akazawa posed):
There was one of those cool optical-illusion rooms – I took a picture of Mr. Akazawa and Miss Yamamoto through the camera:
There was a big cup-noodle installation with words hidden in the noodles:
A side note:
I ended up in a group of some of the coolest teachers! I was nervous about the trip, but they were so nice and always made sure to include me in the conversation. Thank you Miss Yamamoto, Mr. Tajima, Mr. Ikekawa, Mr. Akazawa, and Ms. Tajima!
Ms. Tajima and Mr. Akazawa (pictured below) and Mr. Ikekawa (pictured above on the left) have been especially wonderful to me this year. Because this year 1sho is a demonstration school, I’ve worked very closely with them. Thank you for being so wonderful!
There were two installations that were my absolute favourites. The first was this fun interactive piece – if you touch the picture on the wall, it triggers the projector, as Mr. Akazawa graciously demonstrated!
And there was this beautiful piece – an animation made of shadows and moving lights!
We also saw a replication of Momofuku’s work shed, where he first made instant noodles:
After we finished up at the Cup Noodle Museum we took our bus over to Yokohama’s China Town for lunch!
After lunch we wandered up the busy road and stopped in a food shop to pick up omiyage (souvenir presents) for the teachers who didn’t come on the trip. I got a delicious sample at the door and bought a yuzu-cream cake!
Aaaaaand panda dumplings!
It was kind of weird to be in Chinatown in a different country; there were moments when I almost forgot I wasn’t in the U.S.!
We walked for about ten or fifteen minutes to the Red Brick Warehouse, old buildings that have been converted into a shopping centre. There were a lot of cool Japanese things for sale, but they were pricey!
We got tired around this time and sat in a cafe until it was time to board the bus back to Tatebayashi around 3:30.
It’s really very beautiful there – if you ever visit Tokyo, be sure to take a day trip down to Yokohama if you have the chance! Landmark Tower, the Red Brick Warehouse, the Cup Noodle Museum, Chinatown…there are so many cool things to see!
It was a quiet bus ride home – all of us were exhausted. I did manage to get one last shot of Tokyo as we were leaving:
Tokyo is such a beautiful city. I’m glad I went on this trip!
Until next time! またね！