Category Archives: yokohama
Before the Ramen Museum, I went to Zoorasia. Zoorasia is a relatively new and modern zoo in Yokohama and much more animal-friendly than Ueno Zoo. Back when I first visited Tokyo in 2004 I was shocked by the conditions some animals have to live in Ueno Zoo.
Giving the animals enough space and a place where they can rest without being watched inevitably means that you will likely not see all animals on one visit. When I visited Zoorasia on the 22nd, it was a hot Summer day without any rain.
I took the bus from Nakayama Station on the JR Yokohama Line. On the weekends there are usually a lot of people waiting for the bus. Zoorasia is the last stop of that bus (but there are also buses stopping at the station which do not head towards Zoorasia). The bus ride costs 290 Yen. You may want to check the bus schedule when you arrive at the zoo, but there is a shop outside the zoo where you can spend some time. Read the rest of this entry
Yokohama was the second city besides Tokyo that I visited when I first came to Japan and back then I heard about the Ramen Museum, but didn’t have time to visit it.
Having visited only one food-themed museum before (Kimchi Museum in Seoul), I was still impressed by the Ramen Museum. After you pay the entrance fee (300 Yen), you will come to the museum part which is pretty much like any other museum: explanations about the history, local varieties and other interesting trivia about ramen. Most ramen (ラーメン) dishes changed over time and many Japanese cities have local varieties of the dish. In fact, if you buy any japanese travel guide for Japan, a large part is usually reserved for explaining about the local dishes, even if it’s just a small town right next to Tokyo!
It’s nicely presented, but the real interesting part of the museum is downstairs. This is the place where you’ll experience ramen Showa-style. The two basement floors are replicas of some parts of downtown Tokyo in 1958, including adverts. Back then the popularity of ramen was increasing. News broadcasts can be heard in the side street and an old TV was showing a boxing match. There are nine ramen restaurants on the two basement floors, tickets for the dishes are bought in front of each restaurant. Everything’s written in Japanese with few photos provided. They also offer small-sized ramen in case you just want to sample more than one variety of ramen.
The Ramen Museum is just a five minute walk from Shin-Yokohama station. I liked it more than the Kimchi Museum, especially because they do the experience part so well (this excludes the toilets by the way, which are modern). It’s probably also one of the few museums many people will visit to eat and not to be educated.
After visiting the iPhone Case Exihibition in the Red Brick Warehouses I took some time to record night impressions of Yokohama. This has been the second city I visited when I first came to Japan.
The iPhone case exhibition 2010 was held from August 21st to 29th in the red brick warehouses in Yokohama. 100 artists presented their creations in the gallery. Besides the gallery, there was an iPad digital paint workshop and various talk events. I came in the evening and there were no special events scheduled at that time.
A great variety of cases were presented. Spooky ones…
Unfortunately all the cities around Tokyo that I haven’t visited are all two hour trips with regional trains. So that either means getting up early or go somewhere else. And there are many temples and gardens which I haven’t visited yet. One of them is Sankeien in Yokohama.
Sankeien is one of Yokohamas main attractions yet it is a bit off the other sights (Minato Mirai, China Town). Plus you have to take the bus to reach Sankeien. Once reached, the way is clearly signed out. If I didn’t have trouble finding the place, you won’t either.
Anyway, it’s quite a big garden with a wide variety of flowers meaning that there is something special to see every month. They have a flower timetable and an event guide. I don’t know if both are available in English since I took the Japanese ones.
Germany has its share of Chinese restaurants, but there is no China Town. One of the biggest China Towns of Japan is located in Yokohama. A German told me that I should eat the dish we both like (a simple noodle dish with egg) in Yokohama.
Of course they didn’t have that specific dish in Yokohama. I guess it’s part of the dishes which are heavily Westernized. The food they served at the restaurants in Yokohama seem vastly different from the ones in Germany. There are likely more expensive Chinese restaurants in Germany which offer a more authentic experience.
Still, the gates of China Town and especially the temple looked very interesting.