Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Jyouzu Kind of Day: The Instant Ramen Museum

Before I go into the magic of Sunday, I want to talk about some of the magic of yesterday.

First, fun fact! Japan is on military time; I know this, and my phone clock is set to it. No problem, right? Well I was looking at my night bus ticket home, and it said it arrived in Osaka at 12:44. Trains stop running around midnight, so I was wondering if I was going to have to book a hotel or something? So I went to the travel agency on campus yesterday, and she looked at me like I was crazy when I asked her how to get home. Why? Because 12:44 in Japan is in the afternoon. So I had to make a special trip to Kyobashi to change my bus ticket time so I can have more than 3 hours in Nagoya. I rode my bike to the station, despite my knee (which, by the way, I rode my bike today without it hurting for the first time today :p) so it would only be a 8 dollar oops instead of a 12ish dollar one. Boo.

BUT also yesterday, a friend in my Japanese class told me of a magical place down the street from my house. What is this place? A secondhand bookstore, namely, a secondhand manga store. Its also for video games and I'm pretty sure I saw some Pokemon cards too, but manga. Walls of it. Manga is organized by publisher in Japan, so I basically walked down all the aisles to find what I wanted, (found some other ones too ^^), and I couldn't find the series I want to buy. So I asked someone. And there it was! Each of the older ones were 100 yen. 100 yen! That's a bit more than a dollar!! I wanted to buy them all on the spot, but I was not sure which ones I needed. Now I do, and I'm ready to go buy the lot and look like an idiot gaijin! I wanted to ask the guy if there were One Piece manga too, but I had already asked him so many questions about other manga I figured I'd ask him when I came next time. You would think that would be an easy section to find, so I felt silly asking. Again.

At any rate, a happy occasion! When the manga isn't Kindaichi Case Files (the series I want which is a detailed mystery manga), and is just normal speech, I can read it. Mostly. So I got a few others :) But now, the whole thing should be about 25 dollars instead of 50! Good day.

SO anyway, Sunday. A few weeks ago I was pressganged by a nice Japanese girl in the lobby to sign up for a trip to the Cup Ramen Museum; I didn't have to go, it was just a sign up if we were interested. So I did, and when she facebooked me to ask if I wanted to go, I was free, so why not? I was expecting a huge group of gaijin (us; what we fondly call a Gaijin Smash: when suddenly there are more than 6 foreigners in one place, its a big to-do), but there were only three of us and six Japanese students. I was surprised!

I must explain: jyouzu (上手) means skilled. When us gaijin speak Japanese in everyday situations, we have what we call 'jyouzu days,' where we understand what is being said and can successfully reply and interact. Then there are those days where nothing is going right and you smile and nod. Luckily Japanese people are fantastically nice. Anyway, Sunday was sort of a forced jyouzu day. One of the six spoke okay, and the others were...out of practice. So it was an all Japanese day! Considering this never happens, I was very happy! It is good to practice, especially listening comprehension. My listening comprehension sucks, which is very bad.

The Instant Ramen Museum was this nice little museum about the origins of ramen; its main attraction was that you could design your own cup of ramen! We got to decorate the container, then we picked what foods we wanted in our cup (I think mines shrimp, naruto (which is a little fishcake typically found in ramen), cheese, and egg) and they shrink wrapped it for us! Strangest of all, I think to keep it safe, we put the ramen cup in a plastic bag and filled it with air. So I have a airlocked bag with ramen inside (don't worry, I have pictures).

Then we went to a nice lunch where I had omu rice (which is delicious, its basically an omelette with rice and ketchup inside that you can have other topics on it besides ketchup if you want), and "lasagna," which had zero resemblance to lasagna. I've told you about their generic cheese, and I think there were noodles? No sauce or ricotta or any of that nonsense. It looked more like potatoes au gratin. It was still delicious. I also spoke Japanese the entire time :) We also did purikura; I have a lot of pictures in my purse, haha.

I will post pictures later, I'm supposed to be doing my homework :)

EDIT: Here are some pictures!



  1. Yay! Japanese friends that take you to places to get shrink wrapped Ramen! And a total listening comprehension day! Whoot Whoot!

  2. I feel like I am right on the bus or train with you. Such interesting info. Keep it going.
    Wish I was going to Disney. Sad, sad so you have double fun..

  3. What. Am i reading this right. A museum for ramen noodles. Like the kind we get at giant eagle for a dime? Wow i understand why it was free.

    I am a little behind in reading but i am catching up. Hope all is well and i am reading on


  4. What. Am i reading this right. A museum for ramen noodles. Like the kind we get at giant eagle for a dime? Wow i understand why it was free.

    I am a little behind in reading but i am catching up. Hope all is well and i am reading on