Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 9 of 14 - Alvinology

Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 9 of 14

On the ninth day, we left Tokyo and headed to Osaka (大阪市) via the Shinkansen (新幹線) bullet train. We woke up at 4am in the morning to avoid the frantic Tokyo rush hour crowd at the train station as we were carrying a lot of luggage. For most part of the journey, we were only half-awake.

Our Shinkansen tickets
Our Shinkansen tickets
Breakfast to eat in the train
Breakfast to eat in the train
The bullet train which took us to Osaka
The bullet train which took us to Osaka
Closer look at this engineering marvel
Closer look at this engineering marvel
Rachel is still half asleep
Rachel is still half asleep
Pretty ticket inspector
Pretty ticket inspector
Floor map of the Shinkansen - there are smoking and non-smoking cabins
Floor map of the Shinkansen – there are smoking and non-smoking cabins
Very sleepy
Very sleepy

Upon reaching Osaka, we checked into the local Super Hotel and then headed to the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (インスタントラーメン発明記念館). The museum is dedicated to instant noodles and cup noodles, and Taiwanese-Japanese inventor and businessman Momofuku Ando (安藤 百福) who created them via the Nissin brand. The museum is located in Ikeda in Osaka, and is located within walking distance of Ikeda Station on the Hankyu-Takarazuka Line. Admission is free.

Momofuku Ando is a very inspirational figure. A late bloomer, he invented instant noodles at 48 and cup noodles at the grand age of 61.

An interesting thing to take note when you visit the museum is the residential home standing just in front of it. The nameplates outside the house bores the same surname as Momofuku Ando. I won’t be surprise is that house belongs to him or his descendants.

We had fried chicken for breakfast, bought from the 24hrs Family Mart next to our hotel
Fried chicken for breakfast, bought from the 24hrs Family Mart next to our hotel
Yummy! Mark bought this for supper every night thereafter
Yummy! Mark bought this for supper every night thereafter
Mark pretending to be the owner of a nice sportscar spotted at the carpark beside our hotel
Mark pretending to be the owner of a nice sportscar spotted near our hotel
Count the number of signboards pointing to the Hankyu line!
Count the number of signboards pointing to the Hankyu line!
At the Hankyu line railway station
At the Hankyu line railway station
There are Women Only cabins during rush hours
There are “Women Only” cabins during rush hours
Our train is here
Our train is here
Rachel likes the look of this train
Rachel likes the look of this train
On the Hankyu train
On the Hankyu train
Ikeda station
Ikeda station
Chinese food stall spotted at Ikeda station
Chinese food stall spotted at Ikeda station
Mochi stall at Ikeda station
Mochi stall at Ikeda station
Sakura mochi
Sakura mochi
A strawberry red bean mochi that Rachel bought
A strawberry red bean mochi that Rachel bought
Wanted criminals in Japan - we saw this outside a police station
Wanted criminals in Japan – we saw this outside a police station
The area near the museum is peppered with nice large houses like this
The area near the museum is peppered with nice large houses like this
Large shrubs like this surrounded the perimeter of most of the houses
Large shrubs like this surrounded the perimeter of most of the houses
Berries growing in someones garden
Berries growing in someone’s garden
The museum from afar
The museum from afar
Outside the museum
Outside the museum
The house in front of the museum
The house in front of the museum
Wider view of the house
Wider view of the house
With Andos statue
With Ando’s statue
A model of Andos house where he invented the first instant noodle
A model of Ando’s house where he invented the first instant noodle
Rachel pretending to be Ando
Rachel pretending to be Ando
The inventor, Momofuku Ando
The inventor, Momofuku Ando
Some of Andos personal belongings
Some of Ando’s personal belongings
Ando the academia
Ando the academia
All kinds of instant noodles and cup noodles
All kinds of instant noodles and cup noodles
Theres even noodles in the ceiling
There’s even noodles in the ceiling
Wide view of the instant noodles and cup noodles time line
Wide view of the instant noodles and cup noodles time line
My favourite instant noodle brand
My favourite instant noodle brand
Strange packaging
Strange packaging
I like the Nissin chick packaging
I like the Nissin chick packaging
Interactive game for kids
Interactive game for kids
Watch retro Nissin TVCs
Watch retro Nissin TVCs
Ando got his inspiration for the cup noodle from this pack of nuts served to him in an airplane
Ando got his inspiration for the cup noodle from this pack of macadamia nuts served to him in an airplane
Roving cup noodle van in olden days Japan
Roving cup noodle van in olden days Japan
Vintage instant noodles in early post-war Japan
Vintage instant noodles in early post-war Japan
Retro cup noodle vending machine
Retro cup noodle vending machine
Retro machine used to seal the instant noodles
Retro machine used to seal the instant noodles
Top ten greatest inventions in Japan - check out number 1 and 4
Top ten greatest inventions in Japan – check out number 1 and 6
Giant cup noodle model - the vacuum beneath the noodle allows water to flow in
Giant cup noodle model – the vacuum beneath the noodle allows water to flow in
Ahhhhhhhh!
“Ahhhhhhhh!”
Instant noodles for spacemen
Instant noodles for spacemen
The Nissin chick in an astronaut outfit
The Nissin chick in an astronaut outfit
Nissin chick sitting in a model of the futuristic car seen in the hit manga, Akira
Nissin chick sitting in a model of the futuristic car seen in the hit manga, Akira

At the museum, we got to make our own Nissin cup noodles! I created a Alvinology version while Mark and Meiyen created their own designs. Rachel did not want to make one as she is not a fan of instant noodles and cup noodles as she thinks they are unhealthy food.

All ready to design our own cup noodles
All ready to design our own cup noodles
Mark checking his digital dictionary on what Japanese words to write on his cup noodle
Mark checking his dictionary on the Japanese words to write on his cup noodle
Drawing my cup noodle
Drawing my cup noodle
20 percent completed
20 percent completed
70 percent completed (just need to add in the ingredient and seal it up)
70 percent completed (just need to add in the ingredient and seal it up)
You get to choose the flavour and ingredient to put into your own cup noodle
You get to choose the flavour and ingredient to put into your own cup noodle
The noodles
The noodles
Choice of ingredient
Choice of ingredient
Looking through the ingredients
Looking through the ingredients
Edible Nissin chicks
Edible Nissin chicks
Nissin staff putting in the ingredients for us
Nissin staff putting in the ingredients for us
The ingredient I chose
The ingredient I chose
The ingredient Mark chose
The ingredient Mark chose
Turn the knob to seal the cup
Turn the knob to seal the cup
My cup noodle being processed
My cup noodle being processed
Sealing the cup
Sealing the cup
Alvinology cup noode on its way out
Alvinology cup noode on it’s way out
Sealed, ready for sale
Sealed, ready for sale
Mark and I with our cup noodles
Mark and I with our cup noodles
The staff at the cup noodle factory
The staff at the “cup noodle factory”
Pumping the airbag
Pumping the airbag
Mark pumping his own airbag
Mark pumping his own airbag
Rachel with my completed Alvinology cup noodle
Rachel with my completed Alvinology cup noodle
Mark and Meiyen with their completed cup noodle designs
Mark and Meiyen with their completed cup noodle designs

We had instant noodles for lunch in the museum. We tried out the cheese flavoured Nissin cup noodles which were not available in Singapore. They tasted quite good, even to Rachel who usually don’t eat cup noodles.

The flavours available
The flavours available
I chose this
I chose this for lunch
Rachel chose the Cheese Curry flavour
Rachel chose the Cheese Curry flavour
Cheese & Garlic flavour
Cheese & Garlic flavour
I cooked my own lunch
I “cooked” my own lunch
Rachel with our lunch
Rachel with our lunch
Bought these to bring home
Bought these to bring home
Valentines Day special souvenirs
Valentine’s Day special souvenirs
The English brochure says the sex of the Nissin chick is unknown... how come he has a girlfriend here though?
The English brochure says the sex of the Nissin chick is unknown… how come he has a girlfriend here though?
I bought this
I bought this
Mark and Meiyen bought a pair of this
Mark and Meiyen bought a pair of this

As we headed back to the train station, we passed by a western-style Japanese family restaurant. We decided to head in for more food as the instant noodles were not entirely filling. Rachel and I ordered a beef hamburger steak to share. Mark had a cheese-filled hamburger steak to himself and ordered some potato side dish for Meiyen.

Nice milk shake from a 100 yen vending machine
Nice milk shake from a 100 yen vending machine
Kids on excursion
Kids on excursion
Keeping in line
Keeping in line
Nissin cafe
The restaurant where we had our second lunch for the day
Rachel and I shared this
Rachel and I shared this
Mark ate this alone
Mark ate this alone
A potato side dish that Meiyen ordered
A potato side dish that Meiyen ordered
Snacks I bought
Snacks I bought
Purple sweet potato chips - Rachel and I love this!
Purple sweet potato chips – Rachel and I love this!
Cat grass
Cat grass
Cute-looking snack
Cute-looking snack
Kids in uniform at the train station
Kids in uniform at the train station
Boy enjoying hot water from his thermal flask
Boy enjoying hot water from his thermal flask
Brad Pitt spotted
Brad Pitt spotted
Japanese teens
Japanese teens like their handphones very much – just like Singaporean teens

Thereafter, we spent the rest of our day shopping. As we were busy shopping, I did not take much photos for the rest of the day. We had our dinner in a buffet restaurant that serves spaghetti and many different kinds of desert. The customers were mostly Japanese schoolgirls with high-pitch voices. I am not a fan of sweet food. Hence I did not enjoy the meal as much as the other three.

We headed back to our hotel rather early that night as we woke up too early in the morning and were fighting to stay awake throughout the day. That concluded our first day in Osaka.

Large shopping mall
Large shopping mall
Election rallying
Election rallying
Comme Ça Du Mode store - I bought a vest from here
Comme Ça Du Mode store – I bought a vest from here
Another shopping mall we went to which has a giant ferris wheel
Another shopping mall we went to which has a giant ferris wheel
A repair stall - we hardly see this in Singapore anymore
A repair stall – we hardly see this in Singapore anymore
The Nissan Cube - the most popular car in Japan
The Nissan Cube – the most popular car in Japan
The restaurant here we had dinner
The restaurant here we had dinner
The buffet offering
The buffet offering
Different kinds of spaghetti
Different kinds of spaghetti
Desert galore
Desert galore
A sundae I made for myself
A sundae I made for myself
Bear-shaped chocolate
Animal-shaped chocolate
Small chocolate bears
Small chocolate bears
A Japanese brand called Love is...
A Japanese brand called “Love is…”
A fashion store that supports Barack Obama
A fashion store that supports Barack Obama
Hand-painted umbrellas
Hand-painted umbrellas
A 300 yen shop - 3 coins in Japan is about S$5
A 300 yen shop – “3 coins” in Japan is about S$5
Meiyen unwrapping her 300 yen mystery bag
Meiyen unwrapping her 300 yen mystery bag
The stuff in the mystery bag - are they worth 300 yen (~S$5)
The stuff in the mystery bag – are they worth 300 yen (~S$5)
Rachel bought this pendant for 300 yen
Rachel bought this pendant for 300 yen
Colourful mochi snacks
Colourful mochi snacks
Musk melons
Musk melons
Musk melons
Very expensive musk melon

Links to my previous blog entries on my Japan  trip:

Day 1 – Kansai Airport, Hokkaido

Day 2 – Skiing, Otaru

Day 3 – Asahikawa, Asahiyama Zoo

Day 4 – Sledding, Shiroi Koibito, Crab Buffet

Day 5 – The 60th Sapporo Snow Festival

Day 6 – Staying with the Asai, Shōnan

Day 7 – Ueno, Tokyo

Day 8 – Shibuya and Akihabara, Tokyo

Day 9 – Ikeda, Osaka

Day 10 – Kobe

Day 11 – Kyoto

Day 12 – Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and Dotonbori

Day 13 – Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and Mt. Rokko

Day 14 – Return to Singapore

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6 comments
  1. if i’m not wrong, japanese don’t send sms, they send emails around, as they have unlimited wifi, i think that’s for tokyo, otherwise it’s GPRS

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