Firstly, head to one of Japan’s newest but soon-to-be most popular interactive museums, the Cup Noodle Museum. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the invention of the Cup Noodle a museum dedicated solely to this ever-popular yet much maligned snack opened last weekend in the Minato Mirai district of Yokohama. Visitors can learn about the entire process and make their own in a section of the museum called My Cup Noodle Factory – how to knead and roll the dough, steam and flash-fry the noodles before watching them being dried, then they can design the cups they are packed in, choose the flavours and create their own favourite to take home – over 5000 flavour combinations are possible! The museum is open from 10am to 6pm and costs 500 Yen for adults, and is free for children. 95 billion servings of his noodles were eaten in 2010 and a Japanese astronaut even went into orbit in 2007 equipped with his own supply of vacuum-packed Space Noodles from the factory!
Afterwards, you can wander along to one of 50 venues hosting this year’s Jazz Promenade, a festival on the 8th and 9th October attracting over 2000 jazz musicians and 100,000 fans. Performances take place in some of the city’s formal concert halls such as the nearby Landmark Tower, Memorial Hall, Kannai Hall, Red Brick Warehouse No.1, Minato Mirai Hall, Media and Comunications Center, and Osanbashi Pier Hall in the evenings, in jazz clubs and also on the streets at tourist and shopping spots around the city during the day. Read more about the Yokohama Jazz Festival here http://jazzpro.jp/en.php#about
As you make your way back to the station in the evening, look out for artistically-illuminated parks and buildings, part of Smart-Illuination Yokohama which the same weekend, 7-9th October, is displaying energy-efficient LED lighting to stunning effect – environmental science as art! Read more about this unique event here http://www.zounohana.com/event/post_33.html
For information on how to get to Yokohama from Tokyo details are here http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2360.html
www.ReadyClickAndGo.com can arrange private sightseeing tours of Tokyo and Yokohama by public transport with your own English-speaking guide – as well as the fantastic Cup Noodle Museum there are plenty of other sights well worth a visit – the 972ft high Landmark Tower is Japan’s tallest building and with the world’s second fastest lifts, the 1930s passenger liner Hikara Maru with its Art Deco interiors, the historic buildings at Sankei-en Park – or you can try your hand at making traditional Japanese pottery at Sakura Kiln, http://homepage2.nifty.com/mg_studio/eng_index.htm or learn about Zen Buddhism at Sojiji Temple. Prices are from £165 for a half-day private tour – see www.ReadyClickAndGo.com