August 31, 2008

The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum

We visited "The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum" in Osaka the other day. Mr. Ando, who was the founder of Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd., was a great manager, and an inventor of the instant noodles(Chicken Ramen and Cup Noodle) that are loved all over the world. I think that the instant noodle is one of the best inventions in the 20th century.

The instant noodles that are currently in the market were exhibited in the museum. There was also a workshop where participants could experience the cooking of Chicken Ramen.

We tried to "My Cup Noodle Factory". You can obtain only one original ramen in the world there. First of all, you freely design the cup, then choose your favorites from four kinds of soups and a lot of ingredients. We adults really enjoyed it and had a great time, to say nothing of our daughter.

Mr. Ando left the following words during his life.
"It is never too late to do anything in life."
"Create change instead of adapting to the changing times."
"Do not try to sell instant noodles. Sell food culture."
"Organizations don't get the work done; people do,"

And the last one,
"Human beings are noodle beings."
Those words are not armchair theories, but words of the person who made the instant noodle known to the world by the constant endeavor. I felt that there are a lot of things that we learn from his way of life.

Special thanks to Henry.

Japanese Style Store - 1st

August 23, 2008

Thinking about Kyoto

I went to Kyoto International Manga Museum with my family in the Bon holiday period. The museum is located between Nijo castle and Kyoto-gosho. The building used to be an elementary school. But now, it has become a place where Japanese culture, Manga comics, and various cartoons from around the world are on display. I enjoyed reading "Astro boy" written in English on the lawn of a garden that was the schoolyard before, and I felt some nostalgia for it.

Next, we headed to Toei Movie Land (Kyoto Uzumasa Eigamura) on foot and by train. It is a movie theme park and there are studio sets of the Edo period films. We enjoyed various attractions and took pictures with samurai and ninja.

Kyoto is certainly a wonderful city with a lot of landmarks and excellent examples of traditional culture, but I think that Kyoto is a place to visit rather than to live, because I occasionally experience some inconveniences in Kyoto. The roads beside the main streets are very narrow . There aren't many stores with parking lots. The network of streets sections off the city as neatly as the grid on a go board, but it is inconvenient to move diagonally. The main method of transportation in Kyoto is by bus, but the busses are often delayed and the routes are complex.

I think Kyoto might be a town of LOHAS, so maybe it is an attractive town for people who like such life. Actually, there are a lot of foreign people who like the atmosphere of Kyoto and settle down there too. However it would be difficult for me to give up the convenient life style I have at present.

Henry, thank you for your help.

Japanese Style Store - 1st