Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sanyo Nagasaki Chanpon Cup of Noodles Review

When I saw this particular cup of noodles I was kind of taken by how colorful the toppings on the ramen were and I always like having lots of vegetables.  I figured that it was made in the style of Nagasaki chanpon, but I didn't really know much about it other than the fact that chanpon was a meal for sumo wrestlers.  It turns out that chanpon, or champon, has a long history in Nagaaski.  A Chinese restaurant, Shikairou, first served chanpon noodles in Nagasaki in 1899.  A chanpon has a great broth (from pork and seafood), thick noodles, and lots of stir-fried toppings that include meat (often pork), slices of fish cake, squid slices (calamari), cabbage, beansprouts, carrot, and green onions.  I'm definitely trying this noodle dish if I'm ever in Nagasaki as it sounds delicious.
This chanpon comes in a very colourful cup.  All bright and yellow with a nice blue trim around the lid and the top edge of the cup. Great use of colour and Japanese characters with a red restaurant curtain on the lid.
Front view of the cup.  Bold red on yellow print saying Nagasaki Chanpon.  The restaurant curtain has a phrase Goutouchi Mashimashi.  At the bottom of the cup is a photo of the colourful chanpon toppings with prominently displayed thick noodles.
Top the the lid.  Great use of color. It puts me in a good mood to eat.
Nutritional information and ingredients.
Side of the cup with seafood warnings and preparation direction do and don'ts.
Lifting the lid reveals pink fishcake, corn, lots of cabbage, and seaweed strips.  The noodles are thicker than normal.  There wasn't a heavy seafood smell or anything like that on opening.
Closeup of the dried ingredients.
I added boiling water to the fill line and waited four minutes before popping the top open.  Looks yummy.
This was a large cup of noodles.  When I opened the lid after rehydrating it, there was a nice savoury smell that wafted out.  The broth was a rich tasting broth from the pork and seafood components.  Despite the seafood components, it was not overly fishy in any manner.  This soup was a nice change from the regular shoyu, didn't seem too salty, and was just plain tasty.  The vegetables rehydrated nicely and there were lots of little pieces of cabbage and a few bits of fish cake mainly for colour.  Great soup and firm, chewy noodles made this a cup of noodle I wish I had more than one of.  This cup of noodle gets two thumbs up.
Closeup of the noodles and toppings.  Bon appetit!

More cup noodle / ramen reviews and Japanese pop culture.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Hokusai Museum and the Skytree Town Pokemon Center

It was a fine Sunday morning.  I managed to get up plenty early for a long day of touring.  Today, it would be a visit to the Hokusai Museum, the Solomachi Mall Pokemon Center at the Skytree, then Akihabara afterwards.
After getting ready for the day I wandered down to the McDonalds near Shimbashi Station.  The restaurant is on a corner in a narrow space, but all the dining spaces are on the next couple of floors above ground.  I ordered my favourite which is a sausage egg McMuffin and hashbrowns.  They always make it really fresh and perfectly done.  From my window seat, I had a great view of the Yamanote Line tracks and all the trains rumbling by.
McDonalds finally made a big turn around this year.  They had closed underperforming stores, focused on quality, paid and treated their workers better, and made a comeback after the bad chicken scandal three years ago.
I always have this once every trip to Tokyo.  Always seems to be done right and better than at home most of the time.
Kurios advertisement.  Great show that I caught back home.
Walking the streets to the Hokusai Museum.  Basically started from the Tokyo Edo Museum as it was the closest stop by train.
Love these daikon radishes.  They are so good in stews.
This was a grocery store right under the train tracks.  They use all the space in Tokyo.
Walking along the train track.
The Hokusai Museum.
The Hokusai Museum is pretty new, only opening two years ago.  It has many of Hokusai's works on display and a great little gallery and timeline of his work.  If you are a Hokusai fan you will want to visit.  If you are not, or only kind of into his work, it is a museum you could pass on.  I wanted to see it anyways and enjoyed the overview of this works.  I didn't realize that he was also like the father of manga and made many art books to train other artists.  There is also a cool life-size diorama of the artist working there (he wasn't known for neatness).  If you haven't seen the movie Miss Hokusai, then you should try to have a watch as it is a pretty cool flick.
The 36 Views of Mt. Fuji.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa
Mt. Fuji
View of the Skytree from the Museum.
After the museum, I went walking over to another train line east of the museum for about a kilometre.  It isn't far to the Skytree, but I still would take a train to save wear on the feet and time.
Lots of drink vending machines.
Closeup of some drinks.
The morning was really nice.  I was picking up all sorts of food souvenirs as I went as there were all these supermarkets and who wants to make a special shopping trip again if it is just there.

My previous post about this morning and views of the Skytree.

The Skytree is really a great looking tower.
There is a robot exhibit at the Solomachi Mall that also has a giant Macross Valkyrie.
The Solomachi Mall is a great place to shop and to eat.  I visit this mall every time I come to Tokyo and have stayed at a hotel in the area.  Many conveniences and easy access to eastern Tokyo from here.  During my last trip here, a new Pokemon Center had opened up.
Pokemon Center Skytree Town.  It has a giant Rayquaza on display.
Pikachu rides the Ray!  And it is big.
Pikachu Stuffies exclusive to the Skytree.
Loads of merchandise here.
This is like a half scale gashapon machine that is Pokemon themed.  It was to big to carry so I didn't pick one up.  As usual, these are limited edition and you'll have to luck out to find one.
Stuffies!  Bought a Lapras.
Pokemon Cup Noodles.  They have little naruto discs inside with pokemon faces.
Soon enough it was lunch time and I needed a break.  So MOS Burger it was.
Had a tasty teriyaki burger and fries.
That was all for the morning.  I even managed a quick trip back to the hotel to drop all the loot off before continuing onto Akihabara, see the posts below.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Around Akihabara

I managed to make three trips down to Akihabara to look around over the week I was there.  On my first visit I was lucky enough to catch the Bandai Tamashii Nations figure show.  That was cool and you can read about it here.  There is a lot to see, do, buy, and eat in Akihabara.  I finally even managed to have curry at Go Go Curry too!  You can wander up and down Chuo Dori, the main street, or wander the back streets where Akiba Culture Zone and Kotobukiya or Mandarake are just one block west of it.  You can visit Yodobashi Camera and its huge toy and model floor.  You can even visit the new Radio Kaikan or Volks and Gamers all clustered together around the Electric Town Exit from Akihabara Station.  This time I managed a visit to Liberty 8 for used merchandise and even did some shopping at Akiba Culture Zone - the guys at one shop were super helpful.  Super Potato for retro games was quite interesting, but like many stores, it wasn't quite as large as I expected either.
An anime girl looks out onto Akihabara from Akiba Culture Zone.
Gamers in December 2017
TOP:Electric Town Exit and Gamers to the right.  BOTTOM: Chuo Dori and one of the many Segas.
Dragon Quest Lawson just west of Chuo Dori

Dragon Quest Lawson
Madarake.  Lots of cool stuff in here, but it was hot inside.
Stairs up to Kanda Myojin Shrine.
Kanda Myojin and all of their anime collaboration posters!
Kanda Myojin.  The Maki I purchased for someone makes a special visit.
TOP: New Radio Kaikan - lots of shopping inside.  BOTTOM: one street west of Chuo Dori with Kotobukiya.
Very cool Godzilla model, but expensive!
Girls und Panzer! Panzer Vor!
My favourite magical girl series.  Cardcaptor Sakura.  The very first Pretty Cure was good too.
Kantai Collection.  Battleship girls.
Patlabor - police mecha.
Wake Up Girls elevator wrap.
There was more inside the elevator too!
More wake up girls inside the elevator.
Nice model of the jet striker from Strike Witches.
Art Books.  Aria.
I actually visited the Amiami store.  Not just a web site.
Kids manga.
Yellow Submarine

One floor of Super Potato
Manga and art books.
Chuo Dori.

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