Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ramen School in Japan


It's no secret I love writing about ramen.  Ramen Adventures has had an amazing reception over the last 4 years.  One of the more frequent mails I receive are from hungry travelers who want to do more than just eat; they want to learn. There are lots of one-day food classes around. Sushi has one.

And now ramen has one.


This is the unassuming school / shop.


This is real ramen, and the ingredients are legit.  Pig head anyone?


This school is normally a multi-week long school for Japanese dudes who want to not only make ramen, but make a career of it.  I met with the teacher and we thought that setting up a one-day course aimed at foreigners would be a fun idea.



Soup, toppings, and . . .


Noodles!  This bowl is 100% from scratch.






After slaving away all day, we serve the extra to random college students who are walking by!


If you or anyone you know would be interested in this one-day class, please check out the page I made over at Ramen Adventures!  The day includes an interpreter.  And you get an official certificate after.  Bonus!


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Haikyo! Abandoned Obstacle Course in Hyogo


I found this 廃墟 something like three years ago when I was out on the edges of Hyogo prefecture for work.  Hyogo is best known for being the place with Kobe, but this ain't Kobe!  This is Miki, and the wikipedia page is pretty boring.  One of the top five links from a Google search on the place relates the depressing efforts of some English teachers in the area trying to meet for a drink.

But there is a nice super-resort out there.  What is a super-resort?  It's a long, long driveway followed by a massive hotel with hiking, biking, a water park, put-put golf, and more.  Randomly in the middle of nowhere.  If that is your idea of a good time, you are not alone!  This place was packed.  With the aforementioned attractions, who wouldn't bring the family out for a good time?

But what if you develop one of these super-resorts, and you build a dozen or so rad attractions, and the public find one of those attractions not so rad?


Haikyo, that's what!


You wouldn't even know, the entrance to this adult-sized obstacle course is totally overgrown.


But it's up there.


Here is the easiest way in. Up a hill, along a service road.  Just hop the fence!


Even the "do not enter" sign is outdated.  You gotta pay to play!


I was hoping for some unseen extension, but this was it.  The massive ring of ropes and tires and metal tubes was probably deemed unsafe to the kids that were climbing it.


Still sturdy.  Sturdy-ish.


Up on this hill, you can here the children playing in the massive water park below.  Kind of a strange vibe for haikyo.


But haikyo none-the-less.  Then I almost stepped on this:


I very recently deceased mole.  Ok, that's kind of freaky.