Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Right now all the hype in Japan is this museum called the MORI Building Digital Art Museum by EPSON teamLab Borderless. Everyone kept saying how amazing it was, so I decided to check it out to see what the fuss was all about.  Is it hypeworthy?  Read on to find out!

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  • Getting there. First, let’s talk logistics (i.e. tickets, parking, etc.) The museum location is in Odaiba and an easy walk from the train station — although they have an attached parking lot as well. You’ll want to purchase tickets beforehand because they can sell out on the day of – especially on weekends and Japanese holidays.  You can buy tickets online or at 7-11 (because 7-11’s in Japan rock).  I purchased our tickets online and paid about 7400 yen for two adults and one kid (small kids are free).  One thing to know is that these tickets are non-refundable and can only be used on the specific day you choose so make sure you are ready to commit! We opted for the train and went on Saturday after 4pm because the website said it would be less crowded then.
  • Lines.  Even if you have prepaid tickets, you may still have to wait in a few lines once you enter the museum to see different exhibits – so be prepared!  You’ll also spend about 2-3 hours in the museum so make sure you eat beforehand.

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  • There’s no map.  If you are wanting a layout of the museum to follow, you won’t find one.  Just like in the title, the museum is literally borderless.  It’s a giant building that’s kind of set-up like a dark maze with walls that you can walk through.  <—- Yes, pay attention, because some of the walls lift up and take you to another room.

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  • It’s dark.  Again, I just want to emphasize that the museum is pretty much dark and only lit up with the moving digital photography.  I’m mentioning this for those of you with small children because this might cause some anxiety.  If you have children that like to escape, you may want to invest in one of those leash things because this would be a stressful place to lose a child.  The museum also has a policy that there has to be one adult for every two children – and this is for good reason.

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  • Make time for the Athletic Forest.  The Athletic Forest is a cool spot for kids to let out some energy.  There are designated areas for climbing, sliding, and trampoline jumping (although you only get one minute of jump time). My three-year-old spent most of the time in this one spot so I recommend to save some of your time for this area.  Another thing to note: the floors here are slanted but you are not allowed to slide or jump on them.  It’s a little misleading for kids, but there will be staff there to immediately stop you.
  • It’s still a museum.  As fun and interactive this museum looks, remember that it’s still an art museum so there are rules.  In addition to the no floor-jumping/sliding, the LED lights are fun to look at but you can’t touch them (and by you, I mean your children).  Also, the giant balloon/balls are not for playing with, but they make a great Instagram photo backdrop. 🙂
  • Your art can come to life!  One cool thing about this museum is that you can choose a pre-made drawing to color and then watch it come to life!  A staff member will upload your picture and the drawing will then move across the floor and walls.  My five-year-old loved this and it’s a cool way to be a part of the whole art experience!
  • Appreciate your surroundings.  There is so much to see in this museum so try not to get overwhelmed by it all.  Take your time to enjoy the beauty and creativity of the whole experience!  And of course, check out the lantern room (but be prepared for a bit of a wait).

Have fun. Enjoy the day.  Hang on to your kids. 😉

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What do you think?  Would you like to visit a unique museum like this?

I’m off to a new adventure!

~SM

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Light it Up!

***Disclaimer: I received a Spibeams LED hat to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

The air is getting crisper, the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, and it’s getting darker earlier.  My favorite time of year is here – AUTUMN!  However, this also means that I have less opportunities to run in the daylight. (Booooo).  But I was happy to discover that SPIbelt came out with a SPIbeams LED hat! Keep reading and you might even find a promo code! 😉

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I was even more excited about the brightness of this little hat!  Typically, if I run in the dark I run with the flashlight of my phone.  This is not the most convenient option, in fact it’s pretty annoying and I don’t recommend it.  The SPIbeams hat made my running life so much easier!  When you first receive your hat, you just pull the tab to activate the battery and you’re good to go!  Turn on the front lights with a quick click on the bill of the hat and it’s time to run!  That easy!

And there’s more!  The back of the hat displays red lights that can either stay on continuously or they can blink.  Either way, it’s also activated with a simple click of a button located on the Velcro portion.

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How does it hold up during runs though?  Well, it’s very lightweight and flexible (i.e. great for traveling). And while I used it in cooler weather, I think it would be great for summer evening or early morning runs since it’s made from a cool/moisture-wicking material. And since I usually run with trucker hats, I did have to run with it a couple of times to figure out the most comfortable position on my head.

Overall, I think this would be a great addition to any athlete’s accessory stash (hint, hint: stocking stuffers for your running friends).  I used it for running, but it would also be great for hiking, bike riding, or really while engaging in any outdoor evening activity.  I will definitely be using this on future evening runs and saving the flashlight (and battery) on my phone. I do think it would be great if there were kid versions of the hats so the whole family could be safe!

Also, the batteries are replaceable and the battery pack comes out so you can hand wash the hat and let it air dry.  The hat comes in 3 colors: Lime, Hot Pink, and Black and runs for $29.99 on spibelt.com.  Plus free shipping on all U.S. orders!

And guess what?  There’s a promo code!  Woo hoo!  Use code “BIBRAVE” to save 20% on any SPIbelt item. 

Also, join me on #Bibchat on Twitter on Tuesday, November 6th at 6pm PST for your chance to win your own SPIbeams hat.

Be safe! Be seen! Stay safe!  Light it up! Happy Fall, Yall! 🙂

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~SM

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOfos OOmg Fibre Low Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Something that I’ve realized during my running experience is that you must take care of your feet!  Foot issues can lead to knee issues which can lead to hip issues which can lead to back issues. So when new runners ask me where to start, I usually recommend to go to a running specialty store and get fitted for a proper shoe.  And now that I’ve increased my running distance over the years, I’ve found that proper recovery is also an important aspect of exercise.  And one of my favorite recovery tools are OOfos recovery shoes!

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I’ve been using my OOfos sandals for a couple of years now, so I was excited when a new women’s OOmg Fibre Low Shoe was released!  Here are my top 3 reasons why you should get low 😉 in the new OOmg Fibre shoes!

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  • OOfoam – OOfoam is this magical foam technology that “absorbs 37% more impact than other footwear foams.  OOfoam impact absorbing recovery technology has been scientifically proven to reduce stress on your body while walking, allowing you to recover faster after a workout and feel better all day.” (from oofos.com)

I know this might sound too good to be true, but these little foam shoes really felt like walking on clouds!  I spent a whole day standing at a Japanese festival and my feet were dead by the time I got home.  So the first thing I did the next day was slip into my OOfos and my feet felt instant relief. I have arch issues so the cradle design was much appreciated!

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  • Socks or no socks – Another great thing about the OOfos OOmg Fibre Low shoes is that that they are versatile which means you can choose to wear them with or without socks.  I tried them both ways and overall I preferred them without socks just because I felt like it allowed the shoe to better conform to my feet.  But I did like throwing them on right after a run and relaxing in my socks sometimes, too!  They are also pretty lightweight and super flexible which makes them nice for travel purposes.

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  • Project Pink – Just to add to the amazingness of these shoes is that 3% of all sales from OOfos.com go to breast cancer research through the cause called Project Pink.  And for every pair of shoes sold from the Project Pink collection, OOfos will donate $10 to Project Pink.  So not only are you gaining an awesome pair of recovery footwear, you are making a difference at the same time!

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Overall, I was really pleased with these shoes.  Any foot soreness instantly diminished as soon as I slipped these on!  I just wished they came in more colors!

Price: $139.95 – this may seem a little pricey, but I do think it is important to invest in your feet especially if you are an athlete or just on your feet a lot (i.e. nurses, teachers, etc.)

So grab a pair of OOfos OOmg Fibre Low shoes and treat your feet! 🙂

Have you tried OOfos recovery shoes?  What did you think?

~SM

If you ever come for a visit to Tokyo, one of the most touristy things you can do is visit the Tokyo Tower!  At 1,092 feet high, it’s one of the tallest structures in Japan and a must-see during your next trip.

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On the outside, it just looks like a cool looking communications structure.  But, on the inside there is actually a museum, theme park, restaurants ,and plenty of shops.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Tokyo Tower twice – once in the evening and once during the day – and both times did not disappoint!

The first time I went, it was during the Illuminations in the winter.  Illuminations are basically Christmas lights multiplied by 100 that last from November-February.  You can find them all over landmarks and popular attractions in Japan during this time period. For the Tokyo Tower, they had an Illuminations area at the base of the tower, where there were tons of orange lights and lots of photo ops.

Did I mention you can get some pretty amazing crepes at the base of the tower, too? Also craft beer!

After the lights and crepes, we headed up to the Main Deck Observatory for some sweet views of Tokyo!

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You can also grab a drink and hit up a smaller souvenir shop on this level.  And you can check out this super adorable sparkly pink version the Tower! 🙂

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And if you visit on the weekend or a holiday, you might even catch the Tokyo Tower mascot (yes, there’s a mascot) – Noppon! My kids thought he was Patrick Star from SpongeBob, but they were excited to see him nonetheless.

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I will say there is something pretty dazzling about the evening views from the Tokyo Tower.  It’s mesmerizing to see Tokyo lit up in beautiful lights!  Also, don’t forget to stroll through historic Shiba Park to take in some more sights!

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My next visit was during the day which provided even more unique views!

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This time, we (my cousin and I) headed all the way up for the “Top Deck Tour” because we are fancy like that.  For the Top Deck Tour, you ride the elevator to the Main Observatory, then go to a secret room for a whole different tour.

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You will be given a special phone and headphones so that you can listen to the presentation and tour in English (or language of your choice) and you also get a cup of lemonade and learn a secret hand signal! 🙂 Then, you go into a much smaller elevator to head up to the Top Deck.  Now, I love heights – I’ve hiked some pretty tall mountains and have even gone skydiving – but this little elevator almost gave me a mild panic attack.  Not only is it small, it’s see-through all the way around and it shakes a little as it gets higher.  But, no worries, the nice elevator controller lady explained that it was “just the safety mechanism kicking in”.  A piece of info that would have been handy before entering the elevator.  Anyways, once you reach the top, you enter into a disco ball.  A literal DISCO BALL! Like I said, things are fancy up here.

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The day was a bit foggy, but the views were still nice.

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There’s also an opportunity to stand on a floor window and look below!

But is there SWAG?  Why yes, there is!  Besides the scenery, cup of lemonade, and secret hand signal, you also get a free small photo (with the option to upgrade to a larger one for a fee).

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Nothing can stop us…we’re all the way up.

And if it’s your birthday, you get an envelope filled with coupons for free and discounted stuff within the Tower.  For instance, a coupon for a free crepe!

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Overall, the Tokyo Tower was a breathtaking experience that I will remember forever!  I highly recommend a visit during your next trip to this gorgeous city!

Day or night, the views do not disappoint!

Have you been to the Tokyo Tower?  What did you love about it?!

~SM

If you are planning your next trip to Disney World, you might be thinking…”Where will I RUN?”  Hotel treadmills are convenient, but they can also get boring and stuffy.  That’s where Disney’s Fort Wilderness comes in! At Fort Wilderness, you have the option of hooking up your RV, renting a cabin, OR you could totally rough it and pitch your own tent. – Bless your soul if you go this route cause it’s insanely humid in Florida. 🙂 So what’s the best part of choosing Fort Wilderness for your stay at Disney?  The option to connect with nature and run through some beautiful scenery!

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Fort Wilderness is actually a lot bigger than people may think.  You will need to catch the shuttle bus or rent a golf cart to get around the campgrounds, which means there is plenty of room to run! So grab yourself a map, tighten your laces, and straighten your crown because you are about to head out on an adventure!

Here are a few things you may experience during your Fort Wilderness run!

Paved and lush running paths – I loved that the paths through Fort Wilderness were paved and flat so I didn’t have to worry about injuring myself before a full day of walking around the parks.  And for all you Mother Runners and Father Runners: paved paths = stroller friendly. 😉 I also loved being surrounded by beautiful green and lush scenery!

Lakes and ponds – If you enjoy running around bodies of water, then you will like running here!  I loved watching the sun reflect off the water each morning during my run! You could even rent some boats or kayaks if you wanted to head out for some water activities.

Coffee Break – Okay, maybe you aren’t a coffee lover like me…but one of my favorite things about staying here was finishing a run and then drinking some coffee on the porch.  And if you aren’t in the mood to make coffee yourself, you could swing by the corner store during your run and grab some coffee to go.  Bonus: The magic band is a runner’s best friend because it works as a key, credit card, and a photo pass!  Also, here’s a Disney tip: If you’re looking for a Starbucks in any of the four parks, they are hidden within bakeries/shops and will not show up on the app so look closely for the signs!

Movie and S’mores – If you head out for an evening run, you can catch some campfire singing, s’mores, and a movie!

Cute Critters – Keep your eyes open because you may meet some adorable creatures along your run! Sadly, they won’t break out in song like in all of your fave Disney movies, though. 😦

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Wine and Shine – Once you’re finished running and after you’ve finished walking around the parks, you’ll want to head back to your cabin and get cleaned up.  Then pour yourself a glass of Fairytale champagne and head back out to enjoy the fireworks!  Magic Kingdom is just a short boat ride away!

Fireworks – Another perk of staying at Fort Wilderness is that you don’t have to stand in large crowds to watch the fireworks if you don’t want to.  You can view the fireworks from the lake/boating area or even on the ferry boat itself!

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Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Fort Wilderness!  It’s a fantastic option for big families and those who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of other Disney World Resorts.  And even though it was hot, humid, and rainy…I loved my quiet morning nature run to clear my head before shuffling small children through the Happiest Place on Earth.

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You might even say it was Magical. 😉

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Have you ever run through Fort Wilderness?  What was your favorite part?  I’d love to hear because I only saw one other person out there running!  Maybe people just don’t know about this amazing running spot!

~SM

This year’s IDEA World Fitness BlogFest will be held June 28th-July 1st in San Diego, CA.  I am super bummed that I no longer reside in sunny SoCal and will not be able to attend the festivities! Lucky for me, Idea World and Fit Approach came together to create the first ever BlogFest Virtual PreCon available through Facebook! Expert speakers shared their wisdom and enthusiasm via Facebook Live with all of us bloggers from all over the world!  Here are a few things that I learned from the virtual BlogFest special guests!

Tasha Edwards from Hip Healthy Chick (Topic: Connecting With Your Followers)

  1. Be authentic on your social media platforms.
  2. Genuinely engage with others.  Support and encourage your social media community.

Lyn Lindbergh from Couch to Active (Topic: GRIT)

  1. Live a life you love!
  2. Use GRIT to get through something you don’t like – to take you where you want to go.

Fara Rosenzweig from Fit Creative Media (Topic: SEO Tricks)

  1. Utilize Google to find key words and study your Google Analytics.
  2. Consider using Yoast for SEO.

Debrina Wright from I am Debrina: Holistic Life + Fitness Coaching (Topic: Be Unapologetically Selfish)

  1. It’s not selfish to love yourself!
  2. Practice self-care – Take yourself out on dates! Go on field trips!

Dr. Beth Brombosz from Sublimely Fit (Topic: Writing a Book)

  1. YOU can easily write a book! –> Consider Self-Publishing (check out CreateSpace).
  2. Repurpose your work – create an outline.

Courtney Bentley from Star Systemz and the Fit, Fierce and Fabulous Podcast (Topic: Podcasting)

  1. Start by being a guest speaker on another show.
  2. Use podcasting as a way to branch out from other social media forms.
  3. Be prepared: have an outline, find a quiet space, use headphones -> make your audience comfortable.

Chrissy Carroll from Snacking in Sneakers (Topic: Pinterest for Blog Growth)

  1. Pin 10-50 pins per day (50% personal content and 50% others).
  2. Use a tool such as TailWind for scheduling.
  3. Put several key words in the description.

Jenine Lopez from Gojen Befit (Topic: Make Money With Your Skills)

  1. Ask your audience what they want.
  2. Use a tiered sale system – offer an incentive.

Kim Peek from Power of Run (Topic: Craft Your Story to Inspire Others)

  1. Make a structure – include a hero, antagonist, plot twist, emotional connection, and conflict resolution.
  2. The customer/client is always the hero of the story.

Logan Kinney from High Vibe Wellness (Topic: Yoga Support)

  1. Trust that the yoga is enough. -> Yoga is more about connecting to our inner selves and less about our physical bodies.
  2. Share your real self on social media (post outtakes, props, etc.)

Dr. Heather Denniston from WELLFITandFED (Topic: Incorporating Brick and Mortar Techniques)

  1. Practice time management (balance work time with engagement time).
  2. Clock out – take 15 minutes for yourself (no phone).

Christine Parizo from Run Out of the Box (Topic: Journalism Techniques for Blogging)

  1. Prepare an outline and questions for interviewing.
  2. Content needs a purpose: educate, inform, or entertain.

Carleeh Mulholland from Healthy Socialite (Topic: Create Photo Worthy Smoothie Bowls)

  1. Add liquid ingredients, then soft ingredients – blend on low to thicken. Slice fruit super thin to stick to bowl.
  2. Solidify bowls in freezer before drizzling on butters.
  3. Lighting is everything – Use a white board for reflection. Invest in a Diva Light Ring.

And the most important thing I learned from the Virtual BlogFest??

I-N-S-P-I-R-A-T-I-O-N!

I was totally inspired watching each speaker and listening to all of their tips!  I finished the week wanting to write a book, start a podcast, grow my Pinterest, practice yoga, create a smoothie bowl, and tons of other things! I was mesmerized by the charisma of each #GirlBoss and I can’t wait to tackle some new goals! It was also a great way to engage with the #SweatPink community!

Thank you Fit Approach and Idea World for providing a virtual opportunity to attend such an amazing event!

Guess what?! You can check out all of the speakers on the Fit Approach Facebook page and score some inspiration for yourself!

Did you attend the Virtual BlogFest Pre-Con? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

~SM

*I am an ambassador for #SweatPink, however this is not a sponsored post. 🙂

In case you weren’t aware, there is a museum in Yokohama, Japan all about CupNoodles.  Yes, like the 25 cent instant noodles you heat up in the microwave. Those noodles. Whole museum.

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So you might be thinking, “What could I possible do at a CupNoodles museum?  What on earth would I learn?!” Well, I’m here to tell you why you should visit this museum during your next trip to Japan!

  • There’s a park inside!  Much like many shopping centers and museums in Japan, there is a place for the kiddos to play.  It’s a giant area that’s made to look like the noodle manufacturing warehouse.  There are slides and climbing and some interactive activities.  It’s 300 yen for 30 minutes of play time and kids have to be at least 3 years old to enter.  You will have to either book your time slot online or as soon as you get there.  They also have lockers to store your items (the instructions to use them are entirely in Japanese) and no photos are allowed inside this particular area (although I saw someone with a legit camcorder) so keep that in mind!
  • Make your own Noodles!  Head over to the factory to make your very own CupNoodles! At first, it looks like an overwhelming cluster of people, but Japan is a very methodical place and there is a system for everything. 🙂

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First, you pay 300 yen for your cup and then you are assigned a table to color your cup. And don’t forget to snag your hat SWAG from the Noodles Park!

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Once you’re done coloring, you can go get your cup filled with noodles and pick your toppings!

Then you take your cup over to be sealed and shrink-wrapped!

Then put your creation in a special bag, fill it with air, and tie some string around it for transportation purposes.  Like I said, there is a system for everything!

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  • Walls of Noodles!  There is whole room within the museum where packages and cups of noodles line the walls.  You can see how the noodles and packaging have changed throughout the years.  It’s surprisingly displayed in a beautiful and artsy way!
  • See a movie! Stop by the theater to watch an animated movie discussing the history of Momofuku Ando (the CupNoodles creator).  The movie is in Japanese, but you will be given a headset that translates the audio into English.  The movie is actually very interesting, so I would not skip this exhibit!

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  • Momofuku’s Shed! – After the movie head out the back door to tour a replica of Momofuku’s very own work shed.  This is where Chicken Ramen, which is the first instant ramen, was created. You won’t believe how small it is!
  • Interactive Art! – Along some of the walls, there is interactive art that further explains Momofuku Ando’s actions and thoughts behind his inventions. This is also great for the kids!

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More fun quotes and art! “Rather than a lone cedar, it is better to nurture a whole forest. No one has a monopoly on ideas.” ~Momofuku Ando

  • Eat Noodles and Shop! After roaming through the art exhibits, you can head up to the Noodles Bazaar and sample noodles from the around the world.  Then, you can check out the museum shop or more photo props on your way out!
  • Get Inspired!  My favorite thing about the CupNoodles Museum was the inspiration!  Momofuku Ando was all about thinking outside the box and sharing ideas with others rather than keeping everything to himself.  He was also very determined and persistent even during rough times.  Coming into this museum, I thought I was just gonna learn about the history of instant noodles, but I left totally inspired and with a different perspective on life!  I definitely recommend checking it out!

Museum logistics:

  1. Parking – There is a small parking garage under the museum, but it’s a little pricey so the train may be a better choice.
  2. Hours/Admission – 10:00-18:00 and 500 yen per person. Check the website for special closings.
  3. Location – The museum is located in Yokohama – close to other tourist attractions like the Landmark Tower and Cosmo World.  You could spend a couple of hours here and then easily hit up some other Yokohoma hot spots!

So next time you are in Yokohama, check out the CupNoodles Museum and score some knowledge and inspiration!

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~SM

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