Instant noodles are a delicious snack or quick meal idea for those looking for an affordable dish. Noodles are a staple in Japanese cuisine as well; so much so, there is a museum dedicated to cup noodles, a popular meal for quick noodles.
The Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon learning about some of the history of Japanese cuisine that has spread throughout the world.
The History Of The Cup Noodle Museum
The Cup Noodle Museum came to fruition through the efforts of Nissin Food Company, which was responsible for instant ramen noodles.
Instant noodles have been available since 1958, allowing people to make delicious noodle dishes at home without much effort.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the only museum in Japan that teaches you about the wonderful world of instant noodles. There is also the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Noodle Museum in Osaka that is worth a visit as well.
The Impact Of Instant Ramen Noodles
Being that instant ramen is just one of the many ways you can enjoy noodles, it’s astounding just how much instant ramen is eaten throughout the world.
According to the Yokohama Cup Noodle Museum, there are around 100 billion servings of instant ramen noodles eaten every year around the world.
Additionally, the evolution of instant ramen has not stopped since its inception. There are hundreds of new flavors and varieties of instant ramen noodles that hit the Japanese market each year.
The Beginning Of The Museum Experience
As you enter the museum, you will be able to watch a video discussing how instant noodles came to be. There are some very innovative visual mediums available within the museum to learn about instant noodle history in a digestible manner.
You can also see a recreation of where Nissin Foods came up with the instant noodle concept, which was actually a shed.
Within the Cup Noodle Museum, there are also several artistic interpretations of instant noodle products, from the most basic cup to the version that can be enjoyed in space.
You can also view the Cupnoodles Marble Coaster display, where you can watch a simulation of a factory with marbles sliding throughout cups all lined up throughout the display.
Momofuku’s Work Shed
The shed on display that mimics the work shed where instant noodles were conceptualized was owned by Momofuku Ando.
He was responsible for making chicken ramen in a similar workspace, which was the very first flavor of instant ramen noodles.
You’re also able to see some of the ordinary tools that Ando owned that helped his inventive spirit flourish.
Learn Momofuku Ando’s Story
Ando was the founder of Nissin Food Products, the distributor of the original Cup of Noodles. He shares his knack for innovation in many displays throughout the museum.
Learn Ando’s story through some interactive pieces and get inspired to go after your own goals.
There are a lot of images to view and displays to read that take you through Ando’s personal and professional journey. There are also some informational pieces that children are able to enjoy.
My Cupnoodles Factory
The museum has some enjoyable interactive elements as well, such as the My Cupnoodles Factory.
This area of the museum lets you manufacture your own custom instant noodle cup, with a variety of mixes and toppings available. The entire process usually takes about 45 minutes.
You even get to decorate your own instant noodle cup. You also have the option to create multiple cups if you want to take some home with you. In order to participate in this activity, there is a small fee of 400 yen per cup.
Instant Noodles History Cube
This unique display lets you view how instant noodle packaging has evolved over the many decades it has been available.
Believe it or not, there are thousands of different packages that have been created for instant ramen noodles over the years, from cups to bags to boxes.
Not only can you see instant ramen noodle packaging native to Japan, but there are depictions of various packages released by companies from around the world.
My Chicken Ramen
Another activity to try at the museum is My Chicken Ramen, where participants are guided through the process of making instant noodles from the very beginning to the end.
You will literally be given the dough that you’ll work with to create your noodles. It’s a really unique experience to see how instant ramen noodles are made by doing the process yourself.
The entire process takes about an hour and a half. Once you’re done, you’re able to package your instant noodles in a package you can decorate yourself and take them home.
The fee for this activity is 500 yen. You also have to make reservations to do the “My Chicken Ramen” activity.
If you’re bringing your children with you on your trip to Yokohama, they’ll absolutely love the Cupnoodles Park at the museum.
Children get the opportunity to participate in the noodle-making process through toys inspired by the process.
The museum describes this experience as learning about instant noodles from the perspective of the noodles, which is an amusing sight for children to participate in.
In order for all children to get the opportunity to play in the park, time slots are limited to a half-hour, and the fee is 400 yen.
Some of the features of the park include an Instant Fryer that simulates the experience of noodles frying with graphics and bubbles, as well as the Inverted Tunnel where kids can walk inside an upside-down noodle cup.
There is also a Seasoning Pool that is similar to a ball pit, with different colored balls to represent the unique flavor options of instant noodles. There are even more activities for your kids to explore within the park during your visit.
The bazaar area of the museum is set up to look like an outdoor bazaar and is even equipped with sound effects similar to street sounds.
Here, you’re able to purchase small portions of instant noodles to enjoy a variety of flavors. There are also drinks available, so you can make an entire meal out of the experience.
Cupnoodles Museum Shop
If you’re looking for some souvenirs to bring home to memorialize your trip, you should stop by the Cupnoodles Museum Shop on your way out of the museum.
Here you can find a plethora of items with an instant noodle theme, including clothing, treats, stationery, and a variety of other trinkets.
There are also Cupnoodle forms created by artist Oki Sato, an award-winning artist who has works displayed in museums all over the world.
These unique decorations cannot be found anywhere else, so if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon some in the shop, it’s worth grabbing some.
Getting To The Cup Noodle Museum
If you’re taking a train into Yokohama to visit the museum, you can take the train to the Minato Mirai or Sakuragicho Station, and the walk is short from the station to the museum.
You can also get there by taking the Yokohama subway. Alternatively, the Akaikutsu Bus Loop route to get near the museum.
The museum is open every day except for Tuesdays and during the New Year holidays, from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The entrance fee is 500 yen, but you’ll want to bring additional yen to participate in some of the activities. If a holiday falls on a Tuesday, the museum will be closed on the following day.
Yokohama is a large city in Japan; in fact, it’s second in terms of size only to Tokyo. The city is located in the Kanagawa Prefecture and is famous for being the area where Japanese foreign trade first flourished.
While it has become a more industrialized area since the formerly quaint town now has so much to do, it’s a must-see city when visiting Japan.
Minato Mirai District
This district, where the Yokohama Cup Noodle Museum is located, is a bustling area full of interesting activities to enjoy. It’s known as the city center of Yokohama.
Cup noodles Official Website
The district allows for ample opportunities to shop, learn about Yokohama history at several museums, and there’s even an amusement park in the district.
The district is also surrounded by sparkling blue water, which is a sight to see in and of itself.