Make your own Cup Ramen: a day at the Cup Noodle Museum

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  • When I think of Japan, one thing that automatically comes to mind is “cup noodles”.

    As someone who eats cup noodles at least once a week, when I heard that there’s a Cup Noodle Museum about an hour away from Tokyo in Yokohama, I knew I had to go on a weekend.. and I did!

    For those who are interested in seeing real footage, here’s a vlog (video) that I filmed for the Yokohama Cup Noodle Museum!

    On a beautiful and sunny Sunday, I took the Mita Line (express) from Hakusan to Den-enchofu and then transferred to the Tokyu-Toyoko Line that took me to Minatomirai Station. The trip was about an hour and 16 minutes, including the walking distance to the museum itself.

    The museum is not super hard to find, since Yokohama Cosmo World’s Ferris Wheel is located right across from it. However, it wouldn’t be a lie to say that I was a bit disappointed when I got to the entrance of the Cup Noodle Museum. The building blended right into it’s surroundings and if it wasn’t for the sign on the building that read “Cup Noodles Museum” along with the large groups of  people coming out with cup noodles, I wouldn’t have thought that this bland red brick building was THE Cup Noodle Museum that I was so excited to visit.

    However, once I stepped into the museum it was a totally different story. The gift shop overwhelmingly filled with cup noodles and related products is the first to greet you when you walk in along with a huge wooden staircase that seemed like it’ll lead you to cup noodle heaven.

     

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    For those who are not familiar with Yokohama’s Cup Noodle Museum,  it is an interactive museum that was opened by Nissin Food Products Co. , who’s founder invented instant ramen noodles in 1958. The museum shows the history of instant ramen noodles using a number of exhibits and hands on workshops and is a great place to spend the weekend whether you’re an adult or a family with young children.

    After purchasing an admission ticket to the museum itself (¥500) and a ticket to the “My CupNoodles Factory” workshop, I walked up the stairs to cup noodle heaven that lead me straight to the Instant Noodles History Cube room. This room displays a collection of instant noodles with Chicken Ramen starting the line in 1958 and expands to new and old ramen products that used to be / are currently sold in Japan, along with international ramens.

     

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    Connected to the History Cube room is the Momofuku Theater, a mini theater with a red interior – where you can enjoy the 14-minute animation where a character version of Momofuku Ando, founder of Nissin Food Products Co.and inventor of instant noodles, explains the process of inventing Cup Noodles, along with the hardships he had to go through and more. The animation was entertaining and easy to focus on, and it was great that they provided audio guides (Korean, English, and Chinese) so if you plan on visiting, don’t forget to ask for one!

    After the animation, I walked around the museum while waiting for my time to go to the “My Cup Noodles Factory”. The museum had exhibits including a number of modern arts on display that was really interesting to look at since it guides you through the life of Ando, which was entirely dedicated to the creation of new food.

    The exhibit and art on display didn’t take up too much time to go through, and since I still had time left until the workshop I enjoyed the breathtaking view of the bay outside the museum.

    Author’s photo

    Once it was my turn, I headed over to the workshop location – which was packed with people. After paying ¥300 for a cup noodle cup, I was guided to the decorating station where you get to decorate your cup however you want with the markers located on the table.

    Since I was in Japan, I wanted to draw something meaningful; Tokyo Tower and Gudetama.

    Author’s photo

    After decorating my cup, I got to see how they put the noodles inside the cup and even got to choose a flavor of my choice along with 4 toppings, and at the end saw how they sealed and packaged the cup.

     

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    Though a bit pricy for what you get, the My Cup Noodle Workshop was definitely a fun and interesting hands on experience that I definitely recommend to everyone visiting!

    The museum also offers workshops like the “Chicken Ramen Factory” where you can make your own chicken ramen by hand and experience the entire process of kneading, spreading, steaming, and seasoning the flour along with frying it using the flash frying method. However, this workshop has a limited number of seats available so you’ll need to make a reservation ahead of time.

     

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    They also have a Cup Noodles Park, which is limited to children above 3 years old to elementary school students. At this theme park, children can experience the cup noodles manufacturing process from the noodle’s point of view, where they can have fun at the playground all while learning about making noodles to shipping them out. They can climb the noodle net and feel as if  they’ve become a noodle, swim through the seasoning pool; a ball pool that represents the process of noodles being seasoned, and once you’re done and ready to be shipped you go down the slide surrounded by cardboard boxes.

    After all the workshops and exhibits, you’ll definitely get hungry (at least I did) and that’s when you should visit Noodles Bazaar – world noodles road, an attraction that features varieties of noodles from Italy’s pasta to Thailand’s tom yum goong noodles – that you can enjoy at a low price of ¥300.

    For those looking for a fun activity to do over the weekend that’s not too far from Tokyo, I definitely recommend that you visit the Yokohama Cup Noodle Museum. The experience is something you definitely do not want to miss out on, plus you get to take home your customized so hurry up and start planning your weekend getaway!

    For more detailed information about the Cup Noodles Museum or instructions on how to get there/make a reservation, please click here