Did you know that Cup Noodles was invented in 1958 and Momofuku Ando is the inventor of instant noodles, instant ramen, and Cup Noodles? We didn't know this until we visited the awesome Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama, Japan.
When we heard that you can make your very own Cup Noodles at the Cup Noodles Museum, we had to go. I mean who hasn't had instant ramen in their lifetime? Mr. Ando basically created every college kid's staple meal! We can't count how many Cup Noodles and instant ramen we have had over the years and being able to create our very own custom cup sounded like so much fun.
The museum is pretty huge and there are several exhibitions and attractions inside the Cup Noodle Museum. Here's what we explored:
The Cup Noodles Factory was the main attraction we were drawn to when we heard about this museum. We showed up right when the doors opened at 10 AM so that we could secure our spot creating our custom Cup Noodles. Once you pay the entrance fee of ¥500 (~ $5 US), the museum hands out numbered tickets to the visitors that gives them a time slot of when they can enter the Cup Noodles Factory.
There are several steps involved in creating your custom cup. First, you buy the cup, which cost ¥300 (~$3 US). Next, you have to sanitize your hands and then a staff member directs you to a table with markers to start designing your cup. After you complete your masterpiece, you take it over to the processing factory where you get to pick your soup flavor and ingredients. Crystal chose the classic chicken flavor and I picked the chili tomato flavor. We both added similar ingredients like the green onions, egg, Hiyoko-chan fish sausage, and corn. I added the kimchi instead of the corn.
Then the last step is to shrink-wrap the cup and place it in a cute air package. If you want the full experience, the museum offers a Chicken Ramen Factory where you make the noodles from scratch and dry it with the flash frying method. Make sure to make a reservation in advance if you'd like to try that out.
Momofuku's Work Shed is where you get a glimpse of where the first instant ramen was born. It was a cute little shed and we were able to go inside and take a look at the tools he had to utilize at the time of his invention.
The museum starts with an instant noodles history cube, which displays over 3,000 product packages of instant noodles. There are so many variations of instant noodles and the cube's timeline dates back to 1958.
After the history cube, we began to learn the story behind Momofuku Ando. This was a fun and informative section where we learned about the famous inventor's creation and his dedication to inventing new foods.
Since it was around lunchtime when we finished exploring the museum, it was perfect timing when we came upon the noodles food court on the top floor. The dishes were very reasonably priced at around ¥400 (~$4 US) and we had a selection of different noodle dishes from various countries around Asia. These countries are the ones Momofuku Ando encountered during his travels in search of the origins of noodles. There were stalls from Korea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and more! The atmosphere was so fun as it felt like you were at an Asian night market.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Cup Noodles Museum. If we had more time, we would have liked to learn how to make our own noodles from scratch but we were happy with the Cup Noodles Factory experience. You can't do this anywhere else in the world and it's such a fun experience. The World Noodles Road was a nice surprise as we didn't know there was a place to eat inside the museum. If you want to learn a little history of Cup Noodles and also have some hands-on fun, it's definitely an entertaining museum to explore.
A Few Tips:
* The museum is pretty popular so if you want to avoid waiting in lines, it's best to go right when they open.
* Utilize the free coin lockers. We had on heavy winter jackets, so we stored them in the coin locker which was ¥100 (~$1 US). You get your money back, so just remember to have a ¥100 coin on you.
* Enter the World Noodles Road right before lunch hours as the lines can get insanely long during lunchtime.
A special thanks to Margaret O'Leary for the soft, warm, and comfy sweaters.
CUP NOODLE MUSEUM
ADDRESS: 2-3-4 SHINKO, NAKA-KU, YOKOHAMA 231-0001 JAPAN
PHONE: (045) 345-0918
HOURS: Open 10am to 6pm (Last admission is at 5pm)
ADMISSION: Adults 500 yen / Children Free
ATTRACTION FEE: Cup Noodles Factory 300 yen, Chicken Ramen Factory Adults 500 yen / Children 300 yen