Cup noodles, otherwise known as instant ramen, is a staple food of student halls all over the world – an often delicious, nutritionally-challenged £0.40 snack to keep you going. As we discovered in Tokyo, it is also an incredible feat of food-technology and a popular phenomenon in Japan and other Asian countries.
There are even those of us that as full-grown adults still indulge in a packet every-so-often (ahem, this), and foodie websites like Lucky Peach that experiment with recipes using instant noodles all the time – worth a read!
The Tokyo suburb of Yokohama is the home of the Cup Noodle Museum – a space dedicated to the history of dehydrated noodles, with its own mini-factory area where you get to create your own mix of cup noodle, and even decorate your pot!
You’ll also learn about why Mr Momufuku Ando (the creator of Cup Noodles) decided at age 48 to develop this type of food: as an effective and affordable means to end world hunger, and as space food. Find out more here.
What is there to see and do in the Cup Noodle Museum?
Great question! The story of how the ubiquitous instant noodles came to conquer the world is fascinating and the museum does a great job of introducing you to how they came about. Note: a lot of the displays and videos are only in Japanese but you can follow what’s going on relatively easily.
Meet Momofuku Ando at the replica of his workshop/shed, where you can learn about his dedication to finding the most efficient way to dry the noodles and toppings, the placement of the noodle in the cup for optimum cooking, etc.
Packaging and advertising: It’s great fun to explore how the packaging has changed throughout the years, all the way from 1957 when the first Chicken Ramen was invented!
Extras: We didn’t manage to do this, but you may want to make a reservation to make your own chicken ramen from scratch at the Chicken Ramen Factory.
It’s time to make your own Cup Noodle!
Step 1 – Learn about the ingredients
Step 2 – Decorate your cup
Step 3 – Choose 4 dry ingredients and a flavoured broth
Step 4 – Seal the cup, put it in a souvenir bag & take the mandatory photo!
Our son was fully immersed in this unique Tokyo experience, and we all had a bunch of fun. There is also an indoor playground that missed out (!), a café and of course, a shop!
Museum Admission: Adults 500 Yen / Under 18s Free
Cup Noodle Factory: 300 Yen per cup /2.5 Euros / 2.8 USD / 2.2 GBP
Chicken Ramen Experience: 300 Yen /2.5 Euros / 2.8 USD / 2.2 GBP
Every day except Tuesday
10 AM – 6PM
How to get to Yokohama from Tokyo?
Yokohama is a city in the Tokyo suburbs, easily reachable on either the Minatomirai line, which you can connect with on the Tokyo Toyoko line. Or for ease just 50 minutes on the Tokyo Toyoko line from Shibuya, plus a short walk. Find out more on how to get to the Cup Noodle Museum.
Have you been to the Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama? What’s the strangest museum you’ve been to?
Pin for later