Whether needing a quick meal at work or trying to make ends meet on a tight budget, many have enjoyed the quick fix meal known as ramen noodles.
In Japan, there’s now a museum dedicated to this super soup.
Momofuko Ando invented the first ramen noodle soup package in 1958. After a year of little sleep and no days off, Ando arrived at his goal. Chicken Ramen was ready for world; a simple package of noodles and a flavor packet needing only a bit of hot water to become soup.
In 1971, Momofuko made a minor adjustment to his creation:
On a fact finding trip to America, Momofuku observes supermarket managers breaking up Chicken Ramen noodles, putting them in a cup, pouring in hot water, and then eating them with a fork. It was then that Momofuku realized that moving past conceptions about how we eat was the key to making instant ramen a global food. By bringing together all sorts of wisdom and innovative ideas, CUPNOODLES transformed ‘made in Japan’ instant ramen into a global food. – Cupnoodles Museum website
The Museum is dedicated to creativity, the history of the food and Ramen’s creator, Momofuko Ando. Five floors of food fun await visitors in Naka-ku, Yokohama, Japan.
On display for those interested in the story of this iconic incarnation is the work shed where Ando created his crafty, quick-fix food. The Momofuko Ando story is told here alongside exhibits chronicling the history of Momofunko Ando’s product lines.
To emphasize creativity, there are various exhibits and interactive displays encouraging visitors to think outside the cup.
A bazaar featuring eight various varieties of ramen offers guests an opportunity to enjoy a quick meal. There’s even cup noodle ice cream that includes curry and shrimp flavors.
Cup Noodles Park is a play area for children visiting the museum. An extra fee is charged, and children must be at least three years old and 90cm (roughly 35 ½ inches) tall to play.
Chicken Ramen Factory teaches children via hands-on activities about the process of making ramen. This add-on activity costs 300 yen for elementary-age children and 500 yen for Junior High and up.
The highlight of the museum is the opportunity to create your very own cup of noodles. Purchase the cup from a vending machine for 300 yen and then decorate to your heart’s content. The empty cup is then taken to an assembly line style service counter where it is filled, flavors are added, sealed and packaged for take home.
Travel by train or bus is recommended, but there is space for 40 vehicles to park. The Momofuko Ando Instant Ramen Museum, as it is formally called, is located at 2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-Ku Yokohama, Japan. The Museum is open daily except Tuesdays and holidays from 10am to 6pm (last entry at 5pm). Additional information is available on their downloadable brochure or website.
Source and Images: Cup Noodle Museum website