Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan located in the south of Tokyo. People flock here for the amazing Chinese food, theme park and date activities. David and I originally planned to go there because I wanted to see Cai Guo-Qiang’s There and Back Again exhibit in the Yokohama Art Museum. Since it was a bit far from Tokyo, we decided to stay there for a whole day instead of traveling to a different place. One of the things I wanted to visit was the Cup Noodle Museum as I’ve heard so many good things about it.
With the use of google maps, we managed to walk from the station to the museum, an unimposing building located near the port. I suggest going there early to avail of the “Chicken Ramen Factory” and “Make Your Own Cup Noodle” activities. It’s on a first come, first serve basis and the slots fill up really quickly. We arrived at around 2 in the afternoon and did not manage to sign up for the “Chicken Ramen Factory” workshop, where you can learn how to make ramen, which is a shame.
From the screens, you can see any available slots for the workshops. You mention the time to the person at the ticket counter and you would be given a paper with the date and time of your slot. For the “Chicken Ramen Factory”, advance reservations may be made for groups via telephone. I believe there is an extra 500 yen participation fee for the workshop.
Our first destination was the Instant Noodles History Cube. It’s a small room featuring over thousands of product packages and how they evolved throughout the years. I managed to find the ones that came out during my birthday year.
After passing through the noodle history room, you are then invited to go inside the Momofuku Theater. Don’t forget to ask for your English language headset as the show is only in Japanese. You’ll learn all about the inventor, Momofuku Ando, and his thought process throughout the invention of the cup ramen. Towards the end, the short film also explains the whole manufacturing process. I adored how they used cute cartoon animation for the film. It helps to entertain the kids who are watching it. There wasn’t a boring moment in the theater.
The exit door of the theater leads to Momofuku’s work shed, a recreation of the inventor’s work space. Unfortunately, there were a lot of people crowding around the area so we decided to skip it.The other spaces included small exhibits explaining Momofuku’s creative process and how we can all follow his lead and come up with ideas that no one else has ever thought of. I especially liked this mural showcasing various inspirational people with three simple words for thought, NEVER GIVE UP!
When 3 rolled around, we made our way to the “Make Your Own Cup Noodles” workshop! The first step is to line up and get your empty cup noodle in the vending machine. Then, you take your seat and start drawing!
According to the instructions, you can only draw in between the top and bottom red lines. I’m not entirely sure why that is. Maybe for hygiene and safety? Though that thought seems too far fetched. Anyways, I’m not much of a rule breaker so I didn’t go over the lines.
Once you finish your design, you line up in front and choose which ingredients you would like in your cup. There’s a bunch available!
Personally, I chose a curry base with corn, pork and these cute Hiyoko-chan fish cakes… Or I thought they were fish cakes. I wasn’t really sure to be honest. I just thought they would look awesome floating in my ramen cup.
After choosing your ingredients, they cover the cup with plastic and run it through a heating machine to seal the sides.
And voila! It’s my cup noodle safe and sound in it’s plastic balloon cocoon. This step was optional but it helps keep your cup from warping especially if you don’t have enough space in your bag.
The Cup Noodle Museum is easily accessed by Minatomirai line through Minatomirai station, about 10 minutes by walking.
2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-ku,
10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
*Last Admission – 5:00 PM
Tuesdays, Year-end & New Year Holidays
*When Tuesday is a holiday, closed the following day.
High School Students & Younger: Free
I think there are other great places in Yokohama to eat at but if you feel like you want to sample different types of noodles, then Noodle Bazaar is for you! Located inside the museum and reminiscent of a night market, they offer eight different varieties of noodles, including pasta from Italy, Mie Goreng from Indonesia, Pho from Vietnam and so on. Apparently, these are the noodles that Momofuku (the founder of cup noodles) encountered during his travels in search of ramen’s origins.
Overall, I think the museum is worth a visit especially for noodle fans like me!