Recently when I visit Yokohama’s Minatomirai area I see people walking around with a clear pack of Cup Noodles hanging from their necks. There must be others who think “What is that?!” It turns out that there is a theme park where you can make your own custom Cup Noodles. Its called the Cup Noodle Museum (officially Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum). This facility exceeds all expectations and is truly a wonderful experience.
The newest focus of attention in Yokohama Minatomirai
Since opening in September of 2011 the Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama Minatomirai has become a popular attraction and focus of much attention. World wide over 100 billion meals of instant noodles are consumed over a year currently; did you know that the technology for all those meals was developed in Japan?
If you think instant noodle most would imaging Nissin Foods. Everyone has had at least one. The person who invented them is none other than the founder of Nissin Foods, Momofuku Ando. It gives a sense of pride that something that is eaten world wide is a Japanese invention. The very first invention was lovingly called “Magic Ramen”, the Chicken Ramen. The second was to make that instant noodle available to all the Cup Noodle. I take them whenever I go hiking in the mountains. That little cup of noodles is probably the best thing on earth when eaten at the top of a mountain.
Here at the Cup Noodle Museum you can learn all about the history as well as make your own custom Cup Noodle.
The facilities are superbly designed
Upon entrance you are met with a giant Cup Noodle statue and Piyoko the mascot of Chicken Ramen in a lobby with vaulted ceilings and huge stairs. It is a very open and chic space.
Make sure to pick up the ticket to make your custom Cup Noodle when entering. It is extremely popular so it does end quite quickly on holidays and weekends, so be sure to get here by noon on such days.
The extreme bustle of the My Cup Noodle Factory
Once your time comes you buy a cup from the vending machine for 300 JPY. This is the price for the experience. The rule is only one per person. Once you have the cup you can decorate it with different pens. This attraction is just crowded with people trying to create their one of kind Cup Noodle.
Make sure to label the date of making it because these only have a shelf life of one month.
Let's choose the ingredients
Once the design of the cup is done you can have the noodles put in it, and now you get to choose the flavors. You choose 1 out of the 4 soup flavors, and 4 out of the 12 different toppigns. There are 5460 different combos you can create!! It makes for uneasy decisions. For the toppings I went straight for the Naruto shaped like Piyoko instead of the traditional spiral version. In fact most of the other visitors chose this as one of the toppings as well. After choosing everything they seal up the package and package it in a clear air filled package.
At this museum you can also make chicken ramen from flour, which is also a popular activity. This one needs prior reservation but if there are openings that day you can join in the fun. People older than middle school age are 500 JPY and elementary school ages and under are 300 JPY. Here you get a hand made Chicken Ramen and a Piyoko-chan bandana.
Look, make, play, eat, the endless enjoyment.
While you’re waiting for the custom noodle experience you should definitely check out the exhibits at the museum. The concept here is Creative Thinking. You will be surprised at how humble the first research shack was. The message here is that you don’t have to have an amazing setup to make something that can change the world but all you need is an idea to get it going.
The exhibits here follow different keywords such as never give up, find something that doesn’t exist, and don’t be consumed with convention. For example the noodles in the Cup Noodle pictured shows different messages at different angles. If you want to know what it says you should definitely come and have a look for yourself.
Also there is a food court that showcases noodle culture from 8 different countries. You can easily compare them with half sized portions only being 300 JPY each.
This museum can be fun for people of all ages and types, a must is to go with someone you are close with.
Cup Noodles Museum 045-345-0915 Open 10am to 6pm (last entrance is 5pm) Closed on Tuesdays and new years eve and new years day Entrance is 500 JPY for adults and free for kids under 18 A 12 minute walk from Sakuragicho station or an 8 minute walk from Minatomirai station.
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