Cupnoodles Museum
Yokohama Minato-mirai: Museum
Cupnoodles Museum: Yokohama Minato-mirai
Yokohama Minato-mirai / Museum
Open 10am-6pm (enter by 5pm). Closed Tuesdays.
Admission Y500
Average visit time: 20-60 minutes

If you love instant ramen and want to learn much, much more about the ubiquitous snack and its inventor, Momofuku Ando, you've come to the right place. Walk around inside a replica of the original shed where Ando first created instant ramen back in 1958. Stroll through the "Instant Ramen History Cube" to follow the evolution of flavors and packaging in the intervening decades. Draw inspiration from, or simply be mystified by, the museum's "Creative Thinking Box."

The highlight for most visitors seems to be the My Cup Noodles Factory, where you assemble and take home your own custom-made package of noodles. First, buy an empty styrofoam cup (Y300), which you can personalize with your own package design using magic markers. Select a flavor of powdered broth (your choice of four) and four freeze-dried toppings (out of twelve options), then watch as the whole thing is vacuum-packed, sealed, and presented in a balloon-like inflated plastic carrier.

Hard-core fans can sign up for the ninety-minute Chicken Ramen Factory experience (Y300), a hands-on workshop in instant-ramen making (in Japanese; advance reservation required). Very young museum patrons might enjoy the Cup Noodle Park play area, which somehow simulates the noodle-making experience from the point of view of the noodles. Hungry visitors will certainly want to sample the fare in the exotically appointed Noodles Bazaar food court, which serves representative noodle dishes from eight countries - Kazakhstan, Italy, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. Half-size portions are Y300, so you can try more than one if you like.

[By the way, if you're planning a Yokohama ramen pilgrimage to this museum and the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, please note that they're not all that convenient to each other - plan for around 40 minutes travel time between them.]

See also the photo album on Facebook.

Naka-ku, Yokohama, Shinko 2-3-4.
8 minutes from Minato-Mirai (Minato-Mirai line)
Sister sites:
Japan bar and restaurant guide
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Craft Beer Bars Japan
Bars, festivals and breweries
Neighborhood guides and top-five lists from Tokyo experts