For any foodie, noodle enthusiast, and curious Japanese culture enjoyer, if you're searching for an offbeat and scrumptious journey that will tickle your taste buds and inspire your late-night cravings, then head to Yokohama, Japan, for an unforgettable experience at the Cup Noodles Museum! Sure, Yokohama is an electrifying modern port city located just south of Tokyo, being Japan's second-largest city. And also sure, Yokohama has a dynamic cityscape, with soaring skyscrapers and bustling streets, all set against the picturesque backdrop of Tokyo Bay. Its multicultural charm is palpable, culinary scene super diverse, but a much-loved superstar of this captivating city that never fails to leave a lasting impression on anyone who comes to visit - is the Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama. Curious? Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more adventures!
…Yes, you read that right. A whole museum. Dedicated just to cup noodles. The ones you ate during exam season in your university’s dorm room? Yes that’s the one! The ones you make when you stumble home from the club and that 4am hunger creeps in? Yep!
Nestled in the heart of Yokohama's vibrant Minato Mirai 21 district, the Cup Noodles Museum is a funky shrine dedicated to the genius behind the ubiquitous instant ramen - the legendary Momofuku Ando! I started the day early and arrived here as soon as the museum opened since I knew this pilgrimage spot for foodie lovers is a popular place amongst travellers, school kids on field trips, and locals alike. After all, it’s where you can journey back in time and discover the humble beginnings of this revolutionary noodle sensation.
Upon entering, the noodle maestro’s history of Momofuku Ando unfolded. His ingenuity sparked during post-World War II Japan, a time of scarcity and hardship. Determined to combat hunger and invent a quick meal solution, he embarked on a mission that would forever change the culinary world. The museum creates the humble beginnings of where the true visionary was born, from a ramshackle shack where you can step inside the makeshift kitchen to practice Ando's ingenious flash-frying method that who would’ve guessed… birthed instant ramen as we know it today! This place makes you dream even more if you have ever fantasised of being a culinary inventor.
Another portion of the museum, called the "My CUPNOODLES Factory," is where you can channel your creative genius and design your very own personalized cup noodles! This is actually my favourite part of the museum as I felt like I was a little kid in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory… except, for Cup Noodles. First, you line up, and then when you arrive to the noodle making section, you can select mouthwatering flavours (I chose curry!) to adding delectable toppings, the only limit is your imagination. The person behind the screen helps make your personalized cup noodles.
Once crafted to perfection, watch your cup noodle creation come to life as it's sealed into a customized cup, which is pretty cool to see it happen right before your eyes.
For the final step, you can decorate your cup noodles. Now, you should definitely factor in timing for your trip to the Cup Noodles Museum just for this portion alone. Did I have to sit there for 40 minutes using markers to colour and draw my design? No, but was it fun and felt like it healed my inner child? You bet it did. After you decorate your cup noodles, you get a free uniquely designed inflatable bag that will keep your cup safe from being squished. Now your mouthwatering keepsake is ready to be to taken home!
I saved my cup noodle to bring home as a “break open this glass as last resort” since it makes for such a fun souvenir. But if you are hungry while perusing the museum (I honestly don’t blame you), you can indulge your taste buds in a globe-trotting noodle escapade at the "Noodles Bazaar” located on the upper level of the museum. This is where you’ll be transported to different corners of the world through an array of droolworthy noodle dishes representing various cultures. There’s a noodle stall to buy Vietnam’s famous pho dish, Malaysia’s tangy laksa, Thailand’s pad thai, and so on. The whole area is quite Instagram-worthy too as it feels like you’re in an authentic night market in South-east Asia but for a noodles food court. Savour each bite, and let the noodles narrate tales of their origin and culinary heritage. Who knew noodles could have such captivating stories to tell?
Beyond its delectable flavours and convenience, instant ramen has left an indelible mark on global culture. At the Cup Noodle museum, you’ll learn how this humble meal transformed into a symbol of innovation and resilience, bridging the gap between nations and bringing smiles to people's faces across the globe. One of my favourite sections of the museum is seeing the wall to wall casing display of Cup Noodles design throughout the years. It spanned back from the very first Cup noodle to its modern day iteration - as well as all the flavours they had offered since its conception.
So are you ready to set forth on a gastronomic expedition like no other? Experience the creativity, history, and universal appeal of instant ramen - a food that has transcended borders and warmed the hearts of millions. Whether you're a seasoned foodie or a curious traveller, this slurp-tastic adventure will inspire your taste buds and ignite a newfound appreciation for the humble yet extraordinary instant ramen! Remember, life is a delicious journey, and a trip to the Cup Noodles Museum is the perfect way to remember every moment - one noodle at a time!
Okay, now that I’m done writing my story, my stomach’s rumbling so I think I’m gonna reach for that instant ramen noodle cup. Itadakimasu!
Cup Noodle Museum Yokohama2-chōme-3-4 Shinkō, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0001, Japan
Want to plan a trip here? Talk to AI travel assistant Maya.
Plan a trip with Maya - your AI travel assistant