Instant noodles are popular amongst all ages, all over the world. Being both convenient and delicious, it might be easy to see why Japan has two museums dedicated entirely to this flavorsome convenience food.
What are instant noodles?
Instant noodles are packs of noodles in a precooked and dried block, accompanied by seasoning in a separate sachet. The cup noodle is the same idea, but in a pot with the seasoning already mixed in for food on the go. Both the Instant noodles and the cup noodles just need boiling water added, and in a few minutes, they are ready to serve. Although designed to be cooked in boiling water, they can be consumed dry.
Where did they come from?
Momofuku Ando was a Taiwanese-Japanese inventor that had the idea that instant noodles could be the answer to the post-war food shortage in Japan at the end of World War II. After much trial and error, he created and introduced the first packets of dried noodles in Japan in 1958. He then went on to invent the cup noodle, after observing how Americans would eat noodles by breaking them up and putting them in a cup. The businessman founded Nissin Food Products Co. Ltd, and he is also the creator of top brands Top Ramen and Cup Noodles.
The Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama and the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka is the place to go if you want to learn all about the little pot of deliciousness that has been alleviating your hunger. You are sure to learn everything you need to know about instant Noodles, and both museums feature ‘factories’ where visitors can design their custom packages and instant noodles.
In the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture, on Tokyo Bay, South of Tokyo, you can find the Cup Noodle Museum. Featuring four stories of interactive exhibits for all ages, including a ‘noodle net’ for kids to climb, and a ‘seasoning pool’ ball pit to jump into. There are also plenty of adult exhibits displaying the history of Instant Ramen and Momofuku Ando’s story. In the food court, they also have ‘Noodles Bazaar’ which is designed to look like an Asian night market, with plenty of noodles on offer to purchase and try.
Situated in Ikeda, a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum showcases the impressive number of instant ramen noodle flavors there are. With a tunnel covered with packages of more than 800 instant noodle varieties, there is a food court with vending machines supplying limited edition products. There is also a reproduction of the hut that Mamafuku Ando first invented them in.
If you are a lover of instant noodles, a keen history buff, or have children wanting a fun day out, The Cup Noodles Museum and the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen museum could be the places for you. With plenty to do and lots of variety, it is a fun trip out for all of the family.