In case you weren’t aware, there is a museum in Yokohama, Japan all about CupNoodles. Yes, like the 25 cent instant noodles you heat up in the microwave. Those noodles. Whole museum.
So you might be thinking, “What could I possible do at a CupNoodles museum? What on earth would I learn?!” Well, I’m here to tell you why you should visit this museum during your next trip to Japan!
- There’s a park inside! Much like many shopping centers and museums in Japan, there is a place for the kiddos to play. It’s a giant area that’s made to look like the noodle manufacturing warehouse. There are slides and climbing and some interactive activities. It’s 300 yen for 30 minutes of play time and kids have to be at least 3 years old to enter. You will have to either book your time slot online or as soon as you get there. They also have lockers to store your items (the instructions to use them are entirely in Japanese) and no photos are allowed inside this particular area (although I saw someone with a legit camcorder) so keep that in mind!
- Make your own Noodles! Head over to the factory to make your very own CupNoodles! At first, it looks like an overwhelming cluster of people, but Japan is a very methodical place and there is a system for everything. 🙂
First, you pay 300 yen for your cup and then you are assigned a table to color your cup. And don’t forget to snag your hat SWAG from the Noodles Park!
Once you’re done coloring, you can go get your cup filled with noodles and pick your toppings!
Then you take your cup over to be sealed and shrink-wrapped!
Then put your creation in a special bag, fill it with air, and tie some string around it for transportation purposes. Like I said, there is a system for everything!
- Walls of Noodles! There is whole room within the museum where packages and cups of noodles line the walls. You can see how the noodles and packaging have changed throughout the years. It’s surprisingly displayed in a beautiful and artsy way!
- See a movie! Stop by the theater to watch an animated movie discussing the history of Momofuku Ando (the CupNoodles creator). The movie is in Japanese, but you will be given a headset that translates the audio into English. The movie is actually very interesting, so I would not skip this exhibit!
- Momofuku’s Shed! – After the movie head out the back door to tour a replica of Momofuku’s very own work shed. This is where Chicken Ramen, which is the first instant ramen, was created. You won’t believe how small it is!
- Interactive Art! – Along some of the walls, there is interactive art that further explains Momofuku Ando’s actions and thoughts behind his inventions. This is also great for the kids!
More fun quotes and art! “Rather than a lone cedar, it is better to nurture a whole forest. No one has a monopoly on ideas.” ~Momofuku Ando
- Eat Noodles and Shop! After roaming through the art exhibits, you can head up to the Noodles Bazaar and sample noodles from the around the world. Then, you can check out the museum shop or more photo props on your way out!
- Get Inspired! My favorite thing about the CupNoodles Museum was the inspiration! Momofuku Ando was all about thinking outside the box and sharing ideas with others rather than keeping everything to himself. He was also very determined and persistent even during rough times. Coming into this museum, I thought I was just gonna learn about the history of instant noodles, but I left totally inspired and with a different perspective on life! I definitely recommend checking it out!
- Parking – There is a small parking garage under the museum, but it’s a little pricey so the train may be a better choice.
- Hours/Admission – 10:00-18:00 and 500 yen per person. Check the website for special closings.
- Location – The museum is located in Yokohama – close to other tourist attractions like the Landmark Tower and Cosmo World. You could spend a couple of hours here and then easily hit up some other Yokohoma hot spots!
So next time you are in Yokohama, check out the CupNoodles Museum and score some knowledge and inspiration!