Visit the Playful Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama

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Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama, Japan

Cup Noodles Museum Exterior Yokohama Japan
Cup Noodles Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Visiting Japan? Looking for things to do with kids?

Whether you are staying in Tokyo or staying in Yokohama, the Cup Noodles Museum may be a fun place to visit on your travels. If you are traveling with kids, then this shouldn’t be missed!

p.s. It’s fun for adults too!

Additionally, there is another Cup Noodles Museum located in Ikeda City, Osaka if you will be in that area. It’s the original!

Discovering the Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama

My Visit to Japan

Recently, I had the pleasure of accompanying my husband, Rob, on a business trip to Japan. We had a lot of fun, and I guess that makes it a “bleisure” trip (business + leisure). 🙂

This was my second time to this amazing country, and I can’t wait to go back.

We’ve been invited back for next year, so fingers crossed!

Also, be sure to read about my experience at the beautiful garden in Tokyo that I visited: Meiji Jingu Iris Garden.

Visiting Yokohama

Because Rob had to do a presentation in Yokohama, that’s where we stayed for the first two days and nights of our trip.

Yokohama, a port city, is just south of Tokyo.

When I scoped out the area, I found out that the Cup Noodles Museum was right by our hotel, the InterContinental Yokohama Grand. The location couldn’t have been more perfect as it was a quick walk to the museum.

A Quick Side Trip to the Museum

While my husband was getting set up for his presentation, our friend’s nephew accompanied me to the museum. He was so kind and spoke really good English although he got a little nervous when I told him I’m an English as a Second Language instructor. LOL

Translator

Because everything in the Cup Noodles Museum is written in Japanese, his English skills ended up being quite important.

The museum is very visual, which is helpful, but sometimes I wanted to verify details or just plain ask a question. I was really glad he was there with me.

Additionally, he was very patient. He didn’t mind me meandering along taking it all in and was great if I wanted him to take photos.

Audio Guides

If you don’t have a cool local person to translate for you like I did, you can rent an audio guide in English, Chinese, or Korean.

Another option is to download the free Museum Audio Guide app for smartphones. Make sure you download ahead of time when you have a good wi-fi connection. Also, be aware that it requires Blue Tooth and GPS settings to be turned on for it to work.

Beautiful Japanese Art

Why visit the Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama?

Well, why not? It’s fun! It’s interactive! It’s educational!

Memories

Also, it brings back a little nostalgia…like slurping noodles on a cold, rainy day after school or surviving as a poor college student by buying a case of instant ramen that would last a month or more.

As a kid, I used to be fascinated by the little hard pieces of veggies and other edibles that were sitting on top of the noodles (before pouring the boiling water in). By the way, they don’t taste too good dry.

Anyway, I had a difficult time waiting those 3 minutes that were required for everything to soften up; it was kind of magical how they transformed into something so yummy, those curiously curly noodles that are so fun to slurp.

Everyone Loves Ramen

I’m not gonna lie…I loved instant ramen when I was younger.

Seriously, WHO doesn’t have SOME memories related to instant noodles?

Anatomy of Cup Noodles
Anatomy of Cup Noodles

The Museum Info

The official name of the museum is Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, but it’s “Cup Noodles Museum” on the signs, building, and materials. Actually, you’ll see it as “Cupnoodles Museum”, but as an English teacher, I just have to separate “cup” from “noodles”.

Getting There

Train

If you aren’t within walking distance like I was, you can easily get there by train. It’s only an 8-minute walk from the Minatomirai Station or the Bashamichi Station (Minatomirai Line) and a 12-minute walk from the JR/Shieichikatetsu Sakuragicho Station.

Taxi

Of course, you can also take a taxi, if need be, but I recommend the train system.

Bus

Take the Akai kutsu bus to Kokusaibashi Cup Noodles Museum-mae stop.

Parking

If you are lucky enough to be staying with a local, please know that museum parking is very limited (again, take the train).

Tickets

For adults, the admission price is 500 yen. High school aged children and younger get in free, so this is a great place to take kids!

There are additional fees if you want to do the following:

  • to create your own bespoke Cup Noodles at My Cup Noodles Factory on the third floor (300 yen)
  • to play in the Cup Noodles Park on the fourth floor (300 yen — for small children only), and/or
  • to taste noodles from around the world at the Noodles Bazaar, also on the fourth floor, (300 yen/serving, drinks and dessert extra).

There is also the Chicken Ramen Factory, but as far as I can tell, it seems to only be for Japanese school kids or groups, and it requires a reservation plus an additional fee.

Hours

10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Closed on Tuesdays

Posing with Hiyoko-chan Cup Noodles mascot
Posing with Hiyoko-chan, the Chicken Ramen Mascot

Cup Noodle Museum Exhibits

The museum building has five floors. All are accessible by stairs or escalator. I believe there is an elevator also.

F1

On the first floor you will find the entrance hall, where you buy the tickets, and the museum shop.

Entrance Hall Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama
Entrance Hall, Cup Noodles Museum, Yokohama
Cup Noodles Museum Shop
Cup Noodles Museum Shop

F2

The second floor is where the exhibits are located with areas dedicated to the Momofuku Ando Story, Creative Thinking Boxes, Momofuku’s Work Shed, Theater, and the Instant Noodles History Cube.

Momofuku Ando Story

A visual narrative is displayed around the outer walls. It shows the history of the man who invented the renowned instant noodles and how it spread as a quick and easy meal around the world.

Momofuku Ando Story
The Momofuku Ando Story, Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama
Chikin Ramen 1958 The 1st instant noodles
The Beginning -- Chikin Ramen 1958
1st Cup Noodles 1971
1st Cup Noodles 1971
Ramen Around the World Map
Ramen Around the World

Creative Thinking Boxes

One thing I really liked about this museum is that it showcases the curiosity, tenacity, and creativity of the founder with his six key ideas:

1. Discover something completely new…something that no one has ever seen before

Easier said than done, right?

2. Find hints in all sorts of places

Sometimes an everyday object can spark a brilliant idea.

This room is very interactive with objects on the wall like an umbrella and helicopter. When you touch these objects, a little movie in silhouette plays on the wall showing the inspiration behind the invention. For instance, the idea for a helicopter might have been a dragonfly.

Play the film clip below to see it in action.

Play the second film snippet below to see the spark that launched the idea for Cup Noodles.

While Momofuku Ando was in the U.S., he observed Americans putting instant ramen in mugs, pouring boiling water over it, and eating it with a fork. Thus, Cup Noodles was born.

3. Nurture an idea

You have to do more than just come up with an idea.

Entertain the idea, mold the idea, and let others give some perspective, so that it will grow.

Nurture an idea
Watch it grow.

4. Look at things from every angle…investigate every perspective

Sometimes we just see what’s on the surface, but a deeper look will provide insight and understanding we didn’t have before.

Cup Noodles art
Look at things from every angle

5. Don’t just go with the status quo

…think again about what you think is normal.

Things aren’t always what they seem to be.

Am I really an Amazon?   →

Nope, I’m only 5’1”!

What's wrong with this picture? Optical illusion
What's wrong with this picture?

6. Never give up

I love this one; it’s something I tell my students all the time.

On the adjacent wall, it maps out who’s who in the picture and has an encouraging quote by each person.

Here are a couple of examples:

Whether you think that you can or that you can’t, you are usually right.” –Henry Ford

Ninety-nine percent of my efforts ended in continuous failure. I am here today because of the 1% that bore fruit.” –Soichiro Honda

Never give up Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama
Never give up!

Momofuku’s Work Shed

This is where it all started. With simple, everyday items, a man was able to create a new way of eating that is now known the world over.

Momofukus Shed Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama
Momofuku's Shed -- Where it all started
Simple Tools Innovative Idea Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama
Simple Tools -- Innovative Idea

Momofuku Theater

The theater presents a CG animated film showing the history of Momofuku Ando and his six key ideas.

I didn’t go to the theater, but I suspect it’s in Japanese only. If you have gone, let me know in the comments if they have English subtitles!

Instant Noodles History Cube

This room displays the first package of instant ramen (1971) to modern-day packages that include Cup Noodles, ramen bowls, and Top Ramen.

It’s an interesting array of products.

Instant Noodles History Cube
Instant Noodles History Cube
History Cube Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama
History Cube --Early Years
Ramen Bowls Instant Noodles History Cube
Ramen Bowls -- Later Years
Later Packaging instant noodles
Later Packaging

F3

The third floor is where you can have some hands-on fun if you have extra time (and additional money).

My Cup Noodles Factory

Here you can create your own unique Cup Noodles. The cost is 300 yen, and you design your cup, and then you get to choose your flavor (original, curry, seafood, or chili tomato) and four toppings (out of 12 possibilities).

Dietary Restrictions

Although the Chili Tomato flavor is said to be vegetarian, I have read that it includes some pork, so be aware. Nissin has come out with some vegan products recently, so maybe at some point the museum will offer vegan options at the factory.

The noodles are, of course, made from wheat, so they are not gluten-free.

Basically, it was ok that we didn’t have time to do this because I wouldn’t be able to eat it. However, it could be a fun gift for someone else if you’re vegan and gluten-free like me.

Designing the Cup
Designing the Cup
My Cup Noodles Factory is Popular at Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama
My Cup Noodles Factory is VERY popular!

Chicken Ramen Factory

Next to the My Cup Noodles Factory is the Chicken Ramen Factory. Participants make ramen noodles from start to finish.

It has floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can watch even if you aren’t a participant.

I don’t think that tourists (or their children) can participate in this activity, but the school kids sure were cute in their chicken bandanas.

School kids Chicken Ramen Factory
They're so cute!

F4

The fourth floor has two parts.

Noodles Bazaar

This is where you can eat some of those noodles. The cost is 300 yen per serving of noodles from around the world.

Each serving is actually a half serving, so that you can taste more than one type of noodles.

For example, you can try Lagman from Kazakhstan, Pho from Vietnam, Laksa from Malaysia, and other types of noodles from other countries.

Again, I don’t think any of the dishes are vegan or gluten-free; it’s difficult to tell from the website. If this is something you want to do and you have dietary restrictions, you’ll have to ask about it.

Cup Noodles Park

This is a “jungle gym” of sorts where children take on the point of view of noodles going through the manufacturing process.

If I were  a kid, I’d be all over it. There is an additional fee of 300 yen for children to do this.

 


Noodles Bazaar
The Noodles Bazaar

F5

Finally, an event hall and The Ando Foundation are located on the fifth floor.

Fun Place to Visit

All in all, I had a great time at the museum, and I’m glad I went. You can easily tailor this attraction to your budget, wants, needs, and time available.

I only had a small amount of time (about 1 1/2 hours, I think), so it was perfect.

Currently, the cost is roughly $5 USD, so it is inexpensive too.

If you are looking for something to do, I highly recommend it, especially if you have kids.

Don’t forget to pin for later!

Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama Japan
Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama Japan

Unil next time…

Kit's-signature

36 thoughts on “Visit the Playful Cup Noodles Museum Yokohama

  1. Brilliant fun and wonderfully interactive. Maybe one makes the other true? Sad to hear that there’s no gluten free option (or maybe they keep a rice noodle version out the back?), so I’d have to breathe deeply to smell everyone else’s choices. It must be very high on everyone’s list of best school trips too – much more fun than walking round Neolithic sites!

  2. Never knew that there is cup noodles type of museum but it would great to visit this museum in Yokohama. To see whole process and then in the end creating our own cup noodles must be fun thing to do here.

  3. Its not just a museum it’s a fun workshop! Wow! Why didn’t I know about this when I was in Tokyo. I am sure I would love to spend an afternoon here. Hopefully, when I am in Osaka by year end, I will visit it. Thanks you writing and sharing about this cool place.

  4. Too funny and FUN to have a museum dedicated to, well, ramen noodles. A place I have to visit if I am ever near there. But the Japanese are not alone in this fetish for food roots and creation. In Berlin, there is the Currywurst Museum. The Big Mac Museum in Pennsylvania in the U.S.. The Frietmuseum (dedicated to French fries) in Belgium. I could go on. And on. 😉

  5. There certainly is a lot to do at the noodles museum. I like that you can make your own bespoke noodles. Kids would love it. Lucky you had your little local friend to help you.

  6. This is so much fun! We have literally lived off cup noodles throughout our backpacking over the past 3 years and the same whilst I was a student, so we’ve kind of got a love/ hate relationship with them!! I would love to visit though, what a unique and cool place, so Japanese!

    1. It was quite fun and filled with so much positivity. I totally understand the love/hate thing. LOL I hope you get to visit sometime!

  7. The Japanese never cease to amaze me! What a crazy idea to have a museum about instant noodles! That said, we’ve all eaten them and probably had some sort of addiction to them. I love to fact that the museum makes things fun and interactive, thank you for sharing!

  8. Heard of this before ! Not a fan of instant cup noodles, especially when you can get good ramen in Japan !! But, it still looks like alot of fun to visit the museum ! =)

    1. Yeah, I hear ya. I haven’t eaten instant noodles for years, but then I’m allergic to wheat, so… Even so, it is a very fun and informative place!

  9. Ok, I’m not a huge museum person but this one (through your lovely post) has sold me! It looks like such a unique experience and something I would definitely have a lot of fun with. Amazing, thank you for sharing!

  10. Oh my goodness, this sounds like so much fun! I love how interactive it is, particularly with the thinking boxes. I reckon the history room would be great as well, to see the evolution of the packaging over the years.

  11. I love this! Its so different! I love ramen and would go to town with making my own ramen. Is the cup noodle park strictly for children? Asking for a friend 😂😂

    1. Yeah, it’s pretty fun! Yes, the Cup Noodle Park is for 3 year-olds through elementary school children. Kids from 3 years through preschool age have to be accompanied by an adult. Maybe your ‘friend’ could borrow a tiny human for a bit? LOL

  12. There sure is a lot more here than I would have expected to find. I would visit this museum for sure, just out of curiosity. I hope if I ever get there, there are kids wearing those adorable hats 🙂

  13. The Cup Noodles Museum was not that high on my list of things to do in Yokohama, but this actually looks really good!
    Your pictures and explanations provide great insight into what there is to do there. I look forward to visiting soon – it’s good to know that with dietary restrictions I may run into issues trying the food too. Thanks!

    1. It really is a great way to spend a couple hours or so. Yes, do be careful about eating there; I just didn’t eat anything. If you go, let me know what you thought!

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