Sunday, March 7, 2010

Instant Ramen Museum: Osaka Weekend Part II

I have recently taken on the role of Crazy Food Museum Girl. If I had children they would probably be sitting in the back of a station wagon right now, sighing, rolling their eyes and whining. "Mommmmm! Do we have to go to the canned corn factory? We just toured the Ritz Crackers museum for Dad's birthday!" So I'm thinking it's a pretty good thing I don't have children. They would have totally ruined my plan to visit The Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka and that would have totally sucked because this museum is what dreams are made of. 

Top 5 Reasons Why The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum Made My Heart Go Pitter Patter:

1.) They have English audio guides! As I mentioned before, Yokohama's Ramen Museum was a bit of a let down because everything was in Japanese. But here I was able to soak up all kinds of useful instant ramen knowledge. Like, did you know that Momofuku Ando, creator of Cup Noodles, also invented the Styrofoam cup? Fascinating! These facts don't just grow on trees, people.

2.)YOU GET TO MAKE YOUR OWN CUP OF NOODLE! That's right: capital letters. Capital letters mean I'm serious about how awesome this is. This is awesome. Drop three 100 yen coins into a vending machine and an empty Styrofoam cup will drop out. You are then invited to sit down, in my case with an entire elementary school class on a field trip, with a basket of markers and decorate your cup. Then, take it up to the assembly line to receive your noodles. Here you get to choose what flavor broth you want (I chose Seafood) and four ingredients. I selected little bits of freeze dried asparagus, imitation crab, scallions and fish cakes shaped like little pink hearts and stamped with "Love." Next, watch as your cup is properly sealed and wrapped in cellophane. Brilliant! The Cup Noodle Factory wenches should also be mentioned: not only are they amazingly chipper and patient, they know that everyone wants to take about a billion photos of their personalized Cup Noodles. Without being asked, they automatically pose and hold up the cup for photos after every step.

3.) The museum is bright, clean, colorful and The Instant Ramen Tunnel highlights Cup Noodle and instant ramen packages sold around the world, from past to present.

4.) If you come on a day that was not the day that I came, you have the opportunity to make fresh ramen noodles. The museum offers hands-on courses, every day except Monday and Tuesday, so you can learn to stretch, knead, roll, cut and taste homemade ramen noodles. This only costs about $5.
5.) Oh, and speaking of money: the museum is free. Hurrah!

Perhaps I've slurped up all the noodle museums Japan has to offer. Fortunately the country is full of food obsessed tourists, which means there are many culinary theme parks.  Get in the car, kids! We're going to Gyoza Stadium!


  1. You MUST add Ice Cream City to your food museum itinerary too!

  2. Hahaha I guess without knowing it I have been to all of those places. They are awesome and I miss them. But the Momofuku Ando was the best by far!