One of our favourite things to do on our trips to Tokyo is to visit Yokohama, a port city south of Tokyo that is just 30 minutes away. We’ve covered the usual Chinatown, Red Brick warehouse and the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum the last 2 times. But on our recent trip in June 18, we had only one item on our must-do list — visit the Cupnoodles Museum. Yes, it’s kinda kitschy and touristy but I really wanted to make my own cup noodles!
It’s housed in a very modern, cube-like building.
First thing we saw when we entered, was this giant cup noodle. We joined a short queue to take our obligatory touristy pic. PS. That chick 🐥 plushie is their mascot and a prop for your pic.
The entrance fee costs ¥500 for adults and free for high school students and below. But this cute giant cup noodles (and very photogenic flight of steps) is actually in the lobby. So if you want, you can be a cheapskate and snap a pic here without paying for the museum entrance fee haha.
All other activities are charged separately, but are very affordable. We skipped the Chicken Ramen Factory (¥500 each), where we can learn to make chicken ramen from scratch, from hand-kneading to steaming the noodles and flash-frying them.
Instead, we booked the first available slot at My Cupnoodles Factory. Slot ¥300 in a vending machine to get an empty cup. You will be led to a table to decorate your cup as you please.
The queue is never-ending! This is what my son Ayden drew.
Yes, that is a pile of shot 🤦🏻♀️. With the ‘Do you know da way’ meme. Urgh, boys and their toilet humour.
Meanwhile, my husband Alan, who is obviously a MUCH better artist than I am, took his time to draw a family portrait.
Too bad Ayden inherited none of Alan’s artistic talent.
That’s me rocking my hat. Possibly my most flattering portrait ever. A friend joked that Alan was drawing his new Japanese girlfriend 😂
See the date? We are advised to eat it within a month.
He even turned my original design of a sun (literally just one circle and some wavy lines) into a pic of Optimus, our chowchow!
Unfortunately, he couldn’t squeeze in our other fur baby, Rey the British bulldog.
After you have completed your masterpiece, you join a fast-moving queue and here’s where the magic starts.
Founder Momofuku Ando was the first to figure out how to keep his noodles in place in the cup and ensure it cooks evenly. Instead of dropping the noodles into the cup, he reversed the process — put the cup over the noodles.
Quite mesmerizing to watch the machine at work.
Next stop: Choose your soup seasoning from 4 choices — Original (chicken flavor), Curry Seafood, Seafood and Chili Tomato 🍅.
Ayden got the Seafood while I went for Chili Tomato.
Then pick 4 out of 12 toppings available.
Since I had a stronger Chili Tomato soup base, I picked meatier toppings. (Plus I wanted a variety of colours). So, I went for Duck Meatball, Cubic roast pork, Shrimp and the uber cute Hiyoko-Chan Fish Sausage.
Ayden had Duck Meatball, Shrimp, Crab-flavored fish sausage and the mist-have Hiyoko-Chan Fish Sausage.
Then they put it in a machine cover it with a label and seal it.
The Cupnoodles are covered with plastic wrap and vacuum sealed a second time.
We then get a cute red and transparent plastic bag each to put in our cupnoodles, and inflate them with a hand pump, into fat carrier bags. I don’t really think it does anything to preserve the noodles, but it’s lots of fun haha.
After the activity, we checked out the rest of the exhibits. This is a replica of the shed where Momofuku Ando experimented and perfected his instant ramen recipe.
The wok to rule them all.
I like this art sculpture!
There’s also one illusion room where you can queue up to take a pic. This was taken through the peephole.
It turned out to be an educational, inspiring visit. I learned a lot about how Momofuku Ando, who invented instant ramen as a cheap way to feed the hungry after World War II, used innovation and creative thinking to develop a ground-breaking product. The man worked till he was 96 to keep improving his products!
This is a panoramic pic of all the types of Nissin noodles available, categorized according to year and country.
The Singapore section! #SGrepresent
All that ramening made us very hungry. The Noodles Bazaar is great for a break. There are stands serving noodle dishes from Italy, Kazakhstan, China, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan. Very affordably priced at just ¥300 for half portions and for desserts.
It looks like your typical Asian night market.
Fried Indo Mie from Indonesia. This is pretty good, with lots of veggies.
Ayden’s half-eaten pasta.
My pretty sad looking Korean cold noodles. I was craving something cold because it was a hot day. This wasn’t very nice and the noodles were clumpy.
To make up for it, I HAD to order a dessert #excuses. Presenting… Cupnoodles Soft Serve.
And yes, that’s a dried shrimp 🍤 sitting pretty like a cherry atop a sundae. Sprinkled with dried egg bits, pork cubes and scallions.
Verdict: Surprisingly, it’s nice! The hae bee and egg bits add a salty touch and texture to balance the sweetness of the vanilla soft serve. If you like dipping your fries in your McDonald’s ice cream, you’ll know what I mean. I’d have preferred nori instead of scallions though.
One last pic at the giant cupnoodle, with our prized customized cupnoodles!
Ate mine for lunch at work one day. Here’s how the label looks.
And more upclose pics of Alan’s sketches because it’s really quite nice haha.
Tadahh! Upclose look at my toppings (carefully styled, of course. They were all messed up when I opened the cupnoodles).
Afterrehydrating. Wah the duck meat balls really ballooned!
Verdict: The noodles are springy, the sour-spicy soup has a nice kick though pretty salty cos you can’t adjust the amount of soup base; they add a standard scoop to the mix. Adjust to taste by adding hot water.
The shrimps and duck meatballs have the best bite and are my favourite. The roast pork is mildly meaty in flavor; would be better if they are in bigger chunks. Unfortunately, the cute fish sausages are thin and definitely the weakest part of the meal, with hardly any bite.
But it doesn’t really matter, isn’t it? You know you’ll still choose Hiroko-Chan as a topping when you visit the Cupnoodles factory because it’s so darn cute and we’re shallow that way. It’s okay, me too 😂.
Tokyo Part 7: ¥400 Pork Bao at Yokohama
Cup Noodles Museum
2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001 Japan
045-345-0918 (Information dial)
Museum Hours :
10:00 – 18:00 (Last admission is at 17:00)
8 minute walk from the Minatomirai line Minatomirai Station
8 minute walk from the Minatomirai line Bashamichi Station
12 minute walk from the JR/Shieichikatetsu SakuragichoStation
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