Yokohama means horizontal beach in Japanese. It was named for how the fishing village / beach looked from out at sea. Today, it is Japan’s largest city and that horizonatl beach is one of its main ports. As it is about a 30 minute train ride from Tokyo, Yokohama makes for a great day trip.
I went with two car fanatics, so we had to stop at the Nissan museum. My two car fanatics went with me, a noodle fanatic, so we had to stop at the Cup Noodles museum. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the car museum, and I think everyone was pretty into the noodles as well. Overall, this was a great day for all of us… unlike Kyoto…
Nissan Engine Museum
Cup Noodles Museum
We spent hours here… HOURS.
Tip: If you book it in advance, you can do a ramen cooking class in this building as well! “Day of” is not “in advance” enough 😦
On the left side of the photos below is a display case of every cup noodles flavor ever in every country and in every year since invention. On the right side of the photos below is a movie theater where we learned about Momofuku Ando, the inventor of cup noodles. He is the first person to have created instant noodles by inventing a quick drying method for the noodles that left the noodles still tasty after being rehydrated. He then helped spread the invention across the world by taking into account cultural differences between countries and making necessary modifications. In the United States, no one used chopsticks or had their own bowls, so he added the cup portion of cup noodles so that they could be eaten with a fork. At one point, he was given the opportunity to create a monopoly on the industry, but he turned it down so that the free market would flourish! I left the theater wanting to vote for him as my leader.
You cannot leave the Cup Noodles museum without making your own cup noodles! It is about 300 yen or 3 USD to purchase a cup. Once you get your cup, you take it to a table with a bunch of markers and you get to decorate. Minimally, you need to put your name and date on the cup before moving on. Once your cup is ready, you move on to creating your own cup noodles but filling your cup with noodles and toppings, then sealing and shrink wrapping it. The last step is to put your cup in a plastic bag, pump it full of air for padding in your suitcase, and tie a string through it. I wore my noodles like a purse!
I keep wanting to say now here is my favorite part of the cup noodles museum, but they are all my favorite parts! Upstairs at the museum is a restaurant where you can eat cup noodles from all over the world! There are faux storefronts set up from multiple countries, Russia, Italy, Vietnam, China, Thailand, and so forth. You order at a vending machine next to the storefront of your choosing and they give you your order! Not only was it only 3 USD a dish, but the food was fresh / no de- and re-hydrated.
Things to see that we did not:
Japan’s largest chinatown
Shin-yokohama Raumen museum
Follow my blog to join us in the next city: Nikko!