TRIPals

Experience Japan like a local

Take your love for instant noodles to a new level

Everybody loves ramen. Classic ramen restaurants populate the country’s biggest cities, and people love the instant stuff so much they have turned it into a hamburger bun, a lobster roll and even a burrito. We just cannot get enough of the salty and addictive noodles.

The man who invented instant ramen, Momofuku Ando, seriously, he must have been a genius. He created the Nissin ramen products around 1958 when he noticed food was scarce after World War II. Today food in Japan is not scarce, but instant ramen is still largely consumed not only in Japan but over the world.

ramen-7-11

Visitors get impressed when passing by convenience stores due to the great space dedicated and variety of instant products. It is worth to try some of them, since instant ramen was created in Japan and most of them will not be found anywhere else. Another reason to try them is how easy they are to prepare. Instant ramen require only the addition of water, which is sometimes supplied at the store or machine where they are sold. Hotels in Japan almost always provide hot water on their rooms, making these types of instant ramen an easy, hot meal choice for tourists, as well.

Some unique tastes:
– Nissin U.F.O. (Unidentified Flying Object) Yakisoba With Wasabi Mayonnaise
-Nissin Raoh Backfat Rich Soy Sauce Ramen Flavor
– Nissin Cup Noodles Curry Flavor
– Myojo Ippeichan Salt Yakisoba with Garlic Pepper Mayonnaise
– Itsuki Kumamon Prawn Tempura Udon

And for the instant ramen lovers, there are two museums dedicated to instant ramen close to Tokyo! It is always fun to visit museums to understand well about a subject, so here are the two museum options.

Cup cup noodle museumNoodles Museum in Yokohama

 

 

This museum is very interactive, creative and educative. It explains the creation of cup noodles and the creation of the brand Cup Noodles, which gives a good idea of the history of these salty and addictive noodles. Moreover, it is experienced the manufacturing process in an interactive matter, kids love it. In this museum you can create your own Cup Noodles, choosing from four soup flavors, four toppings, and 12 ingredients, which is the best part!

The access by train: 8 minutes from Minatomirai or Bashamichi Station.
Price: 500 yen adults/ high school or younger admissions are free.
Open: daily but usually closed on Tuesdays, from 10am to 6pm.

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

shin-yokohama ramen museum

This museum is devoted to the ubiquitous Chinese noodle, it is about all noodles not only instant noodles. It is very interactive and interesting. More than just an ordinary museum, it is also part historical theme park and part hyper-specialized restaurant mall. There are numerous museum exhibits; well-stocked souvenir shop, where you can buy noodles as souvenirs; a miniature historical theme park; and 8 ramen and sake tasting shops! So in this museum you cannot create your own cup noodle, but you are able to taste a authentic noodle from Japan.

Access: 3 minutes from JR Shin-Yokohama station.
Price: Adults 300 yen/ children 100 yen.
Open daily from 11am to 11pm.

Although today it is considered a college staple and something you eat if you are broke, instant ramen used to be quite expensive in Japan. Momofuku Ando invented “Chicken Ramen,” an instant snack that could be eaten easily and anywhere in 1958. However, when it arrived on Japanese supermarket shelves, it was seen as a very expensive product since fresh udon noodles sold for one-sixth the cost of “Chicken Ramen”.

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