Yokohama (横浜) is Japan’s second largest city with a population of over three million. Yokohama is located less than half an hour south of Tokyo by train, and is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture.
Minato Mirai 21 is a seaside urban area in central Yokohama whose name means “harbor of the future”. It has many large high-rises, including Japan’s tallest building, the Landmark Tower. The most recognizable feature of the island is the Cosmo World Ferris Wheel, which displays the time and was for a period the world’s largest clock.
The Cup Noodles Museum is a fun and interactive museum in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai District that shows the history of instant ramen noodles using a combination of whimsical exhibits and hands on workshops. It was opened by the Nissin Food company, whose founder invented instant ramen noodles in 1958 as a fast and convenient food. It is the second cup noodles museum to open in Japan; the first is the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka.
Upon entry was the instant noodles history cube where we could see the evolution of instant noodles. Back in 1958 when instant noodles was newly invented, there were a few selections to choose from only.
Short movie clip on the founder of the instant noodles. Since this is a childrens’ museum, of course the movie is full of inspiring anecdotes about thinking out of the box and never give up from failures. It also talked about how Momofuku shared his recipe for instant noodles to his competitors to ensure the market is not flooded with low quality copy cat instant noodles to ensure quality. He did not think that monopoly would help innovate the instant noodles market. (English audio guide can be requested too, which made the whole movie more interesting) I highly recommend visitors to watch the short movie when they visit.
The flow chart of how the first instant noodles was invented. The deep-frying part of the noodles was actually inspired by the action of his wife deep-frying tempura which helped Momofuku resolve the problem of how to keep the noodles fresh and the deep fry action would remove all the moisture from the noodles and create air pockets. When hot water is poured on the deep-fried noodles, the noodles would expand when it absorbed the moisture.
On a fact finding trip to America, Momofuku observes supermarket managers breaking up Chicken Ramen noodles, putting them in a cup, pouring in hot water, and then eating them with a fork. It was then that Momofuku realized that moving past conceptions about how we eat was the key to making instant ramen a global food. By bringing together all sorts of wisdom and innovative ideas, CUPNOODLES transformed “made in Japan” instant ramen into a global food.
Cupnoodles Museum 横浜市中区新港2-3-4
Yokohama Chinatown (Yokohama Chukagai) is Japan’s largest chinatown, located in central Yokohama. Yokohama Chinatown quickly developed, after the port of Yokohama had been one of the first Japanese ports to be opened to foreign trade in 1859. It became the residence of the many Chinese traders who settled down in the city.
鵬天閣 〒231-0023 神奈川県横浜市中区山下町147 香港通り