Day trip to Yokohama (Cupnoodles Museum / Chinatown)

yokohama

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.

– Japan Guide

yokohama

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.

– Japan Guide

yokohama
Sakura had also fully bloom at Yokohama too.

yokohama
Close up of the Cosmo World Ferris Wheel, anyone fancy a ride there?

cupnoodle museum

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.

– Japan Guide

cupnoodle museum
Fancy a cup noodle in all shapes and angles?

cupnoodle museum
Adult entry fee is 500JPY, entrance was a spacious and modern looking with a giantic cup noodles and their chicken mascot for phototaking.

cupnoodle museum
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.

cupnoodle museum
Right now, the selections of instant noodles have increased exponentially.

cupnoodle museum
Another corner of the history cube, we can also check out the different types of instant noodles sold around the world. Here’s a peek into our South East Asian noodles.

cupnoodle museum
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.

cupnoodle museum
There was also a replica of the shed where instant noodles were invented by our inventor, Ando Momofuku(安藤 百福).

cupnoodle museum
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.

cupnoodle museum
It was with this discovery, we have the world’s first instant noodles!

cupnoodle museum

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

cupnoodle museum
Another new information we learned was that the cup noodles were placed into the cup inveted so that noodles would sit in the middle of the cup correctly.

cupnoodle museum
There was a few activities that one can take part in the museum, I joined in the “my cupnoodle factory” to make my own DIY cupnoodle. This activity was an addtional 300JPY.

cupnoodle museum
It was crowded that day as it was the school hoidays week. Luckily, we already obtained our advanced tickets so we just headed to the activity corner at our ticket’s indicated time.

cupnoodle museum
Step 1: Pay 300JPY to buy the cup from the vending machine. Staff would cover the cup with a plastic cover.

cupnoodle museum
Step 2: Disinfect your hands.

cupnoodles
Step 3: Decorate your cup with the pens provided. (My artistic cells are sorely lacking)

cupnoodle museum
Step 4: Have the noodle placed in decorated cup in the inverted way that was done in the factory production

cupnoodle museum
Step 5: Choose your flavors for your personal cup noodles! 1 soup flavor and 4 toppings.

cupnoodle museum
I almost couldn’t make up my mind but drawn by the cute mascot and spring limited flower shaped fish cake.

cupnoodle museum
My own personal cup noodles.

cupnoodle museum
Step 6: Sealing the cupnoodle with the seal and plastic.

cupnoodle museum
Step 7: The final step! Placing the cup noodles in the plastic bag provided and pumped with air to make look like a display.

cupnoodle museum
Another activity was the steps to re-produce the first instant noodles that was invented but there was a 90 minutes Japanese class.

cupnoodle museum
Lots of interesting souvenirs – cupnoodle candle? cup noodles like message pad? cupnoodle hanging ornaments.

Address:
Cupnoodles Museum 横浜市中区新港2-3-4

yokohama chinatown

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.

Japan Guide

yokohama chinatown
Most of the shops were mainly from the Northern part of China.

yokohama chinatown
There was a huge line outside this Chinese restaurant with freshly made xiao long baos.

yokohama chinatown
I had a huge yearning for dim sum but I did not see any Cantonese style places so decided on xiao long baos instead.

Address:
鵬天閣 〒231-0023 神奈川県横浜市中区山下町147 香港通り

yokohama subway
Underground subway in Yokohama and bye bye to Yokohama to go back to Tokyo.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Beauty Box
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 09:39:02

    OMG so fun to make your own cup noodles! Btw, if you want to try Cantonese style dim sum, I can take you to one in Roppongi called Tsim Sha Tsui when we next meet. Will check if they open for dinner.

  2. Xuan-er
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 10:19:33

    @BB: yes! totally fun…waiting to eat my cup noodles. Wanna try the 90mins one in future. Yes! I want Nanyang chinese food..hahaha but if they are not open it is fine. We can eat whatever Mummy and Yu-De wants 🙂

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