Friday, March 15, 2013

Places that Really (and Thankfully) Exist: The CupNoodles Museum

For those who don't already know, I re-signed my contract and will be staying in Korea until the end of February 2014. That means another year of fun filled blog posts for you!

Between contracts I was able to take a two week vacation in the US and an amazing trip to Japan with my friend Deanne. To be honest we spent most of the week in Tokyo gorging on ramen and sushi, but I thought it was time very well spent. In between eating sessions (needless to say the food in Japan is amazing) we managed to fit in some shopping and visits to the main tourist attractions. Though the Shinto shrines and shopping were incredible we agreed that our greatest discovery by and far was the CupNoodles Museum in Yokohama (located in the outskirts of Tokyo).

That's right. There is an entire museum dedicated to the sodium filled joy that is Cup Noodles. Though some might be quick to write it off as an over the top marketing ploy, it actually has some cool art installations, and you can make your own custom Cup Noodles! You can even learn how to make the noodles from scratch and learn the hot oil drying process used to harden them. Unfortunately we didn't get to the museum early enough to make our own noodles, but it certainly looked like fun.

The custom Cup Noodles making experience begins with decorating your own personal cup. Then once you finish and the noodles are put in place, you can chose your powder flavor and four little dried vegetables and/or meat additions. Then you watch as they shrink wrap the container and voila! Your own custom Cup Noodles is complete. Perhaps I am easily entertained, or perhaps it was actually really awesome.

You can see my sad attempt to draw a bowl of ramen above the "S"...I blame the lack the fine tipped markers.
Here you can see the machine they use to press the noodles in the container, and they allow you to...wait for it...crank the machine yourself.

The awesome custom noodle factory people.

The gentleman working at the counter was kind enough to pose my custom noodles for the camera.

Afterwards you could wander through the exhibits, including a massive display of Cup Noodles throughout the years, starting from its inception in 1958. According to the historical information provided it took Ando Momofuku, the inventor of Cup Noodles, an entire year of sleepless nights and weekend-less work weeks to perfect the hot oil drying process that preserved the noodles for future consumption. The additional exhibits were about creativity and pursuing your passions (in case your custom Cup Noodles wasn't inspiring enough already).

The great man himself.

I thought the most amusing part (aside from the above statue) was the ramen bazaar, a labyrinth of mock cheap noodle stands modeled after their counterparts in various countries. It serves as the museum's restaurant where you can buy and eat noodles as they are made in different cuisines, from Chinese to American to Vietnamese.

I like how they purposely made the stand on the right look particularly dingy, though it didn't do much to wet my appetite. Not that it mattered much since I was able to enjoy this ramen the day before (if you are bored, at work, and very hungry, I suggest you skip the next photo):

 This is some out of this world authentic Japanese ramen we ate at Kyushu Jangara Ramen in Harajuku. The restaurant right near the Harajuku subway station and I highly highly recommend eating there if you are in Tokyo!

Overall, I'd say it was a very very positive day:


  1. I just found your blog, I really like it. I am thinking (and really really considering) teaching in Korea after I graduate in December. I will be 27 by that time is that too old? I can't wait to read more about your adventures. The ramen museum is pretty awesome btw.

  2. Hi, thank you for your comment I really appreciate it! Teaching in Korea is a great experience and 27 is definitely not too old! I actually find that I am on the younger side, most teachers I know are in their mid 20s to early 30s. If you are looking for a job recruiter I would recommend Teach ESL Korea, Work n Play, or Korvia (Korvia is for public schools only). I wrote this post about looking for jobs which you might find helpful:

    If you have any specific questions or want to know more feel free to email me:



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