Sorry for the lapse of contents the past few days. Winter break is coming to an end with orientation and a new semester just around the corner so have to get ready for all that. Anyway, we all know what Cup Noodles are right? That delicious and inexpensive concoction of fried noodles with a healthy dose of MSG and sodium with various dehydrated veggies saved college students from starvation and provided a meal for those who can’t cook even if their life depends on it. Being a renown item all over the world for possibly fighting off world hunger, it’s not surprising that there will be a museum dedicated to its history and fame in its home country.
Here’s the man who started it all. Momofuku Ando. Did you know he was originally Taiwanese? Many people make fun of Cup Noodle and Instant Ramen’s notorious reputation for being unhealthy, but the cheap food does help to provide a meal; the guy had a good cause and intention behind his creation.
Entrance is free!
Much to see and much to do. Where to start…
We can begin with the wall of all the Cup Noodle and Instant Ramen products ever released!
The very first instant noodle – Chicken Ramen! It’s still sold today and it’s mighty delicious! At the time of its release, Chicken Ramen was actually considered a luxury item and cost more than regular fresh noodles ^^;.
1971 – Behold! The first Cup Noodles!
More of the random flavors and varieties.
Apparently, this is where we were supposed to start. Oops ^^;. Here begins the great story of Momofuku Ando and instant ramen.
The original ramen machines! Something tells me that instant ramen back then used to be not as unhealthy as today’s instant ramen…
Chicken Ramen hitting the supermarket.
So that’s how the inside of a Cup Noodle looks like!
The original Cup Noodle vending machine?
Even astronauts eat instant ramen.
The house where Ando-san made his ramen.
For a paltry 500 yen, you can sign up to make your own Chicken Ramen. It will probably be the freshest instant ramen you can buy!
Kiyoko-chan, the Nissin and Chicken Ramen mascot, can be spotted throughout the building.
The Cup Noodle factory where you can build your own Cup Noodle. I’ll come back here in a bit.
Cup Noodle Town?
This room was great. It’s called the Tasting Room and you can buy all sorts of instant noodles to sample. The room was heavily imbued with the aroma of all kinds of instant noodle soup XD
The life of Mr. Ando. The guy used to play golf which probably helped offset the health “benefits” of eating his products on a regular basis.
More noodle display!
A theater room showing how cup noodles are made at the factory. (The shrimps are never that big in the actual product!)
Kiyoko-chan doing a photo op with some of the little visitors.
Now comes the best part. Custom building my very own cup noodle! Purchase an empty cup from the vending machine, sit down and start doodling on the cup.
Err… while the little kids across from us were channeling their inner Picasso with a dazzling array of colors and cuteness from top to bottom, my friend and I marked a few chicken scratches on the side and called it a day ^^;. In other words, we sucked at drawing and I gave up halfway.
Next step is to get line and make your noodle. The only work you have to do is turn the handle that puts the noodle into your cup.
Choose your soup base and dehydrated toppings! You can choose up to four. I had kamaboko, shrimp, imitation crab meat, and dried grilled chicken with seafood assari broth.
Run it through the plastic sealer…
And voila! My one-of-a-kind Cup Noodle. All for a mere 300 yen. The plastic “bag” is so you can carry it out proudly around your neck and show off to others how awesome you are for having your very own Cup Noodle.
That was certainly a fun trip. The museum is located in Ikeda, Osaka so it was a bit far from Hirakata but it was well worth it (about 90 minutes by train from Kansai Gaidai). I’ll be coming back and trying my hands on making my own Chicken Ramen next time :)