(not quite a) Year in Japan

Yup this exists.

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So I guess as everyone knows, instant noodles (ramen, udon etc. etc.) is a pretty huge business throughout SE Asia, particularly in Japan. So of course there’s a museum (I think there’s actually another one somewhere near Tokyo) dedicated to cup noodles.

It’s a little outside of Osaka city, whilst still in Osaka prefecture in a city called Ikeda (池田). So I guess I can technically update the map (it’s been a while)!!

There’s only a few areas to the museum, the first being a collection of many of the different types of instant noodle on an impressive timeline display – it was pretty much the only part I took photos of because it was actually really cool

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The different lines represent different brands of instant noodle, and how they changed over time, starting on the right.

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Two of the highlights:

The first instant noodles チキンラーメン “Chicken Ramen”

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and the first cup noodles

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Both invented by the same dude 安藤百福 (Andō Momofuku).

There’s an area opposite which outlines the invention of these 2 key products, going into great detail about the decisions to be made around what container to use, how to pack the noodles, what ingredients to use and loads more.

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As an aside, before coming to the museum I already knew most of the information because there was a whole chapter about it in one of my textbooks…which sounds a little weird, but it’s like Japan’s most famous invention, and a surprisingly important cultural icon.

Anyway, moving on

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There were no performances on today, but I wonder what constitutes “Cup Noodles Drama”.

And finally, you get to experience designing your own cup noodle!

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The presence of felt tips should indicate it’s aimed at kids, but I had a play anyway – and since I can’t draw for love nor money there will be no photos of my creation/abomination (I think it might still be in the bin though…).

But aside from the cup itself, you get to witness a miniaturised version of how they pack ramen for the actual product – how they pack the noodles; how they seal the lid etc. etc., as well as getting to make your own custom flavour combination which you can take home and enjoy as you would any other instant noodles.

I went for a curry soup-base with

  • Char Siu pork
  • Sweetcorn
  • Garlic
  • Cheese

All in all, good fun 🙂

Hmmm, I have suddenly become aware that this makes 2 ramen-related posts in a row, and 3 food-related posts in a row….so maybe something different next time.

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