When I first heard about the museum in Yokohama honoring Cup of Noodles instant soup, Nissin Food Products, and Momofuku Ando, the company’s founder and the inventor of instant ramen my assumption was that this was a rinky-dinky, dusty, and somewhat laughable enterprise. Nothing could be further from the truth: the museum is a well organized, slick, and entertaining world-class operation. The Cup Noodles Museum is well worth a spot on anyone’s Japan itinerary, particularly if you are traveling with kids.
The museum’s website opines that “here you will gather the knowledge that inspires invention and discovery and find the creativity within you by seeing, touching, playing, eating, and having fun.”
The challenge that Momofuku-san embraced was to feed a hungry nation in the impoverished post-war years (he started tinkering with the prepation and packaging in the late 1940s). As I remember well from my graduate school and long-distance backpacking days, its hard to beat the cost or ease of preparation of an instant cup of chicken noodles, and it is also hard to imagine a world without chicken ramen in a cup.
Again from the museum website: “Momofuku Ando dedicated his entire life to thinking about food in new and creative ways. Throughout his 96 years, his [sic] practiced creative thinking and never quit until he achieved his goal.” Here’s to you Momfuku-san, a toast in chicken noodle ramen, and here’s to creativity!