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You’ve slept on a futon, waved at Mount Fuji, dressed up as a geisha and got over hot spring shyness – what’s your next unique Japanese experience going to be? Travel consultant, Claire Brothers, takes us on her seven-step journey to noodle chef extraordinaire.
Whilst noodles might not instantly (sorry) come to mind, instant noodles were invented in Japan, so no trip to Yokohama is complete without visiting the quirky Cup Noodle museum. Learn about the history of instant noodles and join the noodle production line to make your very own cup noodle!
1. Learn from the experts
The first floor of the museum starts with a history cube containing a packet of every type of instant noodles ever produced. From there you’re led to a bright red theatre to watch a short video on the history of instant noodles. After making your way past the exhibits you come face to face with, Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant noodles. A suitably appropriate statue of the noodle daddy concludes the museum tour.
2. Begin production
Having paid homage to the king of noodles, you head to the second floor of the museum, purchase a ticket for the next available time slot and line up for the first step in your career as a noodle designer.
3. Outer noodle design
After purchasing your own cup from a vending machine for 300 yen, you now have chance to make your mark on the iconic cup design. Colouring pens are provided, and the only rule is that you must write the sell by date on the side.
4. Inner noodle, noodle placement
One of the issues Mr Ando discovered when mass producing instant noodles was ensuring the noodles landed in the cup in the correct position. Dropping noodles from conveyor belts into the cups meant some landed sideways, some broke up and some missed the cup. Finally, he discovered that lining up the noodles, dropping the cups on top, then flipping the whole cup resulted in perfect noodle placement every time.
First approach the noodle assembly line. Hand over your noodles, turn the wheel and watch the noodle magic begin.
5. Inner noodle, flavour extravaganza
First choose a broth – either standard, seafood, spicy or Italian tomato. Then choose three toppings from a selection of items that were apparently once egg, corn, bacon, crab, green peppers, etc. There’s also dried cheese, in case you’re creating noodles to punish yourself.
6. Noodle outerwear
Your noodles are now ready to be hermetically sealed for posterity. Or until the one month sell by date you wrote on the side.
Too late to turn back on that Italian tomato broth
7. Noodle transport, safety first
After retrieving your noodle masterpiece at the end of the production line, you will likely be wracked with anxiety over how to transport your noodles home safely. Fear not! Safety bubbles are provided, should you be planning on base jumping your way back to the hotel.
Whether you’ve always dreamed of making your very own cup noodles, or are after other quirky ways to spend your time in Japan, get in touch with our team.