Get ready to learn everything you've ever wanted to know about instant ramen at Osaka's Cup Noodles Museum.
The museum, just north of Osaka city in Ikeda, celebrates the beloved instant food with quirky displays, interactive exhibits, and live factory demonstrations. Here's what you need to know to experience this wacky niche museum, according to the Japan Today website.
Interactive noodle exhibits: An archway of Nissin Cup Noodle packaging and a larger than life cross-section of one of the infamous cups await visitors inside. Learn the history of this convenient food through the interactive timeline of instant noodles from their inception to the modern-day.
The displays and activities are so visually appealing that you don't even need to understand Japanese to enjoy them!
The real reason most people visit here though is the My CUPNOODLES Factory, which allows visitors to create their own cup with flavors and ingredients of their choice. Select your ramen preferences then watch an assembly line team package it for you.
Before you leave, pop by the Tasting Hall sample limited edition and regional flavors all in one place. Choose what you want directly from the nifty ramen vending machines.
Instant ramen was actually created in Ikeda back in the 1950s, even though the Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama is more popular.
In 1958, the world's first instant noodle product, Chicken Ramen, was made in a "research shed" in Ikeda. The tiny shack belonged to Taiwanese-Japanese inventor Momofuku Ando, the founder of Nissin. At the time, Nissin was a small and unknown local company.
The invention of Cup Noodles helped families recovering from the aftermath of WWII, afford hot food in addition to just being a breakthrough in modern convenience.
It also helped Japan catch up to the instant food craze that swept the U.S. and other nations in the 1950s.
Now it's a global phenomenon, consumed worldwide by billions every year.