While there are many instant noodle brands available nothing beats the original - 'Cup Noodles' - Inexpensive, easy to prepare and most importantly utterly delicious - So it is only befitting that this popular snack, which has been around since 1958, should be honored with not one, but two museums!
The first one, opened by the manufacturer Nissin Foods in Osaka in 1999, is fairly humble and dingy - However, it is so popular that the company decided to open a second museum in Yokohoma, which at 10,000 square feet is not only three times bigger, but also, much spiffier.
Opened on September 17th 2011, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the salty treat's current ready to-eat version, the Cup Noodles Museum seems to be an instant success. Over 500 people, including a former Prime Minister, lined up be amongst the first to get a glimpse and, they were not disappointed.
The museum offers something for all ages. Visitors can make their own versions from scratch, by kneading, rolling, steaming and frying the noodles, and then pack them in bags to enjoy at home. If they don't feel up to all the work, they can simply go to the 'My Cup Noodle Factory' pick pre-made noodles and then custom-create their own flavors from the 5,000 options!
Since it is technically a musuem, there are of course areas filled with the history of Cup Noodles and also, other noodles ranging from Vietnam's Pho to Italy's pasta.
And, the museum hasn't forgotten their most loyal fans - Kids! In the Cup Noodles Playground, kids can slide inside giant 'Cup Noodle' cups, walk through interactive noodle exhibits and even, appear to be as small as noodle cups in the optical illusion noodle room!
Cup Noodles was the brainchild of Taiwanese businessman Momofuko Ando, who first created dried chicken ramen noodles in 1958. The initial version was sold in bags and had to be prepared in a traditional way on a stove top. However, in 1971, when the company was getting ready to launch the noodles in the international market, Mr. Ando realized that this version may not be the best option - And, the pre-cooked dried noodles and vegetables, re-packaged in foam containers was born. Forty years later, the only thing that has changed about these fabulous noodles is the number of flavors available - After all, why change something that was perfect to begin with!
Resources: Dailymail.co.uk, huffingtonpost.com, telegraph.co.uk