Unhealthy as it may seems, instant ramen are just so irresistibly tasty and convenient that it is a life-saver to many during the hectic periods of our lives!
During budget travel, it is also one of the essential foods that I will pack in the suitcase for ‘emergency food crisis’. Although it is quite unlikely that one will encounter a food crisis in Japan (touching wood!), I was motivated to find out more about this delicious instant food product.
Located within walking distance from the Ikeda Station in Osaka, the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum is a fun and informative place that shares all you need to know about instant noodles from the past to present.
In case you are wondering, Momofuku Ando is a creative man who dedicated his life to food innovations, eventually leading him to invent instant noodles that took the world by storm! Momofuku is the father of instant ramen. Why not snap a picture with him at the front of the museum to commemorate your visit?
Upon arrival to the museum, I was delighted to find out that it is possible to rent an English audio guide with a fully-refundable deposit of ¥2000. The kind lady at the information counter taught me how to operate the system while referring to an English instruction manual.
At the first stop, the invention of instant ramen that took place in a little shed behind Momofuku’s home was re-enacted. In 1958, instant chicken ramen was ‘born’ and that subsequently led to the wonderful cup noodles and even space ramen!
With interactive exhibition panels that allow one to see, touch and play; this museum portrays a light-hearted atmosphere that engages all visitors. Around me, excited children ran around trying to find answers for their activity sheet. At the Cup Noodle Drama Theatre, an amusing animation shows the inside story of the invention of cup noodles.
Traces of Momofuku Ando and his life achievements are shown in various parts of the museum. At the library, there are books written by him as well as others on noodle food culture. Nonetheless, these are in Japanese language only.
Moving on, I went in search for the cup noodles factory to create my very own flavour of instant ramen! At a minimal ¥300, one can bring home a self-concocted instant ramen with personalised cup design!
Firstly, purchase a cup and proceed to the workstation to personalise it with the colourful markers provided. After that, the various food stations shall lead you through the process of adding the noodles and your preferred ingredients to vacuum packaging and voilà!
At the Instant Noodles Tunnel, various types of Nissin products over the years are displayed in a timeline. I strolled happily along the tunnel with my personalised instant ramen while trying to identify familiar products.
For those who wish to bring home products that are not readily available in Osaka, you may purchase unique flavour ramen from the vending machines at the Tasting Room. Souvenirs are also available at the information counter near the entrance.
Ideal for people of all ages, the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum promises a fun experience that shall provide great insights to the amazing instant noodle culture. I now look at instant ramen in a new light.