For all those who love instant ramen, prepare yourselves - here is your mecca. Located a short walk from Ikeda Station on the outskirts of suburban Osaka; the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen museum is an absolute must see for all the devout followers of the instant ramen craze, and for all those who want to experience a slice, or should I say spoonful of the bizarre workings of Japanese society.
In the late 1950's in a small smack in outer Ikeda, Momofuku Ando created a product that would become a staple of the Japanese diet for years to come. Ando was also to go on and invent cup noodles thirteen years later. The museum, which is admittance free is dedicated to the work of Ando and the wonderful world of ramen.
Kids can roam free on the first floor which has an array of interactive displays including a recreation of Ando's research shack, in which guests can watch the creation of the first instant noddle product. Equally interesting, is the Instant Noodle Tunnel, which tells the story of how instant ramen has evolved form a singular product into a global craze.
Guests also have the option to watch a film, created in classical (and hilarious) Japanese animation depicting the life cycle of a singular noodle from field to cup. The first floor is also home to the transparent and human sized cup of instant noodles, perfect for all those happy snappers wanting to document their experience.
The second floor is where visitors can put their new found knowledge of instant ramen to the test. For ¥300, the museum offers patrons the opportunity to create their own unique cup of instant ramen. Guests are filed through to a sitting hall in which they are allowed the opportunity to decorate their cup in any way they see fit. After the decorating phase (which I am told can take up to an hour), patrons are ushered to a bench top in which they are allowed to choose one broth and four ingredients from a variety on offer.
The final product is then professionally sealed for guests to enjoy in their own time, however the museum recommends consumption within thirty days.
Whilst most of the signage is in Japanese, for a ¥2,000 deposit (which you get back) an audio guide can be hired. There also exists a souvenir shop selling an array of crazy keepsakes as you would expect from any museum completely dedicated to instant ramen.
Umeda Station --> Ikeba Station. Hankyu Line ¥270
The museum is located a five minute walk from the station however there is adequate signage and an information booth outside of the station.