Instant Ramen Museum Osaka
For Japanese people ramen is culture, love – it’s life. And I got to admit, I am addicted to ramen as well!
When I was younger I only knew about instant ramen, the fairly inexpensive snacks you can get in any supermarket. As much as I loved them at the beginning, I soon got sick of the taste.
Then, when I visited Japan for the first time I got introduced to the real deal: a delicious, warm bowl of comfort. While there are many debates about whether ramen is healthy or not, for me, nothing can beat a fresh bowl of ramen.
When I visited Osaka earlier this year, I found out that there is an Instant Ramen Museum nearby. Officially, called the Momofuku Ando Cup Noodles Museum.
The museum was named after the inventor of instant ramen, Mr. Momofuku Ando who created instant ramen in a little shed behind his home in Ikeda.
I had no fixed plans for my stay so I decided to visit that place and find out more about those ready made wheat noodle snack.
The Instant Ramen Museum is located a bit outside of Osaka, in Ikeda. You will have to take the Hankyu railway from Umeda station in Osaka and get off at Ikeda.
The trip is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass and costs JPY 270 per way.
The museum is only a 5 minutes walk away from the station. Unlike the ramen museum in Yokohama, the Momofuku Ando Cup Noodles Museum is mostly targeted towards domestic (Japanese) tourists.
Meaning there are no English signs showing you the way. The only English sign I saw was just a few hundred meters before the entrance – not very helpful.
I recommend downloading the Osaka map via MapsMe and look for the Japanese name インスタントラーメン発明記念館 (the English name does not exist on the map). With that help, you will find it easily.
Entrance to the museum is free of charge. Check the opening times before you head there. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Once you enter the museum, there is someone standing in the entrance of the door to give you a little guide on what’s going on and what’s the activities today (in broken English though).
You can rent an audio guide from the information desk to translate videos that are shown at the “Cup Noodles Drama Theatre”.
The Instant Noodles Tunnel
A tunnel featuring the whole history of instant ramen in a product line. There are approximately 800 product packages to tell the story of how instant noodles developed into a favorite food across the globe.
The story of Instant Noodles
An exhibition area showcasing the whole story of instant noodles. Unfortunately only explained in Japanese, but with the help of some nice illustrations and animations you kind of get the point.
A small canteen style room with instant ramen vending machines. Here you can enjoy your limited edition instant noodles product that is only sold in Osaka.
Even though I am much more into fresh ramen, I was surprised how good mine tasted.
The Chicken Ramen Factory
A workshop that you can participate in to make fresh ramen for JPY 500, but you need to sign up for it beforehand. And this isn’t too easy because the online reservation form is purely in Japanese.
Eventually I found out that you can only make reservations for an even number of people. Since I was alone, it wasn’t possible for me to participate. A bit of a shame, really.
My Cup Noodles Factory
The ramen DIY (no reservation needed) is probably the most famous attraction and main reason why people come here.
First, you purchase a cup for JPY 300 from the vending machine and then head over to a basin to wash your hands. At long tables, you can sit and pen out a design on the cup.
Next, you wait in line to the ‘factory’ where you can help place the cup over your bundle of noodles and then choose which soup flavor and toppings you want. The cup is then professionally sealed and handed back for you to shrink wrap it into a nifty air bag to take home.
Don’t worry, the instructions are also displayed in English (for once).
At the “end” of the museum, there is a small shop where you can buy (overpriced) souvenirs and so-called “limited edition” or cup ramen not regularly sold anywhere else.
I spent about 2 hours at the museum and was quite happy when I left the place, carrying my own cup noodles back to the hotel.
Overall a nice experience for ramen lovers!