Though the ramen noodle originated in China, that’s not stopping Yokohama from erecting a three-story historical museum, theme park, and restaurant experience catering to devotees of the famous “everyman’s” food.
At the ground level, a detailed history of the ramen noodle is on full display, replete with vintage ramen paraphernalia, 25 years of noodle commercials broadcast via digital displays, two life-size dioramas depicting the inner workings of an instant ramen factory, and more.
Occupying the two bottom-most floors is a miniature historical theme park where visitors stroll through a 1:1 scale replica of Tokyo’s old town as it appeared at the beginning of the ramen boom in 1958, including period billboards overhead.
Of course, no trip to the Disneyland of noodles would be complete without sampling the delicacy in question. Nine carefully selected restaurants occupy the recreated storefronts, representing many of Japan’s regional takes on ramen. Since few people in their right minds could choose between Sapporo-style noodles and chaa-shu (traditional roast pork) or Hokkaido’s version garnished with kikurage (“wood ear”), most restaurants offer half servings for maximum ramen overload.
Folks interested in the sweet over the savory can visit a period-accurate candy shop or partake in cotton candy hawked by street vendors without missing any of the old-timey fun.
Know Before You Go
The Ramen Museum is a 5-10 minute walk from Shin-Yokohama train station.