Just add people: Japan noodle museum opens doors
Tuesday 20 September 2011
Japan's Nissin Foods opened a cup noodle museum on Saturday charting the history of the speedy snack where visitors even get the chance to create their own tasty version.
About 500 adults and children queued up before the museum opened in the port city of Yokohama near Tokyo with celebrity guests ranging from a former prime minister to a retail business tycoon.
"We opened this place... as a factory that gives children experience and a museum for corporate activities," Nissin Foods Holdings president Koki Ando said.
Ando, whose late father Momofuku Ando invented instant noodles more than half a century ago, said visitors could knead flour, roll out noodles, steam and fry them to make chicken ramen which is then put into bags.
Children in aprons set to work making noodles under the watchful gaze of guests including former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese premier from 2001-2006.
In another area of the museum called "My Cup Noodle Factory", visitors can design cups, put dried noodles in them and pick toppings and broth for their own versions of cupped meals - with the potential to create more than 5,000 different versions.
The museum exhibits packages of Nissin instant noodles from around the world over the decades and houses restaurants that serve food such as Vietnamese pho noodles and pasta from Italy.
There are giant cup noodle containers in the museum for children to play in.
Momofuku Ando, the man credited with inventing instant noodles, took a lower-profile role in the business at the ripe old age of 95 in 2005, the year Nissin supplied vacuum packed instant noodles or "Space Ram" to a Japanese astronaut aboard a US space shuttle.
Ando died of acute heart failure in 2007.
The businessman, born in 1910 in Taiwan under Japanese occupation, entered the food business when Japan was hungry after World War II and invented the world's first instant noodles, chicken ramen noodles sold in bags, in 1958.
He launched the cupped version in 1971 with a pre-cooked slab of noodles in a waterproof styrofoam container.
Ando saw his invention stocked on the shelves of convenience stores around the world.
As the products were widely replicated, more than 95 billion servings were consumed around the globe in 2010, according to the Japanese instant noodles manufacturers' association.
Ando said he was inspired to develop the product when he saw a long line of people waiting to buy soup noodles at a black market stall in post-war Japan.
"Peace prevails when food suffices," he was quoted as saying.
The museum is Nissin's second devoted to instant noodles after one opened in the western Japan province of Osaka in 1999.
The multi-storey Yokohama museum has a total floor space of 10,000 square metres (107,600 square feet) - three times bigger than the Osaka museum.
Life & Style blogs
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
A nap a day could save your life
Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
The antidote to Tinder? Majority of dating app users want relationship, rather than hook-ups, study finds
The truth behind who really buys sex dolls, from the man who makes the most realistic ones you can buy
- 1 Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
iJobs Food & Drink
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...