I guess you'd have to count on a ramen museum in Japan. I wonder were the hamburger museum is in America. My friend Miyuki brought me here one weekend. It was really cool. Here are way too many pictures for a webpage.
When we got there I had no idea what to expect so we entered and it looked like your typical non-art museum. Lots of cases with explanations and stuff.
Here are various kinds of instant or semi instant ramen packages. The ones on the top left are from limited edition promotions. If you look closely the one on the back right is Arnold Swartzenegger (sp?)
They even had a ramen video game. Your job is the eat your ramen faster than the other player. You can also taunt the other player and throw things at him to slow him down.
Here's a ramen packing machine.
And here's about a zillion different packages of ramen. The other day I had UFO Curry Instant Ramen. Pretty good for a $1.50.
Here was a display about the beginning of instant ramen.
Here are some different instant ramen noodle types. Can you tell the difference?--- Okay. So I thought that was it but the real attraction of this place is in the basement. The bottom two floors are a recreation of old Tokyo I'm assuming around the 1950s or maybe earlier. These pictures aren't that great but is pretty cool. So the main thing is, they have 7 ramen stores and each features ramen from a different part of Japan.
|This one is from Kumamoto which is in southern Japan.|
|This one is from Yokohama which is near where I live.|
|This one is from Tokyo.|
|This one is from Kyoto|
|This one is also from Tokyo. I think this is what I usaually eat at the local place .|
We decided to eat at the "special" shop which changes its style each week. This week it was Hokkaido style ramen. It was about a 30 minute wait.
Here they are making the ramen
And here's me eating it!!
Hokkaido ramen is a little spicy. (kurai) Fortunately I like spicy food.
On the main floor there was a festival style candy shop. You could hear all the people saying "Nazukashii!" which means that it's nastolgic and brings back good memories.
Here is one of the werider things I saw there. It's soft ice−cream stuffed into a balloon. The way you eat it is you cut the tip off and then suck the ice cream out. It's hard to do until it gets a little warmer and softer then then it doesn't stop coming out because the balloon is squeezing it so you've got to keep eating.
So like any museum they had a gift shop. This one had noodle underware! Cool! I bet my friend Willis, a.k.a. "Noodle Boy", would like a pair of these.
They have print club (or purikura) machines all over Japan. For $3 they take a picture of you and your friends, composite it with some graphics and then print out about 16 of them each about the size of a small postage stamp. You trade them with friends and put them on letters. They are very popular. Many places have ones with specialized images like pictures of the ramen museum etc. The interesting thing about this machine is it has a plug on the top for a digital camera. That means that if you have a digital camera you can plug it in here to print out your own pictures.
This huge thing is a common vegatable added to ramen. It starts as the big pointy thing on the left and through a faily complicated process ends up in your ramen like the stuff on the right.
Here are various ramen noodles from different regions. This is more what fresh ramen looks like, the kind you eat at a ramen store, vs the instant kind.
Before I came to Japan I don't think I had any idea about all the different kinds of ramen. Now that I'm here I'm going to have to try them all.