Osaka – home of the pot noodle

Osaka is famous for being the foodie capital of Japan, so I was surprised to learn that it is also the home of the pot noodle.  It was a bit like discovering that Angel Delight is a popular dessert at the Dorchester, or that Raymond Blanc invented the turkey twizzler.

Anway, once I knew that Osaka has the world’s only Cup Noodle Museum, I had to go.

Momofuku Ando created what he called ‘instant ramen’ in a shed in his garden in 1958, and the guide book contains an important message for all of us –

I consider myself to be pretty creative, so am planning my first world-changing invention in the very near future.

The museum is sadly lacking in English translations, so we couldn’t do the quizzes or read about the history of instant ramen, but we could admire –

the instant ramen tunnel –

– not only wall-to-wall noodles, but also wall-to-ceiling noodles – very impressive.

But the best part of the museum is creating your own pot noodle to take home.

First you design the cup –

and then you queue up to fill it with dehydrated deliciousness.

First the noodles –

– and then your own personal selection of toppings –

and then it’s sealed up and you’re good to go –

– with strict instructions that it must be eaten within a month.   I haven’t tried it yet, so can’t report on its deliciousness or otherwise.  To be honest, I can’t read the instructions, so I don’t know how much water to add – being functionally illiterate is very challenging.

There’s lots of other fun stuff in Osaka too – like editing your own glamour pics –

sake tasting –

and admiring strange men sitting around with random creatures –

This might at first glance look like a junk-filled old pushchair –

– but it’s actually a customised mobile rabbit-home.  I feel sure that the chap in the mask created it in his little shed with only ordinary tools, following in the footsteps of Momofuku Ando.