Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Noodle Slurping at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum

A night market that’s filled with steaming bowls of soup, plastic crates as chairs and the hum of energetic patrons swirling through the air. Small, back alleys are dotted with shops and restaurants have lines out the doors. It’s everything you would hope to find while exploring an invigorating street market, except it’s not. The clock reads 11:30 a.m. and you are inside. “How is this possible?” you may wonder as you are transported back in time to a scene straight from the late 1950’s.  It just so happens to be a museum in Yokohama, Japan. The Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, in fact.

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Filled with ramen varieties that hail from every corner of Japan, the museum is home to some delicious bowls of soup. This ramen filled museum is said to be the “world’s first food-themed amusement park”, and it started with the goal to be a one-stop shop to enjoy Japan’s renowned ramen shops without ever having to board a plane. The nine ramen shops inside of the museum are outlets of popular shops from around the country, and they have recently included a few international shops into the mix, as well. The interior’s design is a replica of a 1958 street-scape in Japan, which also happens to be the year that instant ramen was invented.

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

The environment, the culture and the food differences throughout Japan, has created over 30 distinct regional ramen varieties throughout the country, and the noodles, broth and toppings vary with each variety depending on the region you are in. For example, although the noodles are primarily made with the same ingredients, they can be thick, thin, wavy, or straight and the percentage of water used to make the noodles plays a large part in how the end product turns out. Broth is a bit more of a free for all, and one of the largest differences you will notice when sampling different varieties of ramen. The toppings are also an integral part of ramen, and while there are no specific rules in what should go on a bowl of ramen, the most common toppings are pork, bamboo shoots, green onion, an egg and nori.

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

While the museum doesn’t go into much history or formal details on what ramen is or where it came from (at least not in Engligh), in addition to the nine ramen shops, it does have a souvenir shop, old fashioned sweet shops, a snack shop with drinks and soda, and a slot-car race track which was extremely popular in the 1960’s.

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

The nine ramen stalls are located throughout two stories of old-timey nostalgia, and thankfully, the English brochures describe what’s unique about the soup at each location. To order a bowl, pick a restaurant and hop in line. Soup tickets are purchased from machines located outside of each shop, and most have the option to order a half bowl, which is a nice option if you want to sample multiple varieties. Fair warning: even the half size portion is quite large. As much as I wanted to try all nine varieties, I was only able to try two—two half bowls was all I could manage to slurp up for one day.

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

When we arrived at 11:30 in the morning, lines were already starting to form outside of every shop, so we decided to hop in line right away. Our first pick was Komurasaki, which serves tonkotsu pork bone ramen. We had fallen in love with totnkotsu style (pork bone) ramen from our visits to Ichiran Ramen and the adorable little shop right outside our hotel in Tokyo, so we couldn’t pass up the chance to try another variety of our favorite soup style. It may have also been the shop they visit in the movie Ramen Girl, so I couldn’t resist. Side note, I might just be a bit obsessed with visiting spots where some of my favorite movies were filmed, and that may have been what inspired me to visit the entire museum in the first place! But, I am so glad we came here because it was definitely different than the other bowls we had, and it was delicious. I really loved the roasted garlic crumbles that were sprinkled on top, but Micah wasn’t so sure about the crunchy texture that they added.

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

For my second bowl, I hopped over to Sumire to try what is said to be the “most famous miso ramen shop in Japan”. How could I skip that, right? The brochure says you’ll never forget a spoonful of this soup as it is so rich and delectable, and wow, were they right. I can still taste the creamy, rich broth as if I just had a giant spoonful a minute ago, and although I think I still prefer Tonkotsu style ramen, this bowl of Miso ramen left me with a memory so delicious that it truly will never leave my mind. Micah wasn’t feeling the best, so he called it quits after one bowl, and I’m so sad he didn’t get to try this one!

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

After soaking up all the retro vibes of the street scene, we made our way to watch the slot car racing and to browse the gift shop. I was tempted to buy a whole slew of ramen gear, from ingredients to cooking tools, but as usual, no room in my small suitcase stopped me from doing so.

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Admission to the museum is 310 yen per adult, and same day re-entry is permitted, which is nice if you want to take a break and then go back to sample more soup. I also noticed an annual pass, which would be a great option if you are in the area for a longer period of time and have a favorite shop inside. The museum is a short walk from the Shinyokohama Raumen Museum Station, and if you have a JR Pass (like we did), it’s a short 30 or so minute ride from Tokyo on the bullet trains.

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, Yokohama, Japan

Although I wish there was more of an actual museum inside (especially with the admission price), I am so glad we ventured to Yokohama for a stop at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum. I love being transported to an era of bygone days and the delicious taste of one of my favorite meals only adds to the charm.

Have you ever been to the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum or any other food-themed amusement park?

 

20 Comments
  • Carolann & Macrae - One Modern Couple
    Posted at 00:30h, 25 July Reply

    We didn’t manage to get to Yokohama but now we’re wishing we did! This looks like tons of fun and we sure love our ramen!! It was nice to be able to visit through this post and the photos though!
    Carolann & Macrae – One Modern Couple recently posted…The Travel Lifestyle: Not Always Sunsets & SelfiesMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:27h, 06 August Reply

      Glad to give you a virtual tour 🙂 Hopefully you can swing through next time–it’s a great place if you are a ramen lover, too!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Tokyo, JapanMy Profile

  • Betsy Wuebker
    Twitter:
    Posted at 02:10h, 25 July Reply

    This looks so fascinating! What a clever idea and it’s done with so much authenticity. The murky alleyway and crowded courtyard in your photos don’t seem like they are part of a museum at all.
    Betsy Wuebker recently posted…West Sussex Village LifeMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:27h, 06 August Reply

      I know–I was surprised how good everything looked! It really felt like we were actually outside at a night market!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Tokyo, JapanMy Profile

  • Karilyn
    Twitter:
    Posted at 18:58h, 25 July Reply

    We didn’t make it to Yokohama during our 3 week trip to Japan, but now I wish we did. Your photos are beautiful and make me ache to be back in Japan. Such a beautiful, unique and inspiring country!! Love that there is a Ramen museum!
    Karilyn recently posted…The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Zion National Park with KidsMy Profile

  • Toni
    Twitter:
    Posted at 21:32h, 25 July Reply

    Yokohama is a city we haven’t made it to yet which is odd considering how conveniently close it is to Tokyo but we’ve eaten plenty of ramen across Japan. My favourite is the hearty Sapporo version to warm up on a super cold day and for a cheap lunch the ordering machines are a lot of fun and a bit of a random surprise meal when you find one with no English.
    Toni recently posted…What do geisha, soybeans & sake have in common?My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:30h, 06 August Reply

      Yeah, the ordering machines are so much fun! I would love to see what I would get from one without knowing what I ordered–always a fun surprise! 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Tokyo, JapanMy Profile

  • kami
    Twitter:
    Posted at 10:30h, 26 July Reply

    to be honest I’m not a big fan of Japanese food (or any Asian food) but I’d definitely visit this museum when I travel to Japan. I just love the atmosphere you captured there!
    kami recently posted…Kosice street art – an urban gallery in SlovakiaMy Profile

  • Meg Jerrard
    Twitter:
    Posted at 19:19h, 26 July Reply

    Really fab idea for a museum! Even if it’s not a standard museum so to speak that we’re used to, very cool way to experience a night market…and in the middle of the day! Bonus that the brochures are in English – I really haven’t had any Ramen before, though I would love to get to Japan to taste some. Adding this to my food bucket list :D!

    … and also heading out to see if I can rent Ramen Girl – hadn’t heard of the film before! Thanks 🙂
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…The Reasons Why You Should Consider a Cruise HolidayMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:22h, 06 August Reply

      Yeah, I loved the night market feel! You should definitely get some ramen sometime–it is so delicious–I am officially obsessed! 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Tokyo, JapanMy Profile

  • Stacey jean Inion
    Twitter:
    Posted at 01:56h, 27 July Reply

    We love Japan, noodle soups and this post! Thanks for this delicious tip on Yokohama. We will have to go there and take this place in!
    Stacey jean Inion recently posted…How Travel Advances My Children with AutismMy Profile

  • Lindsay Nieminen
    Twitter:
    Posted at 14:29h, 27 July Reply

    Wow this looks so fun! It reminds me a bit of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with the cloudy skies! A day full of food sounds like fun to any foodie! Maybe when the boys get a bit bigger (and are willing to wait in line) we can tackle one of these places! (for now, we look for the eats with no line up! Oh the joys of kids)
    Great review, i will keep my eye open for more places like this in our travels!
    Lindsay Nieminen recently posted…Island Hopping in the Pacific Ocean in 2016My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:20h, 06 August Reply

      It reminds me of Caesars Palace, too, now that you mention it! I can definitely see where you would want to avoid the lines with small kids–hope you have fun if you make it there one day!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Tokyo, JapanMy Profile

  • noel
    Posted at 12:40h, 02 August Reply

    What a fun place, I love ramen so this would be right up my alley. I would probably love to sample all of them!
    noel recently posted…Glyptotek museum, CopenhagenMy Profile

  • Rashaad
    Posted at 11:56h, 25 August Reply

    A long time ago (actually 2003), I visited the Ramen Museum (I actually thought it had closed but maybe, I’m wrong). I didn’t order any ramen there (there was nothing there that appealed to me and I thought the food was expensive) but I remember the place being interesting.
    Rashaad recently posted…Home Sweet Home – GraduationMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:54h, 27 August Reply

      Interesting–not sure if it closed for a while, but it’s definitely there and open now! 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…In Motion: JapanMy Profile

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