Have you ever been to a museum dedicated to one kind of food?
Have you ever been to a museum dedicated to one kind of food? In Japan, you can find many. One of the most popular foods in Japan is ramen. In many countries, ramen is a staple of university students on a budget, but that’s just instant ramen. In Japan, there are so many ramen restaurants, you’ll have no trouble finding one. They’re everywhere, and there are many local varieties, so you’ll never run out of new ramen to try.
In Yokohama, there’s a museum dedicated to ramen, the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum. That is not a typo, they actually spell it ‘raumen’ in the name. Located near Shin-Yokohama station on the JR Yokohama Line, Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line, and the Tokaido Shinkansen, the museum features 3 floors of ramen goodness.
The entrance of the museum is similar to an old-fashioned train station entrance with ticket agents and ticket gates. You can buy a ticket to spend the day in the museum, or you can buy a membership which lasts a year and grants you free admission to the museum. Why would anyone want a membership to a museum? Well, this museum features 9 of Japan’s most popular ramen restaurants, and it’s very difficult to try all 9 in one day. The first floor of the museum shows the history of ramen in Japan and has a gift shop. The rest of the museum is in the basement of the building. The restaurants are all found on the 2 basement levels, which is designed like 1958 Tokyo complete with buildings and narrow alleyways where you can wander, as well as wait in line to enter one of the extremely popular restaurants.
The wait time for the restaurants is usually around 30 minutes or less, and when you get inside, you have a choice of ordering a regular bowl of ramen or a small bowl so you don’t get full. With a small bowl, you can sample all 9 restaurants. If you try this, you may have to spend several hours in the museum, as it is very crowded, and all restaurants have long lines.
For a unique museum experience, the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum is a very interesting way to spend part of your day. It’s not only educational, but also delicious.
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