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I love to visit the Cup Noodles Museum anytime I'm lucky enough to be in Japan. Far superior to the instant noodle products we are used to in the UK, Cup Noodles in Japan is arguably one of the greatest inventions to date. There are two Cup Noodles Museum Locations in Japan; Yokohama and Osaka Ikeda. Both times I've been to the Osaka Museum, and haven't experienced any crazy queuing any time. Having said that, I do recommend arriving just before the museum opens for the day to ensure you get the best experience! 
 
Making your Cup Noodles costs just 500 yen (about £2.70 at the time of writing). Once you enter the Cup Noodles Factory room, you'll be greeted with a huge Cup Noodle replica. It looks just like a real Cup Noodle and makes for a fun photo opportunity (unless you have your eyes bolted shut like me). 
To begin your Cup Noodle-making adventure, you'll need 500 yen per noodle you intend to create. I've seen people make 2-3 each before, but I've never opted to make more than one to avoid upsetting anyone in the queue! The staff are super friendly and helpful, and if you don't speak Japanese, thankfully their English is very good. Once you've retrieved your empty cup from the vending machine, you'll be escorted to a colouring table. Here, there was a great selection of markers to decorate the cups. I spent around 20 minutes at the decorating table before joining the short queue to fill up my noodles. Although there were a few people in front, the wait time was only 5-10 minutes as there were several serving stations. 
 
The best, and hardest, part - choosing your toppings and soup base! It is possible to create over 5000 different combinations! My favourite base is curry, but you can also choose from seafood, original, and chili tomato. There are plenty of toppings to choose from, and from memory, you can choose 3. Pork, garlic chips and green onion are my favourites, but they also offer cheese, sweetcorn, kimchi, shrimp, and more delicious options! 
 
The final steps of your Cup Noodles journey involve shrink-wrapping and sealing your cups, ready for you to take home. At the side of the room, you can grab a Cup Noodles Museum branded inflatable pouch to keep your Noodles from getting crushed! However, you'll need to deflate before taking a flight but can reinflate once you've landed. 
 
The Cup Noodles Museum has more to offer than just making your own personalised Cup Noodles. You can spend some time walking around the museum and learning about the history and creation of Cup Noodles, enjoying the interactive exhibits. My favourite parts were the Cup Noodle wall, demonstrating all flavours to have ever existed from different regions around Japan and also the recreation of Momofuku Ando's workspace. 
For those unfamiliar, Momofuku Ando was the founding father of instant noodles, with his first invention of Chicken ramen in 1958. The Cup Noodle came later in 1971, followed by Space Noodles (yes, a ramen that can be eaten in weightless environments!) in 2005. You can find some crazy statistics on how many instant noodles are eaten across each country in the world, too! Many of the information signs in the museum are in Japanese only, but there are areas with some English translations too, so not all is lost! 
 
I recommend visiting the gift shop before you leave, as there are many inexpensive Cup Noodles-themed gifts and trinkets to purchase. The Cup Noodles 3D-style magnets are particularly amazing, and they also offer wearable merchandise such as t-shirts too. If you're organised, you can book online via the Cup Noodles website to take part in the Chicken Ramen Workshop. It's 1000 yen per adult (£5.35 at the time of writing), so pretty cheap! 
 
In this hands-on 90-minute class, you'll learn how to make the original chicken ramen noodles from scratch and decorate your packaging. This is something I've not had the chance to do before, but we have booked this March, so stay tuned for updates! 
 
Getting to the Cup Noodle Museum from Osaka-Umeda station:From Osaka-Umeda station, take the Takarazuka Main Line to Ikeda station. It takes around 20 minutes on the train, plus a short walk (400m) to the museum itself, and is only around 280 yen per person for one way. 
 
Overall, I would highly recommend paying a visit to the Cup Noodles Museum for an inexpensive and fun day out in Osaka. If you're not doing a workshop, I recommend around a 2-hour visit to the museum to be able to enjoy everything. 
 
Entertainment: 5/5Value for money: 5/5Ease of Travel 5/5 
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