The Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum was the world's first food-themed amusement park. Come here to sample and learn about the famous noodle soup created in China and perfected in Japan by trying ramen from across the country, housed in a picture-perfect recreation of post-War Japan streets.
The museum is a 5-minute walk from Shin-Yokohama Station.
Shin-Yokohama is served by the Tokaido Shinkansen, the JR Yokohama Line, and the Yokohama Municipal Subway's Blue Line. Alternatively, from Yokohama Station, take the Blue Line to Shin-Yokohama Station and walk about 5 minutes to the museum.
A shuttle bus can take you to Shin-Yokohama from Narita Airport in 2 hours and from Haneda Airport in 45 minutes. Tokyo Station is 50 minutes away via the JR Tokaido Line and Yokohama Municipal Subway, and Shinjuku Station is also 50 minutes away via the Tokyu Toyoko and JR Yamanote and Yokohama lines— all covered by your JR rail pass.
Instant noodles were invented in Japan in 1958, marking an important landmark in Japanese culinary culture. To celebrate the time just before this invention burst onto the scene, and after which street-side noodle shops were everywhere you looked, the two basement floors of the museum house a replica of Tokyo's downtown "shitamachi" area as it looked in 1958.
With its perpetual sunset, retro posters, and fuzzy radio, the museum is a rare chance to experience Japan as it was decades ago.
The museum gallery on the first floor provides details on the history and production of ramen noodles. Exhibits display ingredients and information on how to produce the noodles from scratch.
Tucked away in these recreated streets are nine restaurants offering different types of ramen from around Japan. Each shop offers a mini version of their featured ramen, allowing you to sample more than one if you wish. If there's a regional ramen you're hoping to try, but can't make the journey out this trip, the authentic tastes showcased in the Raumen Museum have you covered.
To order, simply buy a ticket from the vending machine in front of each shop. Vegetarian and non-pork options are available.
Adding to the authentic Showa-era 20th-century atmosphere of the museum is the slot-car race track, a hobby that was popular in Japan in the 1960s. Children and adults alike can rent toy cars here to race on the 30-meter long course.
Another throwback you'll find along the two floors of the Sunset Shopping Street are the old-fashioned candy and toy stores like those Japanese children often visited on their way home from school generations ago. More than 300 types of sweets and toys are available for purchase.
Tired of ramen? The museum's retro cafe has snacks and a variety of drinks on offer, from coffee to Japanese whisky. Their Hokkaido-style soft-serve ice cream is particularly popular.
Stop by the museum shop on your way out to pick up a variety of instant noodles based on famous regional ramen, soup bowls, and chopsticks. You can also make your own style of ramen or sweets to take home.
Same-day re-entry is allowed. Just show your ticket at the gate when you leave to get your hand stamped.
Set aside a couple of hours to enjoy the museum at your leisure. The Raumen Museum is a particularly good stop for a lunch break on a rainy or excessively hot day.