What is Ramen Museum?
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is a place you can try ramen for nine famous restaurants from various regions in Japan. The name is “museum”, but it is rather a food court than a museum. It’s a good place if you want to try several types of ramen in one day.
The museum’s interior replicates a small town in Tokyo in the year 1958, the year instant noodles were invented. The ramen restaurants in the museum change irregularly so I recommend you check the official website before you go there if you have a specific ramen restaurant that you want to go.
You need to pay 310 yen (about 2.82 US dollars as of June 11th, 2017) to enter the museum. (It is 100 yen for children from 6 to 11 years old and people over 60 years old, and free for children under five years old.) They also have annual pass for 800 yen (about 7.28 US dollars) and six-month pass for 500 yen (about 4.54 US dollars). The ramen’s price is different depending on the ramen restaurants, but you can check the prices by looking at meal ticket machines in front of each ramen restaurants. Usually, small size ramen is 570 yen and regular size is from 800 yen to 1,200 yen.
How to order ramen
You need to buy a ticket of ramen from a meal ticket machine before you enter the ramen restaurants. The machines don’t have the ramen’s pictures and the menus are written in Japanese only, unfortunately. You can look at the signature ramen menus at each ramen restaurant on the official website of Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, and check the types of noodles (thick or thin, straight or wrinkled) and soup (soy sauce, salt, miso, or tonkotsu). There are staff members near the machines so you can ask them which ticket you should buy for the ramen you want to try. Each ramen restaurant has regular size and small size ramen. If you wanted to try ramen at several restaurants, small size would be better for your stomach. After you got the ticket, enter the ramen restaurant and a staff member will guide you to your seat. You can pass your ticket to the staff, and your ramen will be served within five minutes.
I tried three ramen dishes: soy sauce ramen at Rishiri Ramen Miraku, tonkotsu (port bone soup) ramen at Komugiya, and miso ramen at Sumire. At first, I thought I would be able to eat three bowls of ramen if they were small size, but I couldn’t finish my last ramen at Sumire since I was too full.
When is the best time to go to Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum?
Weekdays are less busy than weekends. The museum opens at 11:00 a.m., and from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. it is usually crowded. After 2:00 pm on weekdays, or from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekends would be nice time to go there. I went to there on Monday afternoon, and there were already lines in front of each ramen restaurants. These were five to fifteen people waiting in each line, and I remember that I waited for fifteen or twenty minutes to enter the ramen restaurants. There is a black board which shows how many minutes you’ll need to wait for, so you can check the board and choose a ramen restaurant that you don’t need to wait so long. There is a long line in front of Sumire when I went to the museum, but I didn’t mind waiting since I wanted to try miso ramen at the restaurant no matter what. (I couldn’t finish it in the end, though)
There is a souvenir shop where you can buy various types of ramen kits (concludes condensed soup or powdered soup with semi dried ramen, and you can try famous ramen at your home!), ramen flavor rice crackers, instant noodles, and the museum’s original goods such as ramen magnet, highlighter pen with smell of ramen soup ( I didn’t buy the pen so I don’t know if it smells like ramen soup or not.)
Candy shop (駄菓子Dagashi shop)
Dagashi means cheap confectionery. Most of them are small like one bite size, and you can buy them for ten to fifty yen. I liked dagashi very much when I was small. It was kind of fun to think how many dagashi I could buy for 100 yen. Convenience stores also sell dagashi, but they don’t have many of them. So if you’re interested, it would be nice to try some of them.
Tools for ramen
There are some tools displayed in the museum, such as a tool for draining hot water from noodles, donburi (bowls for ramen) etc.
Panels related to Ramen
There are some panels related to Ramen, such as ramen in different regions in Japan, numbers of ramen shop in European countries, etc. I like ramen, but there are some kinds of ramen that I didn’t know. How many kinds of ramen have you ever heard of?
Hokkaido district: Sapporo ramen, Asahikawa ramen, Hakodate ramen, etc.
Tohoku district: Yonezawa ramen, Sakata ramen, Kitakata ramen, Shirakawa ramen, Sano ramen, etc.
Kanto district: Tokyo ramen, Yokohama ramen, etc.
Tokai and Joushinetsu district: Nagoya ramen, Takayama ramen, etc.
Hokuriku district: Tsubame-sanjo ramen, Toyama ramen, Tsuruga ramen, etc.
Kansai district: Kyoto ramen, Wakayama ramen, Tenri ramen, etc.
Sanin and Sanyo district; Onomichi ramen, Hiroshima ramen, etc.
Shikoku district: Tokushima ramen, Suzaki ramen, etc.
Kyushu district: Hakata ramen, Kurume ramen, Kumamoto ramen, Miyazaki ramen, Kagoshima ramen, etc.
Address: 2-14-21 Shinyokohama, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama city, 222-0033, Japan
The nearest station is Shinyokohama station of JR Yokohama line, Yokohama city subway, or JR Tokaio Shinkansen, five minutes on foot.