Naoto had one wish for our trip–to go to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, a “food amusement park” in Yokohama. Since we’ve been on our Naoberly’s Noodle Tour, I was almost as excited as he was to try different varieties of ramen. These three pictures pretty much represent the “museum” part of the Ramen Museum. Actually, the museum part is smaller than the gift shop! But the real purpose of going to the museum is to treat yourself to different varieties of ramen. Two floors below street level, there is an old fashioned “neighborhood” featuring the best ramen shops from all across Japan. (Shown in the top picture.) Outside each shop, there’s a ticket machine where you choose your ramen, any extra toppings, and drinks. You pay at the ticket machine and when you sit down, the servers take the tickets and serve up your order. Museum rules dictate that each adult must order one bowl of ramen at each place he dines. Thankfully, the shops all offer a “smaller” bowl of ramen (in addition to a regular-sized bowl), so you can try a few different types. Sadly, though, even that small bowl of ramen was too much for me. We started at Komurasaki, which serves Kumamoto-style ramen. Naoto had a traditional tonkotsu ramen with added pork and eggs (pictured first) and I had the King’s Ramen with fire roasted garlic with added pork and corn. It really was delicious! Aaaaaand that was the only bowl I ate! After the first ramen shop, we sat at a table in the bar area and had drinks. Naoto had an Orion beer on tap (which is apparently a big deal since you can’t find Orion on tap around here) and I had a Okinawan citrus cocktail, which may have been the best thing I drank during this vacation. While Naoto moved onto another ramen shop, I stayed at the bar and wrote some postcards. Naoto went to Shina Soba-ya (where I could see him eating from my postcard-writing station!) and had not only another bowl of ramen, but spare ribs, too! After walking back upstairs and spending some time (and money) in the gift shop, we went back down to try one last bowl of ramen. We went to an izakaya and had Okinawan-style ramen (and another Orion beer and another citrus cocktail!). It was really simple but tasty and it had the thickest noodles of any ramen I’d had before.
I highly recommend the Ramen Museum for an afternoon full of noodle fun! I have a few more Naoberly’s Noodle Adventures to share with you soon!