Saturday, December 21, 2019

Japan trip Winter 2019 - Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

Our last order of business for the weekend with J was to visit the Ramen Museum in Shin-Yokohama! I visited once in Spring 2017 and had a not so great experience and again last year in November 2018 where I really warmed up to it!
It really helps that my husband loves to eat and try all different kinds of ramen and also is very patient lol.

We arrived at Shin-Yokohama station and took the north exit. From there, it's a right turn after a couple blocks and then a left turn and you should see the the bobbing ramen bowl just down the street.

We paid for admission at the vending machine outside and then scanned the tickets and went in. The entrance area seemed pretty busy, so we immediately went downstairs. First order of business was dumping a bunch of our stuff and outerwear in a locker for 100yen. Best 100yen spent all day - it was totally worth it not to have to lug around our bags and coats the entire time.

Then we went to see what the crowds at the restaurants looked like!

Our first stop was Ryus Noodle Bar. My husband had wanted to try this last time, but we got too full so this was definitely a high priority. Luckily there wasn't a line and we walked up to the vending machine and purchased 3 mini ramens. They also had a vegetarian version but we all opted for the standard tori paitan. (They have a chicken option for the toppings for those who can't eat pork/chashu.) We all enjoyed this one!

Rishiri Ramen Miraku was our second stop. My husband got this one last time but I didn't because I was too full. So this was my and J's first time trying it! There was quite a bit of a line for it, but we took advantage of the time to digest after the first one. Again, we went with the mini standard shoyu ramen. Apparently this ramen has some sort of Michelin Guide recognition, so that's one of the reasons why it's so popular.
Not unlike the first ramen, we also all really enjoyed this one! Shoyu ramen is probably my favorite type, so I was particularly fond of it.

Immediately after exiting Rishiri, we went over to Ryu Shanghai Honten because we wanted a ramen with thicker noodles and miso broth. This time, J and my husband got the mini standard (spicy miso) and I decided to get the mini shoyu because I'm not super into spicy.
This ended up being a bit of a let down for us. The miso broth wasn't particularly spicy and there was a slightly odd flavor in the shoyu as well. I ended up trading halfway through with J because she liked my broth a lot more and I could definitely handle the miso flavor.

Sufficiently full after 3 mini ramens, J and I went to explore the upper floors of the museum a bit more and my husband went on his own to Muku Zweite, the German ramen shop we had both really loved last year. Although there wasn't a line when we first got there, a short wait had developed just when he wanted to get it lol.

Meanwhile on floor B1 -
They really go all out with the theme in the basement floors and it's fun to look around and explore. The lighting is pretty dark though lol.

On the main/1st floor, there's more information about the history of ramen.

And added since our visit last time (I think!) was this large map of Japan with the origin of all different types of ramen displayed in 3D! There's a touchscreen on the side where you can read more about each one.

In a separate section of the museum, there's another section with like a tasting lab (closed before we got there) and also a noodle making workshop where staff assist you in using a large stalk of bamboo to flatten the dough. We arrived just a little too late for that as well (it closes at 18:00). Instead we just hung out for a little bit to wait for my husband to finish his last ramen.

Last order of business was dessert! We returned to B1 to get soft serve and a melon float from Kateko Cafe and Snack Shop.

Even though I was worried that the museum was be too busy to be enjoyable when we first got in, it actually wasn't too bad at all! Although we had to wait in line for the Rishiri ramen, the time went by pretty quickly and all shops were quick to serve the ramen when we sat down. Rishiri was my favorite of the day and Ryus Noodle Bar was my husband's!
I'm happy to have two better experiences at the Ramen Museum and definitely would consider visiting even a fourth time now! It's really great to have such a variety of different types to try all in one place and as long as each shop doesn't have a crazy line, it's really enjoyable to just hang out in there and eat delicious food.

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