[TOKYO] Shinyokohama Ramen Museum

Ramen Museum Tokyo - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum panorama

Ramen Museum Tokyo - interior 6 - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum

Dear Food Diary:
Enduring 1.5 hrs on 2 trains from Akihabara Station, we finally arrived at Shinyokohama Ramen Museum. It opened in 1994 as the world’s first food amusement park.

Part exhibition and souvenir shop. The main draw is their selection of 9 different ramen shops, well established, each in their own region across Japan. Hungry, we went in search for the perfect bowl.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - interior 2 - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum

Paying 300 yen (about $3) gets you through the front doors and a ticket to this nostalgic 3 story time machine. We were transported to Tokyo in the year Showa 33 (1958), the year in which instant noodles were invented, now part of the Japanese identity. Ramen however, had originally come from China.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - interior Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum

Old school advertisements are plastered throughout this part of town.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - interior 3 - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum

Side streets and alleys. Dim lights and lots of tourists.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - interior 4 - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
There’s a lot of little details, from an antique mail box…

Ramen Museum Tokyo - vintage tv and signage - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
to retro tv set, remember those? I think we had a similar one when I was a tiny ChubbyToddler in Shanghai.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - vintage coke machine - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
Milk in bottles and that retro Coca-Cola vending machine caught my eye.

I use to drink milk from glass bottles. And I can still remember my first coke experience. They weren’t in the China market yet, so our relatives from the U.S. brought us a can, my grandfather didn’t let me drink it, instead it sat in his display for months. When he finally let me have it, I spit out that brown luke warm liquid that tasted more like medicine (which once was).

 

It was Saturday, which meant this place was packed! We waited in line for our first bowl…

KUMURASAKI  tonkotsu ramen with roasted garlic

Ramen Museum Tokyo - KOMURASAKI tonkotsu with roasted garlic - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
We had the great idea of ordering one ramen at each place, but the policy totally killed that thought. Each adult had to get their own ramen. Sigh.

They also have smaller portions, but the girl at the door wasn’t helpful and the vending machines were all in Japanese! Surprising considering the amount of tourists here. After holding up the line, we gave up and ordered regular, full sized bowls instead. Which meant less room to try other spots. *Double dislike*.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - 2 KOMURASAKI tonkotsu with roasted garlic - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
I got their signature tonkotsu with roasted garlic sprinkle.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - 3 KOMURASAKI tonkotsu with roasted garlic - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
The garlic smelled so good, a little toasty and crunchy. This should be a choice topping on anything.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - 4 KOMURASAKI tonkotsu with roasted garlic - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
The noodle were thin and not as bouncy and chewy as the ones near us (I seem to learn towards the yellow, thicker noddles served with miso ramen). Though the pure milky pork broth made up for it with its umami and sweet finish. A classic bowl without layers of fat. I’m always complaining about the overwhelming amount of sodium, but not here. I drank it all up.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - pork belly - KOMURASAKI tonkotsu with roasted garlic - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
The fatty pork was really good. Soy flavors, chard edges, melt in my mouth fat, balanced by the 2/3 of tender lean meat.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - 5 KOMURASAKI tonkotsu with roasted garlic - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
I made StalkerBoy order something different. But, his turned out to be pretty uninspiring, the meat was drier than usual and the broth was bland. I shared some of mine with him, someone had to sacrifice in the name of “tasting”.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 3.5

 

 

We were full and on any given day would of stopped. But being here, we felt a strong obligation to try at least one more. After walking through large crowds between 2 floors, we were ready.

 

 

SUMIRE miso ramen

Ramen Museum Tokyo - SUMIRE miso ramen - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
This was a much better labeled vending machine, UX wise, it made sense. Big bowl on top button, smaller bowl right below and everything else below that, duh!

Ramen Museum Tokyo - 4 SUMIRE miso ramen - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
Though on the outside, each place looked tiny, once inside, it was surprisingly spacious.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - 2 SUMIRE miso ramen - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
I got their signature miso with minced pork, bamboo shots, bean sprouts and scallions. Though very flavorful, look at that shimmering layer of oil! As much umami as this had, it mirrored in saltiness. However, I found it hard to stop eating, compensation with extra glasses of water. 

Ramen Museum Tokyo - 3 SUMIRE miso ramen - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
The curly yellow noodles here were more up my alley. Bouncy with a nice pull and chew factor.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - chili paste SUMIRE miso ramen - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
The chili paste had a distinct yuzu fragrance and brightness that went really well with the fat and salt. There’s a slight sweetness that partially mellows the salt down a bit.


Ramen Museum Tokyo - 2 SUMIRE shoyu ramen - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
StalkerBoy got the shoyu (soy sauce base). You can almost see your reflection on that layer of oil! No joke.
Ramen Museum Tokyo - SUMIRE shoyu ramen - Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
Overall it was very smokey. The broth was as salty as mine, but the chard flavors were interesting and different. The pieces of pork were fantastic. Marbled, fatty, chard edges, so smokey, you would think its uncured bacon.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 3.5

Even though we opted for smaller bowls here, we both surrendered. Really really full.


Time to explore the rest of the museum…

Ramen Museum Tokyo - walking around -Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum

Ramen Museum Tokyo - ramen map -Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
There was a exhibition, with history and photos, but yet again, in Japanese only!? Really?
Ramen Museum Tokyo - museum area -Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
I’m sure it was all very informational and interesting, if we could understand Japanese.

Ramen Museum Tokyo - packaged ramen -Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
Souvenir wise, you can pick up semi fresh noodles, broth and all the toppings. I was all ramened out at this point. Plus, back in the center of town, there are so many ramen places, there’s really no need for this. But I nice gift if you’re going overseas?

Ramen Museum Tokyo - souveniers - ramen cup noodle mug -Shinyokohoma Raumen Museum
I did however get the Cup Noodle Mug. Pretty clever right? The ramen stickers looked cute too.

Overall, we had fun, but didn’t leave gushing about their ramen, though to their defense, we only tried 2 places. But who’s fault was that?! I think they should allow sharing for extra mula or mini bowls.

Though we haven’t tried many ramen shops in town yet, from my research, I’m pretty certain we can get excellent bowls of this national obsession elsewhere, without the need to travel this far. Plus, they were all a couple dollars above average prices.

If you have extra time during your visit however, I’d say why not. Go for the charming ambiance and having all the variety in one spot.

www.raumen.com.jp

 

Afterwards, we did a little tour of Yokohoma. From the amusement park to the shopping area.

yokohoma amusement park