Tokyo - In Focus

In the third installment of our Tokyo - In Focus series, we have food on our mind, so what better way to sate the appetite than with a trip to the Nissin Ramen Noodle Museum? Located in Yokohama, Japan, we meet museum guide and ramen jedi Daisuke Okabayashi, who explains the company's backstory before allowing us into the lab to come up with a tasty noods creation of our own. Like pizza in America or fish and chips in the UK, Japan loves Ramen. A lot. At the beginning of the year, the industry was estimated to be worth over 1.1 trillion yen (around $9.7 billion) to the Japanese economy, with home-consumed ramen (instant noodles to you or I) accounting for around 500 billion of that.

For more than 50 years, Momofuku Ando’s Nissin has served at the market's vanguard. Its first watershed moment came in 1958 when the company introduced instant chicken ramen to the market, which was followed up by the global sensation that would be Cup Noodles 13 years later. And it's not just people on the go and hungry stoners who appreciate the instant snack — Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi chowed down on the first-ever "Space Ram" while aboard the Discovery space shuttle in 2005.

With more than 7,000 employees and its products shelved in places as disparate as Canada, Sweden, Australia, and the Philippines, the Nissin story looks set to continue for a while yet.

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