They have become a popular snack worldwide and now Japan has opened a tribute to its tasty instant noodles with a museum in their honour.
Nissin Foods, which manufactures the ramen noodles, has opened a museum near Tokyo to chart the history of the snack and commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first cup noodles made by the company.
Around 500 noodle fans queued up for the opening in the port city of Yokohama, including one of Japan’s former prime ministers.
Nissin Foods Holdings president Koki Ando said: ‘We opened this place... as a factory that gives children experience and a museum for corporate activities.'
In another area of the museum called ‘My Cup Noodle Factory’, visitors can design cups, put dried noodles in them and pick toppings and broth for their own versions of cupped meals - with the potential to create more than 5,000 different versions.
There are giant cup noodle containers in the museum for children to play in.
Momofuku Ando was still active in the business, although in a lower-profile role, at the ripe old age of 95 in 2005, the year Nissin supplied vacuum packed instant noodles or 'Space Ram' to a Japanese astronaut aboard a U.S. space shuttle.
He died of acute heart failure in 2007.
The businessman, born in 1910 in Taiwan under Japanese occupation, entered the food business when Japan was hungry after World War II and invented the world's first instant noodles, chicken ramen noodles sold in bags, in 1958.
Mr Ando saw his invention stocked on the shelves of convenience stores around the world.
In Britain they are known as Pot Noodles and made by Unilever in Wales.
As the products were widely replicated, more than 95 billion servings were consumed around the globe in 2010, according to the Japanese instant noodles manufacturers' association.
Mr Ando said he was inspired to develop the product when he saw a long line of people waiting to buy soup noodles at a black market stall in post-war Japan.
‘Peace prevails when food suffices,’ he was quoted as saying.
The museum is Nissin's second devoted to instant noodles after one opened in the western Japan province of Osaka in 1999.
The multi-storey Yokohama museum has a total floor space of 10,000 square metres (107,600 square feet) - three times bigger than the Osaka museum.