Visiting a museum is always a brilliant experience. Getting to properly understand a period in time, an art movement or the entire works of a celebrated artist, are all activities that any curious mind would enjoy. However, there's one type of museum that really is a divider of the people. That is, the unusual museum; its collection may be quirky, particularly niche, or just plain strange. Some people love them, some people hate them, but whichever camp you're in, there's a certain sort of fascination around them. These are some of the best out there.
The Cup Noodle Museum
Kicking off with a big hitter, The Cup Noodle Museum
in Japan is totally bizarre, but totally beloved by tourists both national and international. So beloved, in fact, that they now have not one site but two. We're going to be taking a look at the museum in Osaka Ikeda, the birthplace of noodles. Created in 1958 by an eccentric home cook, Momofuku Ando, the instant chicken ramen has become a mainstay not just in the Japanese diet but all over the world. The Cup Noodle Museum celebrates everything about ramen, from the packaging to the history, through the manufacture to the tasting. If you're a fan of noodles, then you'll never want to leave.
The Penny Slot Museum
Modern casino jackpot games
are certainly exciting to play, but there's something even more intriguing about the traditional penny slot machines. John Hayward and Clive Baker would certainly attest to this, having opened the National Museum of Penny Slots back in 1979. This pair began collecting slot machines as they were thrown out of arcades and new ones were introduced with higher price points. Their collection grew so much that it could no longer be justified as a hobby, and they opened this slot machine museum. You can still see most of the machines working today - just remember to bring your pennies with you!
The Bata Shoe Museum
The Bata Shoe Museum is every fashion-lovers dream come true
In the words of Coco Chanel, 'Fashion comes and goes but style lasts forever'. The Bata Shoe Museum
is rallying hard against this, keeping shoes from both the most delectable and the most disgusting fashion trends of the past centuries, right back to ancient times. Whilst many of us take shoes a little for granted, buying a couple of new pairs when old ones run out and not spending a lot of time worrying about it past that, other people live for them. Just last week a pair of sneakers broke the $1 million barrier
at Sotheby's. For the shoe lover in your life, there couldn't be a better present than a trip around the Bata, being allowed to take their time and marvel at the sheer possibilities of footwear.
The Museum of Bad Art
The collection of silly postcards on the fridge, the poor taste art relegated to the downstairs toilet
Everybody enjoys a bit of bad art from time to time and the final museum on the list, The Museum of Bad Art
, celebrates that. This museum is filled with pieces from amateur artists that won't make it onto the walls of The Louvre any time soon but deserve their own recognition anyway. Whether it's crude drawings by the younger generation that fill the heart with joy, scribbled post-it notes that capture angst in a way that even da Vinci couldn't, or snaps of misspelled graffiti, these pieces have a freeness, a lightness, and a sense of emotion to them that really does make this self-proclaimed bad art collection into one of the most brilliant in the country.