The Ramen Expo in Expo Commemoration Park (more commonly known as Banpakukoen) takes place this year over five consecutive weekends (including some Fridays) in December.
When is it?
The dates for the festival are actually Dec 2 to 4, Dec 9 to 11, Dec 16 to 18, Dec 23 to 25, and Dec 29 to 30. There will be a whole load of stores from around Japan setup in the park, although each weekend will see a different group of ramen makers landing at the expo.
Entry to the event is free, although you will have to pay the park entrance of ¥260. You can buy tickets at the venue to exchange for a bowl of ramen at any of the stalls. 2022 prices have yet to be announced but a bowl in 2019 cost ¥700 with two tickets costing ¥1,300 and four for ¥2,500.
The expo park is best accessed via the Bampakukinenkoen Station on the Osaka Monorail line. It takes under 20 minutes direct from the airport, around 40-45 minutes from Osaka Namba or Umeda (with a change at Senrichuo).
If you are keen to stay right next to the park, the Hotel Hankyu is a smart hotel used for all the events hosted in the park. Staying closer to the city center may be more practical, however with options like the Dormy Inn Natural Hot Spring Hotel and Fuku Yado Hostel which has resonable rates and a mix of traditional and modern elements. If you like capsule hotels – then Y’s Cabin is a simple but smart option with traditional baths and comfy beds.