Tokyo Sumo Tournaments

Experience the Thrill of Live Sumo in Tokyo

Sumo is japan‘s national sport, deeply rooted in Japanese culture and tradition. It is a fascinating and unique spectacle that attracts both locals and tourists alike. If you happen to be in Tokyo during one of the sumo tournaments, it is an experience that should not be missed.

Tokyo hosts three sumo tournaments each year, held in January, May, and September. These tournaments take place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo’s sumo stadium. The stadium is located in eastern Tokyo, just a short walk from Ryogoku Station. During tournament season, the area is adorned with colorful flags and filled with excitement as people gather to catch a glimpse of their favorite wrestlers, from up-and-comers to yokozuna, the grand champions.

To fully immerse yourself in the sumo experience, there are a few things you should not miss. First and foremost, try a bowl of chanko nabe, a rich stew traditionally eaten by sumo wrestlers. This hearty dish is packed with nutritious ingredients and is the fuel that helps sumo wrestlers maintain their impressive physiques. Many sumo stables and restaurants near the stadium offer chanko nabe, allowing you to taste this sumo staple firsthand.

While at the sumo stadium, take the opportunity to sample sake and yakitori. Sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine, is the perfect accompaniment to the sumo matches. Yakitori, grilled skewered chicken, is a popular snack enjoyed by many spectators. These local delicacies will enhance your sumo experience and provide a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine.

Another highlight of attending a sumo tournament is witnessing the arrival of the high-ranking wrestlers in the afternoon. As they make their way to the stadium, the atmosphere becomes electric with anticipation. This is your chance to see the sumo stars up close and capture some memorable photographs.

Now, let’s delve into the details of attending a sumo tournament in Tokyo.

How to Get There

The Ryogoku Kokugikan is conveniently located just a two-minute walk from the West Exit of Ryogoku Station on the JR Sobu Line. If you are coming from the Oedo Line, it is a five-minute walk from the corresponding exits at Ryogoku Station. It is advisable to arrive early, especially during tournament season when the station can get quite crowded.

The Basics of Sumo Tournaments

Sumo tournaments at Ryogoku Kokugikan start early in the morning, usually around eight o’clock. The bouts are organized based on the rankings of the wrestlers, with the lower-ranked wrestlers competing first and the top-ranked athletes facing off in the final matches. By late afternoon, the stadium is filled with enthusiastic fans eagerly awaiting the musubi-no-ichiban, the final bout between the top contenders.

The rules of sumo are simple yet strict. The wrestler who either steps out of the ring or touches the inside of the ring with any part of his body, except his feet, is declared the loser. This straightforward rule adds to the intensity and excitement of each bout.

Banners Generate Excitement

Before each match, colorful banners are paraded around the ring. These banners are prizes offered by sponsors to the wrestlers. The number of banners displayed indicates the level of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming match. The more banners you see, the more hyped-up the match is expected to be.

Types of Seating

When attending a sumo tournament, there are different seating options available. Ringside seats provide a close-up view of the matches but are limited in number and can be somewhat dangerous, as there is always the possibility of a wrestler falling out of the ring. Masu-seki, or box seats, offer a more intimate experience and can accommodate up to four people. From these seats, you can enjoy snacks and beverages while cheering on the wrestlers. If you are on a budget, arena seats on the second level are a more affordable option for casual visitors.

Getting Sumo Tournament Tickets

To secure your seats at a sumo tournament, it is best to book in advance. The Nihon Sumo Kyokai official site allows you to reserve box and arena seats. It is advisable to make your reservation as early as possible, especially if you are interested in obtaining a box seat. If booking directly is not feasible, you can also consider joining a tour that includes sumo tournament tickets. This way, you can enjoy the convenience of having your tickets arranged for you.

In conclusion, experiencing live sumo in Tokyo is an incredible opportunity to witness Japan’s national sport up close. The thrill of watching these powerful athletes compete, the vibrant atmosphere at the stadium, and the chance to indulge in sumo-inspired cuisine make it a truly memorable experience. Whether you are a sports enthusiast or simply curious about Japanese culture, attending a sumo tournament should be on your itinerary when visiting Tokyo. So, make sure to mark the dates of the next sumo tournament and secure your tickets for an unforgettable experience.

Address And Maps Location:

1-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo-to

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