Sumo wrestling is national and unique sports in Japan.
Actually not many people play sumo wrestling, but many people, especially elder people love watching sumo.
We introduce how to enojoy sumo wrestling in Japan.
1．Watch grand sumo tournaments
Six Grand Sumo tournaments “本場所(Honbasho)” have been held each year.
-January, May, and September at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo
-March in Osaka
-July in Nagoya
-November in Fukuoka one each in Osaka
Each tournament begins on a Sunday and have 15 days.
All sumo wrestlers do practice everyday for these tournaments.
We strongly recommend grand sumo tournaments if you visit Japan during these tournament.
Tournaments starts at 8:00am.
First there are matches between lower-ranked wrestlers.
So if you have only 3 hours to watch sumo wrestling, go after 3:00pm.
Around 3:30pm there is entering ceremony of stronger wrestlers.
We recommend 3 hours to see.
But if you have only 1 hour, we recommend go to at 5:00 pm so that the matches of stronger wrestlers is more exciting.
Tickets will be started to sell about 1 month before the tournament.
There are 2 types of tickets, box seats (ground floor) and chair seats (second floor.)
The size of box seats is 1.3m×1.3m for 4 people. It’s small.
So if you are not used to be sit down, chair seats are better.
>Schedule of 2017 and 2018
|Tournament||Place||Advance Tickets are sold from||First Day||Final Day|
|Jan. 2017||Kokugikan, Tokyo||December 3, 2016||January 8, 2017||January 22, 2017|
|Mar. 2017||EDION Arena, Osaka||February 5, 2017||March 12, 2017||March 26, 2017|
|May. 2017||Kokugikan, Toyo||April 8, 2017||May 14, 2017||May 28, 2017|
|July. 2017||Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya||May 25, 2017||July 9, 2017||July 23, 2017|
|Sep. 2017||Kokugikan, Tokyo||August 5, 2017||September 10, 2017||September 24, 2017|
|Nov. 2017||Fukuoka Kokusai Center||October 7, 2017||November 12, 2017||November 26, 2017|
|Jan. 2018||Kokugikan, Toyo||December 2, 2017||January 14, 2018||January 28, 2018|
|Mar. 2018||EDION Arena, Osaka||February 4, 2018||March 11, 2018||March 25, 2018|
|May. 2018||Kokugikan, Toyo||April 7, 2018||May 13, 2018||May 27, 2018|
|Jul. 2018||Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya||May 24, 2018||July 8, 2018||July 22, 2018|
|Sep. 2018||Kokugikan, Toyo||August 4, 2018||September 9, 2018||September 23, 2018|
|Nov. 2018.||Fukuoka Kokusai Center||October 6, 2018||November 11, 2018||November 25, 2018|
>How to get tickets
To be soon…
2．Watch morning sumo practice
You can see sumo wrestler when there is no grand sumo tournaments.
Because they do practice almost everyday!
Sumo wrestler usually do practice in the morning, so go to sumo stable then you can see sumo wrestlers.
However not all sumo stable show their practice to tourist because they are really seriously.
BUT some sumo stable open to visitors.
When you go to sumo stable, please follow their rule.
See from outside
Usually sumo stable is in the ground floor of building.
So easiest way is to see sumo practice from out side of the building.
At arashio sumo stable located 1 mins away from Hamacho station,
you can see sumo practice from window.
But they don’t know when they do practice a day before,
so we need to check the availability a day before by calling.
If you stay at a hotel, please ask concierge. Maybe they can help you.
See at inside
Another way to see sumo morning practice is entering inside to see.
There is capacity so usually we need to book before.
You can feel more exciting!
For foreign tourists, it’s easy to join the tour.
Many sumo stable don’t use English.
During grand sumo tournament, there is morning practice but it’s earlier than usual.
And when grand sumo tournament in Osaka, Fukuoka or Nagoya,
be careful that there is no morning practice in Tokyo.
3．Other way to enjoy Sumo
There is sumo tournament in even-numbered month around Japan.
The purpose of this tournament is for regional activation, spread of sumo and cultivation young generation.
If you are lucky, you can see sumo tournament at other cities in Japan.
There is sumo museum at Ryogoku sumo stadium in Tokyo.
The major function of the museum is to gather and preserve a wide range of materials related to the history of sumo, from woodblock prints and official listings of rank to the ceremonial aprons worn by the great rikishi of the past.
Sumo by students
If you couldn’t see professional sumo wrestling, don’t give up.
Some university have sumo club and they do practice hard.
It’s unique experience to see sumo by future professional sumo wrestler.
Sometimes there are original event.
Please check event schedule.
To enjoy Sumo is really unique experience in Japan.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave comment here.