How to Enjoy Sumo Wrestling in Japan

Sumo wrestling is the national sport in Japan.

Actually not many people play sumo wrestling, but many people, especially elder people love watching sumo.

We introduce how to enjoy sumo wrestling in Japan.

If you are looking for some coming Sumo tournament tickets, you can check the availability from here. You can get tickets for the tournament in January 2020 now! If you can go see the tournaments with a knowledgeable guide, your experience would be much more exciting.
Learn the history and traditions before the tournament and get the deeper understandings for Sumo!

Sumo Wrestling Tournament Experience in Tokyo

Also please see this article to get some tickets in the last minutes!
How can I get a sumo ticket? Any available tickets in last minutes?

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.

Sumo museum

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.

Book a hotel in Japan



  1. hello – my name is curtis and i am very interested in seeing sumo practice. i am currently in tokyo area for all of november.
    is there any chance of seeing sumo practice around tokyo? i am also okay to see university club. please let me know if you have any tips for places to get in touch with to see sumo in tokyo november 2018. thank you!

  2. I will be in Kyoto n Tokyo from 23 Oct (afternoon) to 29 Oct (morning), Is there any chance that I could book for a visit to Sumo Stable to watch training? Thank you.

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