We are curious about sumo wrestling and would like to visit a game while in Tokyo. According to Wikipedia the big tournament happens 6 times a year but not in April when we are visiting. So what other options are there? And how do we go about getting tickets?


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2 Answers 2


So, you're basically out of luck, as the pros do not compete outside the tournaments. You'd need to catch an exhibition or temple game, but I'm not aware of any handy schedule for these. Edit: Found a list on Japanese Wikipedia, but the regular ones listed there are only in February, June and October.

What you can do, though, is head to Ryogoku in Tokyo and check out training at a sumo stable. The easiest option is to join a guided tour (any travel agency can arrange this, Google around), or you can roll your own and contact eg. Tagonoura Stable directly (English spoken!). Be aware that you're expected to "donate" around 1500 yen/head even for a nominally free tour, since you are (to some extent) getting in the way of their work.


The six grand tournaments are really huge events and reservation tickets are sold out long in advance despite being very expensive.

Outside of these, there are exhibition competitions which are not used for ranking, and tickets for these should be easier and cheaper to obtain. If you're lucky there may be one that fits your schedule.

However, all information in English seems to assume that tourists are only interested in seeing the grand tournaments. I'd ask the guys at http://www.buysumotickets.com/ to see whether they can also get you tickets for exhibition competitions.

  • I'm sorry, but your answer is wrong on almost all counts. The only tournaments that professionals compete in are the six grand tournaments; there are exhibition games outside the six, but they follow no set schedule and don't affect rank, so they're not the same thing at all. All pro wrestlers compete in the grand tournaments, and it's no problem at all getting regular tickets, which start from just 3600 yen. Many people get a cheap ticket, show up early (before the big names come on), and grab an empty seat up front! Feb 22, 2012 at 21:58
  • @jpatokal: my assumption was that someone just wanting to watch sumo without background knowledge and with the alternative of not seeing it at all due to the schedule would not care much that an exhibition match is "not the same thing at all". I'll try to correct the rest. Feb 22, 2012 at 23:35
  • @jpatokal: and according to buysumotickets.com/FAQ.html the regular tickets cannot be ordered in advance, so not a good option ofr tourists. Feb 22, 2012 at 23:41
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    There's no need to order them in advance, just waltz up on the day and buy them. You can even get tickets at a discount from scalpers hanging around outside. (These are usually promotional free tickets meant for business partners etc, and totally legit.) Feb 23, 2012 at 0:10

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