Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum

Sights Type / Historic
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
Location

Tokyo, Japan

Address

1-3-28 Yokoduna, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Getting there

Train: 2 minutes on foot from Ryogoku Station on the JR Sobu Line, or 5 minutes on foot from Ryogoku Station on the Tokyo Toei Oedo Line.

Sumo Museum access:
a one minute walk from the JR Sobu Line, Ryogoku Station
a five minute walk from Exit A4, the Toei Oedo Subway Line, Ryogoku Station
(Note: There are no parking facilities available.)

Telephone

+81-(0)3-3623-5111 (Nihon Sumo Kyokai, the Sumo Wrestling Association)

More information

http://www.sumo.or.jp, https://facebook.com/pages/Grand-Sumo-Ryogoku-Kokugikan-Tokyo, https://foursquare.com/v/goku-kokugikan

Prices

Museum is free, check fees at entrance booth for event prices

Opening hours

Kokugikan Sumo Stadium:The Kokugikan seats over 10,000 visitors and hosts three of the six annual sumo tournaments (in January, May and September). On non-tournament days, a shop selling various sumo goods and a small sumo museum are open to visitors.

Sumo Museum: 10:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM
Close: Saturdays, Sundays, National Holidays. The museum also closes on a regular basis in order to change exhibits.
(Note: During the three Grand Sumo Tournaments held in Tokyo annually the museum is open every day but only to people actually attending the tournament.)

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Ryogoku Kokugikan is a venue for contests in Japan's national sport, sumo. Three of the six official sumo tournaments that take place nationwide each year are held here, in January, May, and September. The hall can hold a total of 11,098 people. The ring, or dohyo, is located in the middle of the hall, with the spectators' seats arranged all around. As well as chair seats, there are ringside seats called "suna-aburi-seki", which are so close to the dohyo that spectators get sprayed with the sand from it during the bouts, and "masu-seki," which are four-person boxes with wooden boards to sit on. The ringside seats are close to the action, so eating and drinking is forbidden, but you may eat and drink freely in the boxes. Cheering on your favorite wrestler while eating a bento lunchbox or yakitori chicken skewers is one of the true pleasures of watching a sumo tournament. Tickets for the ringside seats and boxes are more expensive than those for the ordinary chair seats, but they are so popular that it is hard to obtain them.

The Ryogoku district, where the hall is located, is truly the home of sumo, and there are many chanko-nabe hotpot restaurants serving the same dishes that the wrestlers eat. It is also often possible to see young wrestlers strolling through the area wearing yukata (cotton kimono), and they will usually respond with a smile if you greet them.

The Kokugikan Sumo Stadium, also known as the Ryōgoku Kokugikan, is Tokyo’s largest indoor sports arena hosting sumo wrestling tournaments. Sumo is Japan’s most popular sport, so catch an incredible show with up to 10,000 other spectators and find out what sumo is all about.  

Each Sumo tournament lasts fifteen days, and the matches begin with amateurs and end with advanced sumo wrestlers. Tournaments are held only six times a year, so grab a seat while you still can.

The Sumo Museum, known as Nihon Sumo Kyokai, is attached to the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium and is open year-round. It is a great place to learn about sumo’s important place in Japanese culture.

History

The growing popularity of Sumo during the Meiji period led to the building of the original Kokugikan in Ryōgoku in 1909. The Japanese army appropriated the facility in World War II, and some tournaments were held outdoors at a baseball stadium. During the occupation of Japan, SCAP saw sumo as less threatening than other martial arts, and allowed a tournament there in November 1945. The occupation forces subsequently took over the area, however, and turned it partially into a skating rink. One more tournament was held in November 1946, but tournaments were thereafter held on the grounds of the Meiji Shrine until 1954. Tournaments were subsequently held in the Kuramae Kokugikan, which opened in 1954, until it was replaced by the current Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Yokoami in 1985. It will host the boxing competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The Ryogoku area 両国

The Ryogoku area is centered around JR Ryogoku station. To the south is Eko-in Temple, to the immediate north the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena and the Edo-Tokyo Museum, and to the north-east are numerous small single-interest museums.

Ryogoku Kokugikan

The Ryogoku Kokugikan (literally Ryogoku National Sports Stadium) is on the north side of the JR Sobu line Ryogoku station. Built in 1985, it is the fourth sumo stadium in Tokyo. Traditionally sumo was held only outdoors at shrines and temples.

It was not until 1909 that a sumo-dedicated stadium was built in Ryogoku, Tokyo's traditional sumo area.

With a capacity of over 10,000, the present stadium is used not only for sumo, but hosts a variety of events throughout the year such as boxing and pro wrestling, not to mention the 'Beethoven's Ninth for 5000 Voices' concert held here every year on the 3rd or 4th Sunday of February. Its main function, though, is as host to the 'Tokyo Basho': sumo tournaments held in January, May and September.

Sumo Museum

A little inside the right-hand entrance to the Ryogoku Kokugikan is a small sumo museum. Lined along its walls are resplendent kesho-mawashi ceremonial aprons of every successive sumo yokozuna champion. Whatever your interest in sumo, these works of exquisite embroidery are worth a look. Each is accompanied by a short history and prominent photograph of the mighty wrestler. You can also see examples of the lacquered paddles used by sumo referees.

The Sumo Museum was opened in September 1954 together with the completion of the Kuramae Kokugikan Sumo Arena. Based on the materials collected over many long years by Tadamasa Sakai, the museum’s first curator, the purpose of this facility is to prevent the loss of materials related to sumo as a national sport. It was moved in January 1985 along with the opening of the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena. Six exhibitions are held each year, and the museum preserves and gathers materials related to sumo such as color prints, sumo wrestler rankings, ornamental aprons, etc. It also carries out research and studies of history by considering sumo as part of Japan’s unique culture.

Entrance is free and, except during tournaments when limited to ticket-holders, accessible to all.

Travellers who visit Tokyo in January, May or September should not miss the opportunity to attend a Grand Tournament at Tokyo's Kokugikan. Ringside tickets cost ¥14,300, boxes cost between ¥9200 and ¥11,300 per person, and arena tickets will set you back between ¥2100 and ¥8200. Tickets can be purchased up to a month prior to the tournament, or you can simply turn up on the day (you'll have to arrive very early, say 6am, to snag seats during the last days of a tournament). If you need additional assistance booking tickets, particularly from abroad, check out www.buysumotickets.com; it charges a ¥1200 service fee per ticket purchased.

During the rest of the year, you can swing by the Kokugikan's small Sumō Museum , or visit one of the neighbourhood stables and watch the wrestlers practise.

Practical Info

Tours of the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium are limited and do not happen year round. Tournaments occur in January, March, May, July, September and November. The Sumo Museum is open on weekdays throughout the year. Taking the train or subway is the easiest way to get to the stadium, as it’s a two minute walk from the Ryōgoku station. Ryōgoku is in the Sumida area of Tokyo, right next to the Sumida River.

Reviews by visitors

Absolutely the highlight of our trip. We spent the better part of a day hanging out here watching the sumo. From the low-grade wrestlers to the top-grade, they were all equally impressive. Of course, as you get to the high grade wrestlers the ceremony becomes bigger and the fans get louder. You can't help but be caught up in it all and start cheering on your favourites.

There is food and drinks here, as well as clean bathrooms - so you can really get comfy and get to know the sport.

~Bundaberg_Rum

We were going to the Edo Museum next door and only ended up here as we saw lots of sumo wrestlers wandering around. It turned out it was the national championships so we bought two cheap tickets (to sit on the back row). After our museum visit and lunch in a nearby noodle bar, during which a sumo sat next to me (I nearly exploded with excitement!), we stood outside for a while to watch the wrestlers coming in. We then took our seats and, despite being so high up, we had a good view. There are good facilities in the stadium and, like all of Japan, it's immaculate. Watching the wrestling was one of the highlights of our trip to this fab country.

~TheRelfster

If there's a competition while you are in Tokyo, you should definitely try to get tickets. We were lucky to be in Tokyo while a major competition was being held. We did not purchase tickets in advance but was able to get cheap day-of tickets. Regular tickets range from $3800 Yen up and usually sell out fast. Discounted tickets are available day of the match and are around $2100 Yen. Seat selection is not an option for discounted tickets as they are only available when seats are not sold. Make sure you go early if you are planning to get discounted tickets. Sumo matches begin around 9am with major matches starting mid-afternoon. The ticket allows for same day in/out privileges. We noticed that people brought food in the stadium and no one seemed to mine. They have food on site as well if you do not have time to go out to buy your own. 

We got to the arena around 2pm and was able to catch a glimpse of some of the sumo wrestler walking into the arena. Our discounted tickets were for seats at the highest section of the stadium but we were still able to see pretty well. It was great to watch the competition with locals and tourist alike. 

We really enjoyed the experience and will definitely make it a point to catch another competition the next time we are in Japan.

~Mark615

Great if you can attend a sumo tournament. We were lucky because there was a retirement event with many wrestlers challenging each other in honor of the retiree. They sang, his sponsors cut his hair and much more!

~Br00klynB

Sumo is Japan's national sport and is a sport that may baffle foreigners but it is one of my favourite Japanese experiences. 3 times a year tournaments are held here and if you are in Tokyo during those times make sure you go. You can buy tickets in advance but they do sell out quickly or you can go for the cheapest option with the furthest away seats which is to buy tickets on the day. There are 300 odd tickets that they sell from 8am each morning of the tournament for general seating in the back row, make sure you arrive much earlier then this though as they do sell out of these tickets quickly. The sumo itself goes the whole day but the best sumo's start from about 2pm. Eat Chunko, it's a sumo staple diet food to bulk up. You can also get away with bringing food and drink in usually despite the signs saying otherwise. It is an amazing atmosphere with so much ritual so do a little bit of research before and it will be an amazing experience. 

During the rest of the year you can visit the sumo museum for free.

~keppers87

I truly enjoyed the National Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan. The atmosphere was electric in the sold out arena. If you are in Tokyo during the National Tournament ...do not miss the opportunity to see real Sumo.

~DogDoggie

The stadium was so big and clean. The toilets were accesible too, it was very clean as expected. Drinking fountains were near the entrance. There were also shops where you can buy souvenir and food items. Watching sumo for the first time was a very nice experience and worth every penny.

~Mariko I

First thing to say is we got lucky, we planned and trip to Tokyo and it so happened the September Tournament was happening at that time. So my first piece of advice is that depending on how flexible you are, check the tournament dates and plan your trip around that.

The arena is quite impressive from the outside, but once you get inside it is stunning. Sumo is one of the most unique things I have experienced in my life. So different to any sport of cultural activity I know or have seen before. I would highly recommend. 

The seats are very comfortable and the ticket is valid all day. We got the second cheapest for I believe about 20/25 pounds. We still had a good view. We showed up around 2.30pm before the higher league started, and a lovely (and well deserved) nap and then enjoyed the show. The lights in the stadium are just right as well, not too bright not too dark. Not speaking english didn't matter although I think to have a better experience you might want to brush up on Sumo wrestling rules. But by observing we understood most of it after a couple fights.

All in all a highlight of our trip. Make sure you book in advance. I would also recommend enjoying a bento box while you are there to take the cultural experience a bit further. Unique and amazing.

~Jonathan G

One of the highlights of our trip to Japan. I would definitely recommend going if you are in Tokyo during one of the tournaments. We went early and stood in line and got day of general admission tickets as tournaments sell out weeks in advance. These tickets go on sale every morning at the stadium at 8am. Only 350 tickets are sold each day and when you arrive you are given a number 1-350 which allows you to stand in line to buy a tix. We got there around 7:20AM and just barely made the cutoff. Matches start at 9 but the good wrestlers don't wrestle until after 2pm so we actually went and did other sights in the morning and came back to the stadium at 2 and stayed til the end. Once in the stadium the general admission seats are the very highest row seats but no one seems to check tickets and there were blocks of empty seats so we sat very low and if anyone did come we just moved to another area.

~indigokat

Sumo wrestlers are well and truly worshipped in Japan, so I was very happy when we arrived having prebooked tickets through the english website before we left.

I was also very surprised to see some of the wrestlers walking in just off the street! Despite the language barrier, two I asked for a photo with were happy to oblige.

The stadium itself is incredible to arrive in, there's not a bad seat in the house so don't worry too much about paying for the close tickets, we were right up the back but had a great view and I would guess that is the case for most of the stadium.

We turned up mid afternoon, probably around 2:30 because we were told our tickets had to be collected by 3.

This ensured we saw much of the 'reserve grade' bouts, plus the top fighters. 

You're given a sheet with the day's match ups + each fighter's tournament results, which is handy as it gives you an idea of who the stronger fighters are, and who's not going as well.

Great to see how passionate the crowd was about some of the wrestlers. The whole spectacle was just amazing and great fun.

~simza89

If you are in Tokyo between 10-24th May. Do not miss the opportunity to see the great Sumo wrestling. Please go around 2:30 or 3 PM and stay till end which is at around 6. It would be a thrilling expereince to learn about this great national game of Japan and see the Sumos in action. We booked our tours through Viator and they were very peofessional about the whole thing. Its extremely difficult to get tickets on your own even when I tried the day tickets started selling. But if you can buy tickets on your own, you dont need to book a tour and it will save you a lot of money. But in any case, do not miss this while in Tokyo.

~Deepesh H

If you can get tickets, I recommend sitting on the South side so you get the best view, but definitely go for chairs as unless you're used to hours of kneeling,you won't cope! Hire a radio to get the English commentary, and read up on the rules online to get the most out of the day. Beware, the food inside is expensive - bring your own picnic (discreetly).

~clockworkcat

I went to watch a day of sumo wrestling during the May Festival and it has to be one of my favourite travelling experiences.

The ritual around the sumo wrestling is gripping and it is very watchable, even if you have never watched the sport before. The arena itself is very impressive. There is a variety of food and drink available just outside the arena, including the high protein dish that sumo wrestlers eat to bulk up. I would say the entire venue has a good view of the arena. You can also very easily bump into the sumo wrestlers when you walk around the outside of the arena.

Tip: the high profile sumo wrestlers are on much later in the day. The second tier wrestlers enter early afternoon, and the top tier wrestlers enter mid-to late-afternoon.

~TomWatkins77

By now you have already ready that this is a fantastic, quintessentially Japanese experience that I'd highly recommend to first-timers in Tokyo. 

So let's get to what you want to know..how do I get tickets!? Ok there are several ways to get to see the tournament.

1- prepay for your tickets online before you leave for your trip. You can find sumo tickets online , I use the official sumo association website to buy my tickets. But you can find 3rd party retailers too. Remember there is a date change when you fly in to japan. So be sure to plan with that date change in mind.

2- family mart conveniance store has events tickets which you can by at the store. You will need to read Japanese or have someone hellp you navigate the kiosk screen to get your tickets.

3- Day of tickets, you will need to go early to the the ticket booth at the arena and buy open general seating tickets. these tickets are very limited less then 200 for regular day match. I doubt you would be able to get open seating for,the final,day but it's still,worth a try. I recommend you get there no later that 0530-6am. Box office opens at 7. You will see the line when you get there. 

4- Craigslist...yes you can find people,selling there tickets on craigslist. Obviously this would be a last resort and buyer beware. The Japanese culture really frowns upon scalping tickets. But you can find scalpers but it won't be like in the states where they are openly selling tickets. You may run across a guy usually a foreigner whispering something about tickets. 

Things to keep in mind. If you buy a box seat, it's is made to seat for people...Japanese people... The box is roughly 4x5 you will be seated on the floor. It can be uncomfortable if your aren't flexible. Squeezing 4 Americans will be a challenge but who cares have fun!

English-language commentary is available even for the higher-level matches. Once your are in the arena look for,the radio rental table. Don't be put off at the price 3200 yen, it's a deposit. You will get 3000 yen back when you return to the radio to them. For 200 yen it's well worth listening to the English commentary and making the match enjoyable.

When to go. Ok so the matches start at 8 am. Unless you are a die hard fan or your son is a junior light weight wrestler your probably can wait to go later in the day. The match starts off with the lowest of,the low wrestling. The neat part about it is that even the grand champion started off that way. I recommend going about 2 pm. You can wonder the arena buy your sumo souvenirs grab a bite to eat and settle,in your seat. The big boys start to arrive about 3 pm and they start the ring ceremony for the paying ranks about 345pm. This is what you came for! 

Where ever you are seated you will notice a lot of open seating. You will be tempted to jump in another seat or to,something closer . You can take a chance an try and move to get a better view just be ready to move when you see that guy looking for,his seat and your are in it. Simple apologize and smile. Remember the Japanese are very by the rules culture and it may be frowned upon not to be in your assigned seat, but you can always drop the foreigner card and play dumb, you will be forgiven.

Picture taking - yes take pictures snap away! Flash and all! The arena will be full of photo ops. You will see full,figure cut outs of the top,wrestlers around which can be a fun picture. 
You will want to take a picture of the wrestler themselves. The best time to do this is when you see the wrestlers leaving for the day outside the arena.
You will find that even the top ranked wrestlers are very gracious and are usually happy to pose with you for a photo. Just asked politely and be sure to thank them for their time. Don't be turned off by a wrestler saying no or ignoring you. He probably lost his match and is is no mood for pictures. The Lower ranking wrestlers will be walking to and from the arena. That's the best time to catch a picture with them. I am always surprised how humble the wrestlers are. Some wrestlers will smile and even joke with you!

if you're new to Sumo, a tour with a guide is easily the best way to experience it. But. You can do it on your own!

One last thing: it's a long day, so you may want to bring snacks with you. The concession stands can completely sell out of bento lunch boxes, so You can get pretty hungry by the end of the day. I bring in snacks in my small backpack without a problem. Oh yeah flying your pillow and the end of a match that was really good or, the last match of the day you will see pillows flying, officially this is a no no. But when Rome!! Also when the last match ends don't be in a rush to leave. There is actually a closing ceremony that is performed. It is worth watching.

Have fun! Interact with the he locals next to you this is a fun sport and you will enjoy being among the locals and watching their national sport.

~Edic D

This is a great experience and not just for the Sumo aficionado.
It is theatre not just a contest (albeit serious).

Best advice is to make sure you get some background for what you are watching because even though we had watched Sumo before (on television) understanding the back story is important in appreciating what you are watching.

First we went for Three days but the first day was with a tour company (Viator) and the guide supplied a cheat sheet on each contestant which we were able to use at each of the other two days.

Second I recommend you do get the little wireless to get the English translation for the main matches from 4pm. Again to help with context.

Third if possible you go for tickets in the first three rows on level2 (level 1 is the ground floor) if not at least in the lower section of level 2. There are no bad seats but it gets a little remote up the back.

All in all not to be missed uniquely Japanese.

~stan658

You will be in for the long haul if you decide to go early. The big names are several hours later in the final bouts. Worth it if you are mildly in to Sumo. Otherwise go later in the day and watch the action and the crowds go crazy... Japan-style.

~soulfruit

We saw one of the first couple of days of the tournament in May 2016 and it was one of the highlights of our entire trip.

As I'd seen others recommend, we arrived a little after lunch when the higher ranked matches start and despite my partner saying "I don't think we'll stay to the end" (it was about 4 hours away) we actually did stay until the last match because it was that good.

I'm not much of a sports person, but I think because the matches are so quick and you can never tell who will win just based on their size, it definitely held our attention the whole time. I also like the idea that while it is a contact sport, it's not anywhere near as violent as many other sports.

The arena itself has very good seating all over, so you can always see what's going on, however I would recommend getting seating in the lowest portion of the second level - we had tickets a little up from that section, and while we could still see everything, we definitely will pay a little more to get a little closer next time.

Highly recommend this as it's an experience unique to Japan and very entertaining.

~bythebrink

Attending the Summer Basho tournament was a fabulous experience. Fortunately we booked on a guided tour and our guide was amazing. She explained everything about the history, tradition and rules of sumo without which we may have struggled a bit to understand. Absolutely worth going to a tournament when you visit Tokyo to be totally immersed in their culture.

~pixiir

I was there just to see the building, after the visit to the close Edo' - Tokyo Museum. So was very nice to discover that, during the tournament I can easily buy the ticket and go inside.

I saw an interesting part of it.

~maria r

If your in Tokyo and the Sumo is on, definitely a must do on the list. Try and get tickets for the days the finals are on. The crowd really get into it. But saying that we enjoyed day one just as much. The experience was amazing, we didnt have the radio for English and still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Get assistance to locate your seats and enjoy. 

The stadium is very close to the train line so finding it is easy. 

We purchased tickets through buysumotickets and the service was amazing cannot fault them. Arranged delivery of the tickets to our hotel and upon check in they were there

~Laura M

One of the highlights of our trip. Sumo starts at 8am and finishes at 6pm, we arrived around midday and left around 5.15pm to beat the huge crowds. It doesn't get busy until after three when the better sumo's fight. The sport dates back approx 2 thousand years and there is a lot of tradition to this sport. Whilst the wrestle usually lasts no longer than fifteen seconds it's very exciting to watch and the lead up to the fight is where you will see a lot of the tradition and rituals. 

I think I'll start watching sumo on tv/internet when I return home from my trip, I looked up the full history of sumo because I had such a great day. 

If you can time a trip to Japan when the tournaments are on it is Definately worth it. 
There are six each year due to the popularity of sumo, do your research in advance because this is a must !!

~lucymatilda04

I loved this experience. We bought our tickets a month in advance for 3,800 yen per person, and we got seats all the way at the high back, but it was fine so long as you remember two things: (1) binoculars and (2) you can just sit in the seats that are "reserved" on the second floor but closest to the ring until the people fill in at about 3:40 PM, or when the best wrestlers start to go to the ring. People are usually pretty nice about it.

The stadium itself is also a museum, and has lots of souvenirs on sale, though they're at pretty high prices. Lots of foreigners came, which was cool to see - they wanted the sumo experience, too! I actually got pretty into the experience, especially when Ishiura won: he was a small guy but managed to shove the big guy out of the ring! Watching the last three matches (the ones with the yokozuna, the best fighters [all three are from Mongolia]) was incredibly interesting, and the audience went wild.

The sumo wrestlers spend a lot of time trying to intimidate each other and getting as ready as can be, making eye contact and taunting, but once they go at each other, it's so much fun to watch. Good fighters go on from about 2:15 PM, and the best ones start around 3:40 PM. It lasted until 6 PM for us, and four hours was just enough time, methinks; not too much and not too little!

~Katie J

We were fortunate enough to buy tickets to the second day of the Sumo tournament at the Ryogoku Kokugikan. Easy train access to the venue from central Tokyo, only costs around 300yen each way. The venue is huge and entry starts from 8am, it doesn't start to get busy until after the tea ceremony at 2.20pm. If you get in early you can sneak down to the private boxes on level one and watch some matches up close. By 3.30pm the venue was really starting to fill up, seats on the second level are much more comfortable and offer a bird's eye view. The venue states that you cannot bring outside food or drinks, however this rule did not appear to be enforced. We had no trouble bringing in lunch and bottles of water/soft drink from the local supermarket. Food and Beverages offered at reasonable prices at the venue. Would highly recommend going.

~Julian H

It is not only a stadium but also a museum. Murals are colorful at the entrance of the building and when walking in, it is interesting to see some history about the Sumo players themselves. We did not attend any match but I guess I should make a point to do so on my next trip. Japanese just love Sumo wrestling.

~Maitheng

We were lucky to get tickets to the exhibition show of the season. This was one of my bucket list and I was able to see the sumo wrestling matches live. I had a memorable time and it definitely was a lot more fun than watching it on the tv. Double thumbs up!

~lvseouladventure

Always visit Asakusa in May for sanja matsuri and sumo basho. The arena is amazing if you stand outside before the main sumo bouts you can watch the higher ranked wrestlers entering the building, great atmosphere especially hearing the ladies shouting the name of their favourite

~Jacqui D

I was in Tokyo in September 2015 when the SUMO Championships were on and was very keen to see a match and try to understand what it is all about. Tried to get tickets but too hard. Heard from other travellers that if you go to the Stadium very early in the morning (ie 7am) and line up you can get a ticket. So I did, stood in the line and an attendant comes and gives you a token for the general seats which you hand in and get a ticket for that day.

Note you have to stand in line which fills up quick, you only get 1 token per person so you can get more for others, tickets are only for that day and once in you cannot go out and re-entre..

We spent most of the day there which was ok because it was raining and companions tiered from long plane trip so suited us.
Very enjoyable saw 8 hours of SUMO wrestling so got my fill.

Worth going if the SUMO are on but best fighters on between 1pm and close at 5pm.

~Peter C

Truly interesting place to visit ... we could not get tickets for the Super January tourney though :(

It was cool to see all of the cool banners and murals outside and all of the sumos going in and out ... plus the structure itself is nice to admire.

~metrun360

You will have a great time with your family. One big warning, DO NOT BUY TICKETS FROM: BUYSUMOTICKETS.COM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They bait and switch their tickets. Beware, they will promise you something and give you something else in return.

~roklin

Before I came to Japan, I am the one of all watch the sumo wrestling on TV. I came to Japan several times, but this time is my first time watch live sumo wrestling show. The wrestlers seem to be very fat, but their body is flexible and strong. Just like to listening the musical drama or concert, it is not so easy to express the real feeling to the others without this experience.Seeing is believing. Just watch a sumo match and you’ll see!

~Laetitia C

We visited during the Grand Sumo tournament.

We booked through buysumotickets.com - Jeff was extremely helpful answering my questions.

The experience itself was phenomenal and offered a terrific insight into Japanese legend and culture. The atmosphere increases throughout the day until the Yokozunas enter the ring which is a sight to behold. The bouts are quite short (a few seconds) but there are many of them to keep you entertained.

Can't recommend enough if you're in town at the right time.

~AussieRhino

We booked this thru Viator - JTB Sunrise Tours. Great day. Our tour guide spoke reasonably good English and she prepared us on what to expect handing out copies of who was wrestling in each match along with their stats. This really made the whole day come together. Although our seats were rather high up we did have a very clear view of each match. We were so fortunate to be in Tokyo when the tournament was going on. I would highly recommend spending a day and using JTB to help you get acclimated to what to expect. One of those unexpectedly great day tours.

~wacotom

We attended day 6 of the most recent tournament and enjoyed it a lot. We bought our tickets well in advance through BuySumoTickets - this was well worth the effort and cost as we could plan our trip around the date we had. We chose A grade seats and had an excellent view of the ring. Spending the 300JPY on the radio to hear the live commentary was money well spent. For a great afternoon of entertainment in a uniquely Japanese way you must go to the sumo. It is good for people watching as well as the actual sumo

~jbjo13

If you are in Tokyo when the Sumo Tournament is on it should be at the top of your to do list. Its quite hard to get tickets so book early, they were sold out when we booked but we got them through a tour company, which I highly recommend, our tour guide was amazing, she gave us so much information on the tournament, sumo in general and each of the competitors. The atmosphere was amazing at the tournament, it was a great experience.

~deanhunter

The tickets we got are valid for the whole day however we only view for an hour before we got bored. It is overall still a great experience to bring back home and to tick off the bucket list.

Victor T

Went to the sumo tournament final today (24 January 2016) and the atmosphere was incredible. We had a 4 person box on the 1st (ground) floor and we had a great view of the ring. Kotoshogiku beat Goeido to become champhion (yokozuna) - the first Japanese sumo to become champion in more than a decade. Great atmosphere, great cultural experience - would really recommend. Tickets can be hard to get so book in advance - box tickets were about 9,500 yen each.

~TWILLM

Booked a sumo tour on viator.com and chose the Keio Plaza Hotel as the pick up place. Tour guide was great. Michiko is an avid sumo fan and she explained all the sumo rules for us. The atmosphere at the arena was great! There are a lot of food stands so you won't get hungry. So glad we chose to catch the Sumo Grand Tournament!

~Solagurl

What a great way to spend the day. We got a 4 person box which fitted 2 adults and a child. There are English guide books available to help you understand what's going on. Grab some beers and a bento box, and enjoy the spectacle. Beware it sells out well in advance so get in early for tickets.

~Claire C

In Tokyo, Sumo tournaments are held in January, May and September. If you get the chance, they are well worth the cost of admission. Although the lower ranks start around 2pm, I recommend getting to the kokugikan around 3:15-3:30z. This will give you time to look around, but some beer and snacks and find your seat before the upper level begins. I highly recommend renting a radio for play by play. There is an English NHK commentary available that makes the experience a lot more enjoyable. The rental cost is 200 yen, but bring cash because they require an additional 3000 yen deposit which you get back upon return. We also sit up high in stadium seating. The first level seating is considered better but you sit in 4 person boxes with cushions instead of seats- better view but murder on the knees. There really aren't any bad views in the stadium.

~Jeanine W

Big Blokes, Beer and Bento. It really doesn't get any better than this! This is a fantastic way to spend a cold afternoon.

Our family of 4 took a box at the Sumo thinking it would be worth popping in fair an hour or so. Four hours later, we left thoroughly entertained. 

The box was just big enough for a family of 4, as long as the kids aren't too big. Very comfy for 2 people, but possibly a bit tight for 4 larger adults.

It is a relaxed atmosphere, and you can come and go as you please. The food is great and you can eat & drink in your box. You can see all of the action from the c class box, which is a little cheaper.

The sumo itself was fantastic. I am not really all that into sport, but the whole psychology, ceremony and physicality of the event was incredible. 

Make sure you duck out the back of the souvenir stands to see the big blokes walking in to the stadium. They are awesome! 

~Jane B

Despite no interest or experience with sumo, this was a great opportunity to see Japan for real. The helpful map and radio translation made it interesting and as the crowd built and the master sumo began, it was a thrill to be involved and witness this unique Japanese sport.

~Farnorthenexpos

The world famous Ryogoku Sumo Museum & Arena is situated next to a train station & also adjacent to the Edo Tokyo Museum making for a very handy place to visit to get a taste of Japanese culture. When I visited it was closed to the public due to an annual Sumo function but it was still worth hanging around outside to catch a glimpse of the sumo - probably better due to the fact they were all assembled in one place at the same time - made for a very impressive spectacle.

~WayneP290

If you are looking for an authentic Japanese sports experience go for a day of Sumo wrestling! If you come here early in the morning you can walk up all to way to the 'arena' to watch the action up close. In the afternoon (ask what time at the stadium) the good (and big) wrestlers come walking to the stadium so you can watch them close by.

~JellevN

This was such a unique experience as an American onlooker. The event was well organized, ran on time, and was super fun to watch and easy to get into! Great entertainment! I probably won't need to return as the originally novelty is worn off but I do think a one time visit is a must do for visitors to Japan! What a wonderful window into a fascinating part of the Japanese culture! As with most sports the closer you can get to the action the better. So pick seats as close to the ring as possible!

~Lisaballetgirl

we went to see the grand sumo tournament at November, the tournaments runs for couple of days, its start from the morning and run until the evening, so to see the best rank fighters come at 15:00 and stay till 19:00. its amazing to see al the fights and the traditional rituals of the Tournament.

The crowd is very involved and cheers the fighters from all over the world.

Well-built stadium, and while we were sitting in higher stands we had a good view of the arena.

~Liran A

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