Sumo tournament
Known by everyone as the Japanese national sport, sumo wrestling is still something not to miss. Held six times a year, Tokyo is lucky to welcome the tournament on three times.
What’s your idea about sumo? … Massive wrestlers fighting half naked? Yes but not only. This sport is largely linked to the Japanese belief which is Shintoism. If you have ever seen the tournament, now think about it: don’t you think the roof above the ring looks like some shrine rooftop? And what about the referee’s costume and especially the hat? It looks like Shinto priest’s, doesn’t it? …
So why don’t you make the most of a trip to Tokyo to go and watch it at the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan? The tickets are from 2000 yen to more than 14000 yen and the tournament goes from 11:00 to 18:00, the senior division starts at 16:00.
By the way, you can mix it with some of our tours on your visiting day of Asakusa and Skytree area.
Below are our recommendations: Asakusa walking Tour, Tokyo Foodie Tour, with kids: Making fake food sample… then go to the tournament and watch the night view from the Tokyo Skytree.
Sample itinerary combining major spots of eastern Tokyo and Sumo tournament.
Guided tour
registration and meeting in front of Asakusa Culture Tourism Center
10h00 – 11h00
Asakusa Walking Tour organized by travelience
Free time
You’re free to reach the Ryogoku Kokugikan stadium following the Sumida river southward, about 30 minutes walking. Or you can walk about 15 minutes to Kuramae station and then take the subway to Ryogoku station (5 minutes, 170yen)
Tip: If you walk, don’t forget to stop on one of the bridges crossing Sumida river to amdire the famous scenery composed by Asahi Beer Buiding and Skytree.
Enjoy the junior division bouts, admire the wonderful stadium. Don’t forget to take the English brochure.
Tip: By this time, the stadium is usually not full so you may be able to walk around and take nice pictures.
A little hungry? Why not tasting the sumo wrestlers’ traditional meal called “chanko-nabe”? You can have it in the stadium at a reasonable price.
Back to the competition. Or why not visiting the famous Edo Tokyo Museum located just behind the stadium? (closed on Mondays, entrance fee: 600yen). Or visit the Sumo museum, adjacent to the stadium (free entrance).
Info: With your ticket for the tournament, you’re allowed to go out and come back once during the day.
From 14h30
The senior division wrestlers are coming in the stadium from the south gate. Let’s check it!
Senior division ceremonial entrance. Be careful not to miss it, it lasts only a few minutes.
sumo ceremony
From 16h to 18h
Senior division bouts. The top ranked wrestlers fight the last.
End of the tournament day.
Tip: Don’t rush to get out and wait for the man clapping wooden sticks to notify the end. Outside, you can hear Japanese drums and announcement marking the end of the day.
How to go downtown: subway Toei Oedo line or JR Chuo Line.

by Vola