The Grand Sumo Tournaments at the Ryogoku Kokugikan


Skip to content If it happens that you are in Tokyo during one of the three grand Sumo tournaments, 15-day events in January, May and September, go straight to Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo’s National Sumo Hall and you will enjoy a fantastic show, filled with ceremony and ritual which observe strict hierarchies not just for the wrestlers, but also for the referees and callers. The box office opens at 8 a.m. and competition begins at 9 a.m. and lasts into the evening. Bouts are brief, usually just a few, very exciting, extremely intense seconds, with a lot of posturing in between. Try to stay long enough to see the start of a new round, when the rikishi parade into the arena wearing special aprons over their loincloths and there is a brief ceremony in the ring. sumo-match-3

If it is not tournament season, try to go to one of the stables where the wrestlers live and train.

Sessions start early and are usually over by 10 a.m., though figure 9 a.m. to be safe.

Have someone who speaks Japanese call the stable in the afternoon on the day before you want to go, to make sure the team’s in town and not on tour in the countryside. Some stables are more welcoming than others.


Try Kokonoe-beya or ask the concierge at your hotel if they have an in somewhere. Inside the stable, keep quiet and out of the way and don’t take flash pictures. You may be expected to make a small donation.

General admission tickets for Ryogoku Kokugikan are sold as same-day seats on tournament days: $20 for adults, $2 for children ages 4 to 15 (kids under 4 get in free); tickets are cash only.

Take the JR Yamanote line to Akihabara and transfer to the Sobu line for Ryogoku station : the stadium is next door and Kokonoe-beya is a 5-minute taxi ride from there. The Toei Oedo line also stops at Ryogoku station.


Ryogoku Kokugikan address
1-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan; 81-(0)3-3623-5111 35.696944139.793333

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