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Week 5: Travels in Asia
Don’t miss the opportunity to see a Sumo match while you’re in Tokyo! With a little effort, it can be quite an affordable and memorable experience.
First off, check out the Tournament Schedule. You’ll want to look at the dates for Ryogoku Kokugikan. Tournaments usually run for about two weeks, three months a year. The earlier you go in those two weeks, the easier it will be to get a ticket. Pick a date and plan on being there around 7:30AM. Bring some sort of personal item to mark your seat with.
Once you arrive, there may already be 50-100 people in line. Don’t be discouraged.
You’ll notice that the line will be organized. There is no pushing, or shoving. Join the line and wait patiently. One ticket per person. You cannot send one person from your group to purchase your tickets.
Tickets will cost 2300JPY for the cheapest, non-reserved seating. You will receive a Sumo guide and schedule in English. Find a seat in the non-reserved seating area, leave your personal item, and wander down to the main stage. Most reserved seating guests won’t arrive until later in the day to see the higher ranking bouts so feel free to hang out there for awhile. To get more out of your experience, learn more about Sumo here.
Do not miss out on trying chanko nabe. Follow the crowd, join the line and get a taste of a sumo staple for 350JPY. It’s not the best tasting food in Japan but its a fun experience.
You may also want to return another day to visit the Sumo Museum. During tournaments, admission is limited to reserved seat holders but outside of those dates, it’s free!
If there are no tournaments going while you’re in Tokyo, check out the other tournament locations in Japan.
Photos Courtesy of E: