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How to Watch Sumo Wrestling in Japan

by Jack Guy

Jan 9, 2020

Two sumo wrestlers in a practice match © J. Henning Buchholz | Dreamstime

Destinations / Asia

Traditional Japanese wrestling, known as sumo, is one of the country’s traditional sports, but it’s not easy to get a ticket.

 

First, you need to check whether there are any tournaments when you visit the country. There are only a few each year: three in Tokyo in January, May and September; one in Osaka in March; one in Nagoya in July; and one in Fukuoka in November. Each tournament lasts 15 days, so you only have a few weeks per year you can watch one.

 

If you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, buy a ticket online. Be aware prices vary widely, from premium ringside seats to balcony seats up in the gods.

 

Those that aren’t so lucky can still go and see an exhibition match, which aren’t subject to the same strict scheduling. You can also see a training session. Many sumo stables receive visitors, and the easiest way to arrange a tour is through a company, unless you speak serviceable Japanese.

 

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