Sumo at Ryogoku Kokugikan


35° 41' 48.9732" N, 139° 47' 36.4884" E
General info: 

Something you wont see in every city of the world, sumo. If you happen to be around during one of the tournaments that are held here three times a year, make sure not to miss it. Ryogoku Kokugikan is Tokyo's National Sumo Hall and it is mainly used for sumo wrestling tournaments (honbasho). The tournaments are the hatsu basho in January, the natsu basho in May, and the aki basho in September. During the tournaments the bouts take place throughout the day. They last usually just a few intense seconds but there is a lot of stretching, stomping, salt-tossing in between. Try to be inside the arena at the start of a new round, when the rikishi parade into the arena wearing ceremonial aprons over their loincloths, and sometimes a former champion demonstrates some classic moves. On Friday and Saturday evenings the place is packed with cheering spectators who like to throw their seat cushions after a particularly heated match. If you miss the tournaments, Ryogoku Kokugikan has also a museum about sumo.

Getting there: 

Take the JR Yamanote line to Akihabara and transfer to the Sobu line for Ryogoku station; the stadium is next door. The Toei Oedo line also stops at Ryogoku station.


The box office opens at 8 a.m., and competition begins at 9 a.m. and lasts into the evening. 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.

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