Sumo Tournament Experience in Tokyo
The Sumo Tournament Experience in Tokyo with Japan Awaits is an experience at the famous Grand Sumo Tournament that occurs only three times a year in Tokyo (January, May, and September). The experience allows guests to learn about sumo traditions and culture with an English-speaking tour guide (expert in sumo wrestling) while watching one of the most exciting sports in Japan.
Sumo originated in Japan and is one of Japan’s most well-known sports. It is considered as a gendai budo (Japanese martial art) with a history spanning many centuries. The sport is known for its highly regimented rules and strict traditions for its wrestlers. Most sumo wrestlers are required to live in communal heya (sumo training stables) with all aspects of their daily lives, including their meals and how they dress, closely monitored.
The Sumo Tournament Experience is a 4-hour experience at the official basho (sumo tournament) with a group of up to 22 people. On this tour, not only will you learn about many ancient Japanese traditions that have been preserved in sumo, including ritual elements such as the use of salt purification, you’ll also get to cheer on and greet the most famous sumo wrestlers in Japan as they are entering the stadium for their big match. Once you are inside of the stadium, you’ll be seated at B-class reserved seats (or C-class in some cases), which has the a great overview of the match with chair seatings in the stadium. You’ll learn about the history and culture of sumo wrestling, as well as learn about some of the most famous sumo wrestlers throughout history and today in Japan. Enjoy the intense matches with explanations from your expert guide and cheer on your favorite sumo wrestlers along with dedicated local fans.
Availability: Tour from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM on available dates during the Sumo Tournaments
Location: Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena in Tokyo
– The directions to the meeting point will be provided after booking.
Price: ¥16,900 per person
Add-on: Additional ¥3,800 per person – Dinner at chanko hot pot or sukiyaki restaurant (experience and understand what sumo wrestlers normally eat with an English-speaking tour guide)
- B-class reserved seats or C-class reserved seats
- English-speaking tour guide (local sumo expert)
- Sumo information and/or pamphlet
- If selected, dinner at a local chanko hot pot restaurant to experience what sumo wrestlers eat (with explanations from tour guide). Sukiyaki or vegetarian option is available upon request (at least one week in advance).
- Hotel pick-up not included
- Meals and drinks are not included (unless dinner option is selected at checkout).
Dinner available (optional)
Chanko nabe, also known as “sumo stew”, is a Japanese stew (hot pot) that contains chicken stock as the soup base with various vegetables. Chanko originated from the Ryokoku area and sumo wrestlers are known to eat a lot of it because a large amount of chanko can be cooked at once and many people can eat at the same time, perfect for sumo wrestlers who are hungry from training.
If dinner option is selected at checkout, the chanko hot pot dinner will be the default meal (please let us know if you would prefer sukiyaki, vegetarian, or if you have any other special dietary requirements on the “Special Requirements” field at checkout. Please understand that once we have accepted your dinner request, changes cannot be made one week before the tour date.
There is no age requirement. Children must be accompanied by adult (18 or older). Adult pricing applies to all guests of any age, except infants and toddlers between age 1 and 3, which are free of charge, as long as they do not occupy a seat (infants must sit on parents’ laps). Please note you may be required to show your ID for proof of age at the venue.
Before the tour, please notify us if you or someone in your group will be in a wheelchair. Please note that there is a wheelchair storage area on the first floor of the stadium; however, your seats will be on the second floor. Guests must be able to climb up the stairs on their own (or with the help from a family member) as staff from Ryogoku Kokugikan will not be able to assist guests.
Food at the arena
No outside food or drinks are allowed in the arena, but food is available for purchase from vendors within the arena.
B-class seats are usually reserved for this event (the seats will be on the second floor B chair seats, from rows 7 to 11). On some occasions, especially on the busiest days of the Sumo Tournament, B-class seats may not be available and the seats will be in the C-class section.
The tour will have a maximum of 22 people sitting in the same location with the English-speaking tour guide.
Crowds at the Arena
Please note that there may be a wait prior to seating, as we must wait for all sumo matches to end before entering. There may also be congestion at the Sumo Museum, in which the tour guide may ask guests to visit on their own since it would be difficult to walk around with a large group in a congested area.
This is a join-in group experience with up to 22 guests (minimum of 8 people is required to operate this tour; if we do not have enough bookings, the tour will be canceled and the guest will receive a full refund).
Standard Cancellation Policy:
- We will charge a cancellation fee of 100% if booking is cancelled 5 days or less before event
- We will charge a cancellation fee of 50% if booking is cancelled 7 days or less before event
- We will charge a cancellation fee of 25% if booking is cancelled 10 days or less before event
All bookings are payable via Stripe (Booking Checkout) or PayPal. Confirmations regarding your booking will be sent at least 10 days before your activity date.
When do the sumo tournaments take place in Japan?
The official basho (tournaments) take place six times a year at various locations with each tournament lasting 15 days (start date and end date both land on Sundays). The exact dates vary, but takes place on the same months each year:
- January Tournament: Tokyo
- March Tournament: Osaka
- May Tournament: Tokyo
- July Tournament: Nagoya
- September Tournament: Tokyo
- November Tournament: Fukuoka