Created for expats living in Japan

Sumo Wrestling in Japan : Tournaments, Tickets and More

To the untrained eye, Sumo is a simple pushing and thrusting match between two overweight men in a small ring. Bouts are called when one of the fighters is forced out of the ring. As simple as it gets, right? The truth is slightly more complicated, and much more interesting.

But the fact that sumo bouts are wrapped up in seconds, and that most fights are very easy to follow (ending when one fighter is forced from the ring or anything other than the soles of his feet touch the ring), make it the perfect observer sport even for casual onlookers. 

> Nihon Sumo Kyokai (official website)

The Sumo Tournaments

Professional sumo tournaments, known as "basho", are held in Japan. There are 6 official sumo tournaments held each year, and they take place in specific cities in Japan. The months in which these tournaments are held are consistent, and they occur every two months. The six annual sumo tournaments are held in the following locations and months:

January: Tokyo (Ryogoku Kokugikan)

March: Osaka (Edion Arena Osaka)

May: Tokyo (Ryogoku Kokugikan)

July: Nagoya (Dolphins Arena)

September: Tokyo (Ryogoku Kokugikan)

November: Fukuoka (Fukuoka Kokusai Center)

These tournaments last for 15 days each and are a major attraction for sumo fans in Japan and around the world. Sumo wrestlers, also known as "rikishi", compete in these tournaments to earn ranking points and ascend the sumo hierarchy. The tournaments are a cultural and sporting spectacle, featuring various rituals, ceremonies, and of course, the exciting sumo bouts.

> Sumo Year Schedule

Tickets for Sumo in Japan

Watching sumo live is quite impressive. Sumo seating is divided into regular seats and box seats. You can check the details of the tickets in English on this website.

Sumo Wrestling Practice Stables

Even if you do not get to see a proper tournament for whatever reason, there is always the 'asageiko' morning practice option at the stables in which the wrestlers live in Tokyo. Best visited in the month prior to the opening day of tournaments scheduled to be held in Tokyo, asageiko is free to watch. Please check Arashiobeya website for further details.

Related Websites for Sumo Information

Nihon Sumo Kyokai

Ticket information and Tour schedule, any other information of what Sumo is all about.

Sumo Musium

Exhibits wide range of materials related to the history of sumo. (Note: During the three Grand Sumo Tournaments held in Tokyo annually the museum is open every day but only to people actually attending the tournament.)

Sumo Related Books

Click here to find sumo related English books.