Sumo wrestling in Japan is a traditional sport full of ritual and ancient customs. There are around 800 professional sumo wrestlers, weighing from 200 to 400 pounds.
How to Experience Sumo Wrestling in Japan
What to Expect
On the day, the matches begin around 8:30 am starting with the lowest rank. The day gets more exciting around 3:00 pm when the higher ranks compete. The day ends around 6:00 pm with the grand champions or yokozuna.
Before a match begins, a referee dressed in a beautiful kimono sings the names of the opponents. The opponents toss salt onto the ground to purify the ring and try to intimidate each other by raising their arms, staring, and stamping their feet.
Once the match begins, the wrestlers try to push each other out of the ring. The first person to step outside the ring or touch the ground loses.
Tickets are available to purchase about one month before the tournament. You can buy a ticket that is valid for one of the 15 days. There are three types of seating.
Ringside seats are closest to the ring, the most expensive, and usually difficult to get.
Box Seats are great for a group of four. To buy a box, you have to buy four tickets. Each seat in the box has a cushion on the floor and is about a foot and a half square. It can get a bit tight, but offers the best experience.
Chair seats are on the second floor further away from the action, but are cheaper and can be bought individually.
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Becki and Shawn
Japan Travel Specialists
Hi, we’re Becki and Shawn! We love Japan and are truly passionate about Japan and Japan travel.
We’ve lived, worked, and traveled in Japan for 20+ years, so we know where to go, what to see, and how to get there. Join us in Japan for an adventure of a lifetime!