All About SUMO Tickets in JAPAN

How to buy Sumo Tickets in Japan!


Here’s all you need to know about Sumo wrestling matches!





How to buy Sumo Wrestling Tickets



The general onsale of the grand tournament is about 3 weeks before the 1st day of each season.  We have listed the several ways to purchase sumo tickets and its pros & cons


  • Purchase Sumo tickets online via a Japanese ticketing company

    Visit the Japan Sumo Association’swebsite and purchase from there:




    Websites are translated in English and you can see the availability of all the seating sections



    Since Sumo is popular, it tends to sell out quite quickly after the general on-sale. If you are looking for specific type of tickets/seating, it may be difficult to purchase them.



  • Purchase Sumo tickets online at a marketplace



    viagogo is a ticket platform where you can buy & sell your event tickets. You can almost always find Sumo tickets for sale on viagogo.



    You can purchase the tickets in your language and there is guarantee policy which ensures you will receive your tickets



    Since it is a ticket marketplace, the timing at which the seller sends you the tickets is up to the seller.  Therefore, it is important to register your travel details and to put your hotel address (and the correct reservation name) in Japan to make sure you receive the Sumo tickets on time.




  • Buy Sumo tickets at the venue

    If tickets aren’t sold out by the day of the event, you can purchase sumo tickets at the venue.



    You have more flexibility as to when you go to the tournament, as you don’t have to set a specific date



    You cannot secure your seat until the last minute, nor is there a guarantee that you will be able to



  • Buy Sumo tickets through a travel agency

    Purchasing Sumo tickets through travel agencies is a pretty common practice for foreigners. You can easily find these travel agencies online and offline.




    No need to go through the hassle of securing tickets.




    More expensive and the range of tickets that you can order is limited depending on the agency.




Types of Sumo Tickets




There are several types of tickets for Sumo as you can see in the venue map above. The two big categories for seat types is Masu (box) and chair seat, explained below.




Image above shows various kinds of seats. From top: Chair seat, Masu box Seat and  Ringside seat.



Masu Box Sumo Seat




A masu seat is a traditional style box seat located in the arena area. A box seat is usually for 4 people, but some of them are designed for fewer people (if they are designed for fewer people, you should be able to tell from the name, like “two-seater Masu seat”). Sitting on the floor for extended periods of time could be a tad uncomfortable, but for those looking for a more authentic experience this is the seat you should go for.



Chair seat


Chair seats (A through C Reserve) are usually behind the Masu box seats and/or second floor. It is a little further from the ring which is set in the center of the venue, but even still, some people prefer normal chair seats since it may be easier on the knees than sitting on the ground in a masu seat.

Red seats in below image is usually considered as chair seat.

You know how to buy Sumo tickets in Japan, but you may have some questions in your head…such as what is Sumo? and when can I see it?

Let me answer these questions below.





What’s Sumo?





Sumo is Japanese national sports and traditional wrestling originated in Shinto (Japanese indigenous faith) as a part of harvest festival from 1500 years ago. You can discover ritual backgrounds of Sumo today such as purification of the ring with salt.Modern Sumo style was mainly established in Edo period. (1603 -1868) Professional Sumo Wrestler, tournament and tour were formed and Sumo became one of the most popular entertainments alongside of Kabuki, Japanese traditional theater form.



Sumo Ranking Hierarchy


Every sumo wrestlers is classified in ranking Hierarchy called Banzuke. 1st class is named as Makuuchi, 2nd division is Juryo, and there are 4 more divisions.

Yokozuna is the highest rank of the sports and there are only 71 wrestlers titled as Yokozuna since 1700s. Yokozuna represents all the sumo wrestlers and works as its symbol in many ritual.



Sumo Season


There are 6 grand tournaments held by Japan Sumo Association every year: 3 in Tokyo (January, May and September), 1 each in Osaka (March), Nagoya (July) and Fukuoka (November). Each tournament lasts 15 days straight and match begins with wrestlers in lower rank and end with highest ranked wrestlers.

Wrestlers classified in top division (Makunouchi) make their entrance around 3:45PM every day during the season followed by their matches.



Where can I see Sumo matches?


Here is a list of locations you can see Sumo Grand tournaments


City Venue Name Address Closest Staion
Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan 1-3-28, Yokozuna, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0015 JR Ryogoku Station / Toei Oedo Line Ryogoku Station
Osaka EDION Arena Osaka (Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium) 3-4-36, Nanbanaka, Naniwa-ku, Osaka 556-0011 Nankai Nanba Station / Subway Nanba Station
Nagoya Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium 1-1, Ninomaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-0032 Subway Shiyakusho Station
Fukuoka Fukuoka International Congress Center 2-2, Chikkohonmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka Subway Gofukucho Staion / Subway Nakasu Kawabata Station


On top of Grand tournament, there is a tour every season (4 tours / year) which goes around local cities. Local tour contains more entertaining than grand tournament like the video below.






Sumo in Tokyo





Sumo hall in Tokyo is called Ryogoku Kokugikan located in Ryogoku district in west side of the city. Ryogoku area is known as the home of Sumo and you may see young Sumo wrestlers in Yukata (casual version of Kimono) in town, and they often respond to your greet with smile. (You might not be able to take selfie while they are practicing though, like American pop star Katy Perry did!)






Summary about how to watch Sumo games in Japan


Sumo is one of the oldest and traditional form of sports established in Japan. It is really thrilling to see it live so get your tickets now!



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