Held every January, this is the first of Japan’s six sumo tournaments, known as honbasho. With sumo rankings released a few weeks before, it’s a chance to see the traditional sport up close and personal. While the fights are broadcast on NHK, nothing beats the atmosphere of the tense final matches of the day, complete with cushion-throwing and cheers.
Tickets and seats
Seating is divided into box seating — tatami areas seating four people — which start at around ¥8,500 and arena seats which start from ¥2,500.
Tickets can be purchased online in advance from December 10, with some released at the venue on the day — for these you have to be there very early, but it’s good for last-minute plans.
Cheapo tip: There are some discounted tickets and deals on the official sumo website, but in Japanese only.
What time should I go?
Sumo matches take place throughout the day and you can leave to grab food and return when you like. Most of the excitement starts in the afternoon around 2 p.m. and the busiest days are as you may expect — weekends and towards to end of the tournament.
Not here during a tournament? Fear not—here’s how to see sumo in Tokyo throughout the year.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.