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Sumo Grand Tournaments 2024 in Japan

Check out this famous and ancient Japanese sport in action!

Dates: January 14–28, 2024 | March 10–24, 2024 | May 12–26, 2024 | July 14–28, 2024 | September 8–22, 2024 | November 10–24, 2024

Sumo Grand Tournaments
Sumo Grand Tournaments
Sumo Grand Tournaments
Ryogoku Sumo Tokyo

The governing body of sumo—the Japan Sumo Association—organizes six tournaments annually: three of them are held in Tokyo in January, May, and September; one in Osaka in March, one in Nagoya in July, and one in Fukuoka in November. Fans of the sport and those just looking for a thrill come to Japan from all over the world to witness this intense spectacle.

Sumo Wrestling Rules

The simplicity of sumo is astonishing but makes it all the more interesting to watch. One detail to note in sumo is that there is no weight restriction in sumo meaning that someone smaller may end up fighting someone bigger. Seeing as how the whole point is to get someone to the ground or out of the ring this can certainly make for some interesting dynamics. The wrestlers are only ranked and moved to certain divisions based on their victory and loss record.

Locations

The sumo tournaments unfold in Japan's four major cities, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka. The Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena hosts the matches in Tokyo, while Edion Arena takes on the challenge in Osaka. Nagoya holds its share of the tournament in the Dolphins Arena. Fukuoka tournament takes place at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Schedule

Each sumo tournament or basho lasts for 15 days, beginning and ending on Sundays. The matches take place based on a division hierarchy, with lower division matches scheduled in the early morning from 8:30 am. Top division matches take place at 2 pm. The most competitive fighters go out onto the ring closer to 6 pm, but all the matches are supposed to finish before then.

Seating & Tickets

When attending a sumo basho, you have several seating options: sitting in a modern chair or opting for traditional Japanese-style floor seating. There are Japanese-style box floor seats or ring-side floor cushion seats. You can pick a traditional option if you don't mind sitting for a few hours without back support. Ringside seats offer a closer view of the match but are less safe due to the close proximity to wrestlers.

Ring-side tickets cost 20,000 Japanese yen per person. Box seats for four guests range from 34,000 yen to 60,000 yen. There is also a box seat option for two people, which costs 19,000 yen. Chair seat tickets vary from 2,500 to 9,500 Japanese yen.

Sumo Museum

You can learn more about the sport if you see one of the sumo exhibitions in between sumo tournaments. Sumo Museum is located on the first floor of Ryogoku Kokugikan, where January, May and September tournaments take place. The exhibition is open from 12:30 pm to 4 pm, but is closed on Saturdays and Sundays, so plan ahead. Admission is completely free, you only need a ticket for the tournament.

Sumo Heya Morning Practice

You can also visit a sumo heya, or a sumo stable, where wrestlers train and stay. If you're in Tokyo, there's no need to travel far since numerous sumo stables are located in Ryogoku region. Because sumo practices are such an intimate and cherished occasions, regular attendees are required to be with a tour group that organizes such visits. The experience costs 26,000 yen per person and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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