The center of sumo in Japan, the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena welcomes world-class wrestlers three times a year for the Tokyo tournaments held in January, May, and September.
Known as “rikishi,” these massive wrestlers vigorously launch themselves at one another in an attempt to knock their opponent out of the ring. Matches begin a 9:00 a.m., starting with the up-and-comers, and slowly progress to more noteworthy matches as the day wears on. Former sumo wrestlers work the door, allowing you to potentially meet famous yokozuna champions of past eras. In the evening, consider eating at one of the many surrounding chanko-nabe hot pot restaurants, which serve up the very same meals eaten daily by the sumo wrestlers. Off-season, the 10,000-capacity venue hosts professional wrestling, boxing, and music concerts.