Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall

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Watch a Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku

Watch a Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku

Ryogoku is known as the heartland of sumo, and rikishi wrestlers are a common sight in the neighborhood and around the train station. Of the six professional Grand Sumo Tournaments held every year, Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall stages three—in January, May, and September.
Then, how about watching one of these tournaments in person? The first step is to book your seats in advance. If you want to feel the dynamic bang of the rikishi up close, a masu-seki box seat close to the ringside is the best choice. Each box is sectioned off in a square that accommodates four spectators. This is the traditional seating assignment in Japanese entertainment.
Upon arriving at the Kokugikan Hall on the day of the match, the fun starts at the entrance, where oyakata stablemasters, who were once rikishi themselves, tear your ticket in half and give you the stub. This is the perfect chance to meet some of the most famous sumo wrestlers.
In the hall’s first floor is a Sumo Museum, which displays items linked to sumo like nishiki-e colored woodblock prints, banzuke tournament record books, and kesho-mawashi belts worn for ceremony only by top-ranked rikishi. A visit to the museum is a must between sumo bouts.
The tournament itself kicks off around 9 in the morning with bouts between the youngest rikishi, from jonokuchi, or the lowest-ranking division, to maezumo, a rank below that for new wrestlers. This is a great opportunity to see whether you can spot yokozuna champions of the future, and is recommended if you have the time to devote to the event for cheering on up-and-comers. When the tournament concludes in the evening, relive the excitement with dinner at one of Ryogoku’s numerous chankonabe eateries, and relish in the one-pot stew dish that is the very source of the powerful bang between the rikishi.
Has this inspired you to spend a day in Ryogoku and experiencing the joy of watching a Grand Sumo Tournament?

●September Grand Sumo Tournament
Sun.–Sun., September 9–23
For details, visit the Japan Sumo Association website: http://www.sumo.or.jp/

Watch a Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku

Watch a Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku

Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall (Sumo Museum)

Address

1-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

Access

2-min. walk from JR Ryogoku Station West Exit; 5-min. walk from Toei Subway Ryogoku Station Exit A3

Contact information

Tel: 03-3623-5111 

URL

http://www.sumo.or.jp/

Check this out!

Chankonabe eatery with a real dohyo sumo ring
Kappo Yoshiba

Kappo Yoshiba uses the building of the former Miyagino-beya Stable—founded by the 43rd yokozuna champion Yoshibayama (1920–1977)—and thus features a genuine dohyo ring as the centerpiece of the restaurant. This ring at which many rikishi once worked up a sweat in daily practice now showcases sumo jinku music performances on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The establishment is ideal for enjoying authentic chankonabe one-pot stew while basking in the afterglow of a Grand Sumo Tournament.

●Address: 2-14-5 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
●Access: 6-min. walk from Toei Subway Ryogoku Station
●Contact information: 03-3623-4480

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