The 5 Best Tokyo Sumo Tournament Experiences [2024 Reviews]

There’s never a lack of things to do in Tokyo, but if you’d like to delve deep into the heart of one of Japan’s most revered traditions, look no further. The Tokyo Sumo Tournament is much more than seeing the tournament itself, though that is also a show not to be missed.

You’ll walk around a “sumo town”, learning about the history behind this rich tradition, learn about how the wrestlers diet, and have an expert sumo guide to explain everything throughout the experience.

If that sounds interesting to you, check out these top Tokyo Sumo wrestling experiences that I’ve carefully curated here for you! Let’s jump right in!

Be sure to see our reviews of Mt. Fuji day trips, Mario Cart tours and guided tours of Tokyo.

Best Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Tournament Experiences

Grand Sumo Tournament Tour in TokyoTokyo Grand Sumo Tournament Viewing TourTokyo Sumo Wrestling Tournament Ticket with Guide
editors choice
Location:1-chōme-4-29 Yokoami, Sumida City, Tokyo2-chōme-19-1 Ryōgoku, Sumida City, Tokyo1 Chome-3-20 Yokoami, Sumida City, Tokyo
Start:9:45 AM12:30 PM2:30 PM
Duration:8.5 hours5.5 hours3 hours
Includes:Guided by a sumo expert guide, information package of tournament information, sumo ranking2nd Floor Chair Seating, Professional guide, Sumo information pamphlet and sumo-ranking listSumo entrance ticket (chair seat B or C class), expert English-speaking guide

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 5 Best Tokyo Sumo Tournament Experiences For 2024

  1. Grand Sumo Tournament Tour in Tokyo
  2. Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament Viewing Tour
  3. Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Tournament Ticket with Guide
  4. Sumo Tournament Experience in Tokyo
  5. Tokyo Sumo Guided Tour with Premium Sumo Tournament Ticket

Tokyo Sumo Tournament Experience Reviews

1. Grand Sumo Tournament Tour in Tokyo

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 8.5 hours
  • Departure: 1-chōme-4-29 Yokoami, Sumida City, Tokyo
  • Departure Time: 9:45 AM
  • Includes: Guided by a sumo expert guide, information package of tournament information, sumo ranking, and profiles of prominent wrestlers, for a group of 3 or more, headsets for each to hear the guide’s voice

There’s so much more to sumo wrestling than what meets the eye, and while seeing the tournament is fascinating, this is the tour to take if you really want to learn its ins and outs.

The Grand Sumo Tournament Tour in Tokyo was easily one of the highlights of my Tokyo trip, perfectly combining culture, sports, and history. If you have the day free, this is a one-of-a-kind experience you’re sure to want to do again!

This tournament tour isn’t a front-row seat – it’s a VIP, backstage pass to the honor, tradition, and enormous spirit behind Japan’s beloved spot.

This isn’t just your average experience in sumo wrestling – it’s an immersion with a guide who’ll take you (armed with headsets in case you stray far from them) from the Nominio Sukene Shrine to the bright banners of the Kokugikan arena.

The walking tour will show you all about how and why sumo got started over 1500 years ago, as well as the famous champions since then.

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Seeing the full-scale sumo ring was really cool, as well as the drum tower and awards given to the grand champion.

The lunch at the chanko-nabe gives you the opportunity to try the hotpot dish that’s essential to every sumo wrestler’s diet – super delicious!

Then it’s finally time to bring all your newfound knowledge and use it to watch the Ryogoku Kokugikan Grand Sumo Tournament! As the arena’s gates open, you’ll get to take a photo session with a retired master wrestler for one of the coolest mementos possible.

As you watch the tournament, you’ll have a headphone system to guide you in English as the weight of history comes to life.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament Viewing Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 5.5 hours
  • Departure: 2-chōme-19-1 Ryōgoku, Sumida City, Tokyo
  • Departure Time: 12:30 PM
  • Includes: 2nd Floor Chair Seating, Professional guide, Sumo information pamphlet and sumo-ranking list

If the first tour caught your interest, but you’re looking for something shorter, this next tour is a fantastic alternative.

The Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament Viewing Tour is still one of the most comprehensive of its kind, allowing you to explore the sport from the very place it’s been going on for centuries! This physical chess match requires strength and skill, but the culture and traditions behind it are equally as fascinating!

I remember seeing videos of Taihō Kōki, who was a very young and very successful sumo wrestler – achieving the highest rank at just 21 years old. That was initially what interested me in sumo, but I had no idea so much was involved behind the scenes.

As it was originally an oracular ritual with prayers meant for a successful harvest, it quickly transformed into a professional sport during the 1600s.

Meet your professional guide and the rest of your group outside the Ryogoku View Hotel at 1:30 pm or at the Keio Plaza Hotel in the morning if you’d like to add on a Tokyo Sightseeing option.

Your guide will take you around and show you various landmarks in honor of the sport, and explain its complex and honored history.

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Around 4 pm, you’ll head to the Grand Champion Ring entrance and watch the arena come to life with fans and their favorite wrestlers!

After the thrill of this intense tournament, you’ll go with your group to the arena entrance lobby to check out the various championship flags and other rewards that famous sumo wrestlers have received over the years.

I found this to be one of the best places for taking photos, so make sure to take advantage of that when you’re there! The Sumo Museum is also a fascinating display of different ceremonial aprons, folding screens, and other artifacts dating back to the very beginning of sumo wrestling!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


3. Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Tournament Ticket with Guide

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: 1 Chome-3-20 Yokoami, Sumida City, Tokyo
  • Departure Time: 2:30 PM
  • Includes: Sumo entrance ticket (chair seat B or C class), expert English-speaking guide

I think I’m not only speaking for myself when I saw that most of us outside of Japan don’t have much knowledge of sumo wrestling.

If you’re in any way curious at all, this next tour is the perfect intro into this heart-pounding world of raw power, ancient tradition, and the hype surrounding the matches.

The Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Tournament Ticket with Guide Tour will bring you to this exciting tournament in the center of the city with a guide who’s there to explain everything to you!

These huge warriors seem larger than life, possessing the strength of a freight train (or “Dump Truck”, in some cases) and the agility of a jungle cat.

It’s one of the most respectful battles you’ll witness in modern-day sports, and you’ll get to experience it all at the legendary grounds of the Ryogoku Sumo Stadium!

Meet up with your group and your expert guide at the West Gate of JR Ryogoku Station, where you’ll be lead right into the epicenter of sumo culture. The guide did a fantastic job at explaining the history and all of the little intricacies throughout the ceremony and the battles, themselves.

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While you could definitely go to the tournament on your own, having this context and explanations complete with photos completely changed it for us.

You’ll learn all about the rules of the wrestling and how the stables (where the wrestlers live) are operated, which was quite fascinating in itself!

Once inside the arena, you’ll get to take either a B or C class seat, which is well-located considering your guide will need some space in order to explain everything to you while you watch.

I’ve never seen anything like this seamless combination of tradition with brute force, combined with the incomparable energy of the crowd, as well! Overall, it was one of the coolest things we experienced in Tokyo, which is saying a lot when you consider how much the city has to offer.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


4. Sumo Tournament Experience in Tokyo

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: Contact tour operator
  • Departure Time: 2:00 PM
  • Includes: B-class reserved seats or C-class reserved seats English-speaking tour guide (local sumo expert), sumo information and pamphlet, if selected, dinner at a local chanko hot pot restaurant to experience what sumo wrestlers eat, if selected, Sukiyaki or vegetarian option is available upon request (at least one week in advance)

Do you enjoy watching sports and enjoying some delicious food? If so, you need to do yourself a favor and sign up for the Sumo Tournament Experience in Tokyo,  ASAP!

This immersive experience that delves deep into Japan’s ancient traditions is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, and much more engaging than if you were just going to go to a restaurant for dinner.

Even if you aren’t a fan of wrestling or sumo, I highly recommend taking this opportunity up if you have the chance. This uniquely Japanese tradition is one of the best activities to partake in, whether you’re with your friends, significant other, or the entire family.

Your guide is a sumo expert who will explain the traditions and background of the sport to you, which is equally as intriguing! Once you arrive at the arena, you’ll be led by your guide through the corridors and into your B-class reserved seats inside the legendary walls of Ryogoku Kokugikan.

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The groups on this tour tend to be up to around 20 people, so it creates a fun, high-energy environment and a great chance to meet other travelers. You’ll get to not only cheer on, but even meet some of the most famous wrestlers in Japan as they enter the arenas, too!

While you watch the tournament, your guide will be there to help answer any questions you may have and explain the intense matches. With stories about the sport’s luminaries of the past and present, you’ll gain valuable insight into the culture and practices that surround it.

You can even choose to add on the option to go for dinner at a local chanko hot pot to chow down of what sumo wrestlers eat, which is a blast in itself!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


5. Tokyo Sumo Guided Tour with Premium Sumo Tournament Ticket

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: 1-chōme-3-20 Yokoami, Sumida City, Tokyo
  • Departure Time: 11:30 AM
  • Includes: Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament Ticket (2nd floor), Sumo wrestler lunch/Chanko hotpot

If you’re planning on going to lunch at a restaurant, I have the perfect alternative for you. The Tokyo Sumo Guided Tour with Premium Sumo Tournament Ticket is a unique tour that will take you for a tasty lunch and show you the rich and intricate culture around sumo wrestling!

If you’re looking for a traditional Japanese activity that you can’t partake in anywhere else, this is a fantastic choice!

You’ll meet up with your guide and the rest of your party around 11:30 am, so you have time to sleep in and rest beforehand. Your expert sumo guide will take you through the heart of Ryogoku, which is known as the sacred center of this sport.

I found that this tour offers the best seats of any of them, taking you to the highly-ranked, second-level S-seats for prime views!

The guides do a great job at explaining the “game” as well as some interesting facts about the different wrestlers and what they have to go through. After the match, you’ll get to try chanko hotpot, also known as “sumo stew” made from veggies and tons of rich protein!

Commonly eaten in a massive quantity by the wrestlers as part of their weight-gain diet, and if you’re a fan of the Vietnamese pho, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


FAQs About Sumo Wrestling

What is sumo wrestling?

You may already know Sumo wrestling is where the two wrestlers try to push each other out of a circular ring or make the other touch the ground with any part of the body other than the soles of the feet.

How do sumo wrestlers get so big?

Only by following a strict diet and a lot of arduous training can they get to the size and weight required to be a top Sumo wrestler. They eat up to 7,000 calories a day, mostly from a stew called chanko-nabe, which contains meat, fish, vegetables, and noodles.

They also skip breakfast and take long naps after lunch to slow down their metabolism. They train for several hours a day, doing exercises such as shiko (leg stomps), teppo (palm strikes), and butsukari (body slams).

What are the sumo wrestling rules?

Most Sumo wrestling matches are short, only a few seconds or minutes. They wear only a mawashi (a thick belt of cloth) around their waist and groin. They start the match by crouching on opposite sides of the ring and then charge at each other.

The match is won when one wrestler pushes his opponent out of the ring or touches the ground with any part of his body other than his feet. There are illegal moves, like pulling hair, punching, kicking or choking.

Where can I watch sumo wrestling matches?

The Sumo wrestling tournaments are held in January, March, May, July, September and November. The tournaments last for 15 days and each wrestler has one match a day. The tournaments are held in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka. You can buy tickets online or at the match but they sell out quickly.

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The Grand Sumo Tournament Tour is our Editors Choice for the best Tokyo Sumo tournament experience.

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