Sumo Wrestling in Tokyo

By Viator, February 2016

5 131 Reviews | Add your review

As Japan's national sport, sumo wrestling is a major part of the country's culture. The vast majority of Japan's sumo wrestlers live in Tokyo's Ryogoku district, which has served the sport's hub for the past two centuries. With its heavyweight athletes, traditional mawashi stiff belt uniforms and long history, the sport remains a fascinating experience for spectators. 

Sumo dates back to ancient times and still involves hints of the religious Shinto rituals it originally involved. Before a tournament begins, the ring is sprinkled with salt and the wrestlers stomp their feet in order to purify the ring and rid it of any evil. Once that's done, the two male competitors face off in an attempt to knock the other over. The first wrestler to leave the ring or touch the ground with any body part other than their feet loses.

Seeing a sumo match is a quintessential Japanese experience, because while other countries have adopted the sport, Japan is the only one whose athletes compete professionally. Six 15-day tournaments are held throughout the year (January, May and September only), and visitors can head to the Kokugikan (Sumo Amphitheater) to see a Dohyo-iri (entering the ring) ceremony and catch the action of a live match. The Sumo Museum is also a prime spot to see sumo-related artifacts, some dating as far back as 1600.

You can also experience sumo culture by visiting the training stables in Tokyo. Very few tourists have the chance to visit a sumo stable and experience the day-to-day life of a wrestler, as the primary (and often only) way to get inside is by tour. Small-group tours take visitors around a training site to see where athletes live year-round, taste the traditional and hearty food of sumo wrestlers and maybe even catch one of them preparing for battle.

Tours & Tickets

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Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Tournament

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 252 Reviews

Don't miss the opportunity to see a traditional sumo tournament when you're in Tokyo. Ride the subway with fellow sumo fans to the ‘kokugikan’ ...  Read more

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $88.44

Watch Sumo Morning Practice at a Sumo Stable in Tokyo

4.5 star rating: Recommended 13 Reviews

This activity is perfect for those interested in watching a serious practice of Japan's national sport known as sumo wrestling. Your knowledgeable guide will ...  Read more

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $83.42

Challenge Sumo Wrestlers and Enjoy a Chanko Lunch

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Don't miss your chance to interact with real sumo wrestlers! Learn about the behind-the-scene stories and daily life of a real sumo wrestler while enjoying ...  Read more

Location: Taito, Japan
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $110.33

Asakusa and Ryogoku Walking Tour with Sumo Wrestler

This is a special tour where ex-sumo wrestler will guide you two historical towns - Ryogoku (sumo town) and Asakusa (popular historical town). Experience this ...  Read more

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $149.16

Sumo Stable Training Tour with Sumo-Style Lunch

Get a glimpse into the world of sumo on a 3-hour tour of the sumo training stables. A local and knowledgeable guide takes you around the site while the ...  Read more

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 4-5 hours

From USD $99.29

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