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How To Buy Tickets For A Sumo Match In Tokyo: A Guide

how to buy tickets for a sumo match in tokyo

Sumo wrestling in Japan is a must-watch when you visit! Here’s how to buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo! Read on to find out. 

Sumo wrestling in Japan initially came about as a sport to entertain the Shinto deities and has been a part of the Japanese culture for more than 1000 years. But eventually, it became a crowd-pleaser by the 18th century. 

Sumo wrestling in Japan, today, has become an extremely famous sport and people all over the world come to watch famous sumo wrestlers like Kakuryu and Hakuho. 

Sumo wrestling in Japan is a full-body contact sport where the wrestler (aka rikishi) attempts to defeat the opponent by pushing, throwing, or shoving him out of the ring (aka dohyo). The rikishi can also win by forcing the opponent to touch the ground with any of his body parts (except his feet of course). 

Sumo tournament 2020 tokyo

There are 6 annual 15-day grand sumo tournaments that take place in Japan. Sumo wrestling grand tournaments in Tokyo take place in the months of January, May, and September. In Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka in the months of March, July, and November, respectively. 

If watching a sumo wrestling match is part of your Tokyo itinerary, make sure you plan your trip ahead of time. And book your tickets depending on which city you plan on going. 

Read on to find out how to buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo

Buying Sumo Tickets In Tokyo 

If you’re trying to find out how to buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo then you’ve reached the place!

It’s best to plan ahead if you want to buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo because these tickets get sold out pretty quickly and can be hard to get in the last minute. 

There is a possibility that you might get the same-day tickets for the sumo match at the stadium but you’ll have to be there way in advance to actually get it. 

But not to worry, below I’ve broken down the different ways you can buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo. So let’s get to it, shall we? 

Where To Buy Tickets For A Sumo Match In Tokyo?

Mainly, there are three ways you can buy Sumo wrestling tickets. The easiest way to buy Sumo tickets to buy them online at Oosumo. You can also buy sumo tickets at ticket Pia stores in Japan or even at the stadium on the day of the Sumo match.

  1. At a ticket Pia store
  2. Same-day tickets at the stadium
  3. Oosumo – Buy sumo tickets online

You can buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo through one of the following ways: 

#1 — How To Buy Sumo Ticket At A Pia Store In Tokyo

Here’s how to buy tickets for a Sumo match in Tokyo at Pia Stores!

Since sumo wrestling is so popular and crowds flock to Japan just to watch sumo tournaments, tickets for sumo wrestling matches go on sale at least a month in advance.

You can check the official online ticketing site Nihon Sumo organization to find out when the ticket sales for the sumo tournament will go live. 

When you go to the Pia store to buy sumo wrestling tickets, mentally prepare yourself to stand in long queues. My advice is that you queue up way before the store opens.

In fact, sumo wrestling fans queue up outside the night before. And when the store opens the next morning (i.e., around 9:30 am) the staff gives everybody in the queue a form to fill. And then to collect your tickets, everybody in line has to approach the PIA office staff one by one in order. 

If you plan on queueing up outside the Pia store, it’s recommended you do so in pairs. So that there’s one of you always standing in line in case you need to move out of the line to get food, water, use the loo, etc. 

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#2 — How To Buy General Admission Sumo Tickets At The Stadium (Ryōgoku Kokugikan Box Office)

Here’s how to buy tickets for a Sumo Match in Tokyo at the stadium on the same day!

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If you want to buy the same-day tickets to the wrestling match in Tokyo, you have to buy sumo tickets from the stadium’s box office. 

They sell about 400 same-day tickets at the Kokugikan box office hours before the sumo tournament starts.

The only drawback is that you’ll be assigned the normal arena seats that are far away from the ring. But of course, it’s still worth something! 

So now coming to how to buy same-day tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo at the Kokugikan stadium’s box office 

Step 1: Get to the Kokugikan Box Office (Preferably early in the morning) 

First let me explain directions to how to get to the Kokugikan box office. 

  • Get to the Edo-Tokyo museum 
  • If the entrance to the Edo-Tokyo museum is to your right then turn left
  • From there take a right in the corner
  • Keep walking ahead and you should find the Kokugikan box office to your right 

Once you get there, I’m pretty sure there will be a queue already. So join the queue. 

The box office opens at 7:45 am to sell same-day sumo wrestling tickets. So if you want to buy same-day tickets for the sumo match, it’s best you arrive at the box office as early as possible. I would say, ideally, before 6:30 am. 

Step 2: Get in line, collect a numbered ticket from the stadium staff

The stadium staff will hand you a ticket as you join the queue. Hang on to this ticket as you’ll have to present it at the box office counter when your turn arrives. The numbered ticket will give you an idea of how many people are already in the queue. 

Each person in the line is given a numbered ticket. So anybody with you who wants to watch the sumo wrestling match has to also stand in line to purchase the tickets for the sumo matches. 

Step 3: Purchase your sumo tickets – they accept only cash

When your turn arrives, present your numbered card at the counter. The cost of the same-day sumo wrestling match ticket is JPY2,200 per ticket and for children (4-15 years), it’s JPY200. 

Pay the amount in cash and collect your same-day ticket. (Note: They don’t accept credit cards).

And there you have it! Your ticket to a sumo wrestling match in Tokyo. 

Now coming to the third method of how to buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo – from the official online ticketing site for sumo matches – Oosumo.

#3 — How To Buy Tickets For A Sumo Match Online

Here’s how to buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo online!

I have to admit, buying sumo match tickets online is the easiest way to buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo. You can buy these in advance from the comfort of your home (or your hotel room in Tokyo). 

Go to the official Oosumo website and follow the steps there to buy the tickets. It’s pretty straight forward from there. You get all the information you need on the website itself like available seats, ticket prices, sumo tournament schedules, etc. 

You have to use your credit card to make the payment. 

You pay for the sumo wrestling ticket online through the official website but you only collect it on the day of the tournament at the Kokugikan stadium itself. 

Here’s How To Pick Up Your Online Tickets From The Stadium:

Step 1: Get to the Kokugikan box office 

(scroll back up for the directions) 

Step 2: Look for the white machines next to the ticketing office. 

They’re very easy to use and very basic looking machines. 

Step 3: Touch the screen to begin the process. 

There are two ways you can collect your card. The machine will give you two options – 1. Ticket issue by credit card; 2. Ticket issue by ticket number

For the ticket issue by credit card, you need to swipe the same card you used to purchase the ticket online. You can also enter your card number instead. 

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For ticket issue by ticket number, simply enter your ticket number when prompted by the machine (which you should have received in your mail).

Step 4: Press Ticket Issue

The machine will confirm your ticket by showing you the event information. After that at the right corner of the screen, you’ll see the button ‘ticket issue’. Press that and you’ll have your ticket in a few seconds!

By purchasing tickets online you can reserve your seat at the stadium. You’re also allowed to exit the stadium and re-enter at a later time. But this is allowed only once.

Ryogoku Kokugikan Seating Chart – Get The Best Seats For Sumo Match!

In this section, I’ll explain the Kokugikan seating chart so you can buy the best seats for the sumo match in Tokyo!

Here’s how to buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo with the best seats!

How Much Does It Cost To Go To A Sumo Wrestling Match In Japan?

Seat Type Seat Price (JPY)
Ringside Seats14,800
Box SeatsBox Seat A11,700
Box Seat B10,600
Box Seat C9,500
Arena SeatsArena Seat A 8,500
Arena Seat B 5,100
Arena Seat C3,800
General Admission (same-day ticket)For adults 2,200

For Children (4-15 years)200

So there are different three types of seats you can buy: 

  1. Ringside seats at the Kokugikan stadium
  2. Box seats at the Kokugikan stadium
  3. Arena seats or chair seats at the Kokugikan stadium 

#1 — Price Of The Ring Side Seat Tickets For A Sumo Match In Tokyo


The price of the ringside tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo including tax is JPY14,800. You can buy these tickets online through the official sumo federation website – Oosumo. 

The ringside seats are very close to the ring, so much so that there’s a possibility that the wrestler may fall on the audience during a bout. Which is why children and physically disabled aren’t allowed to sit on the ringside seats.

And should you sustain any injury because of this, immediate first aid will be provided by the stadium staff itself. So not to worry! But by taking the ringside seats, you’ll be closest to the action and that’s what it’s all about!

#2 — Price Of The Box Seat Tickets For A Sumo Match In Tokyo

The price of the box seat tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo is as follows:

  • Box seat A ticket price: JPY 11,700 per guest 
  • Box seat B ticket prices: JPY 10,600 per guest
  • Box seat C ticket prices: JPY 9,500 per guest

The Box Seats: Box seats are just behind the ringside seats, still pretty close to the action. You have to remove your shoes when you sit on the box seats. Square-shaped cushions are provided within the box for each individual to sit.

There are three types of box seats – box seats A, B, and C. Box seats B are just behind box seats A, and box seats C are just behind box seats B.  

Box seat A: offers seating for 1-4 individuals. You can buy box seat A tickets through a PIA store or through the Oosumo website

Box seat B: offers seating for 1-6 individuals. You can buy box seat B tickets at the PIA store or through the Oosumo website.

Box seat C: offers seating for 1-4 or 1-6 individuals. You can buy box seats C tickets for 1-4 individuals at the PIA store or the official website Oosumo. For 1-6 box seats C tickets, you can buy it online through the official website. You can also buy box seats for two at the official Oosumo website. 

#3 — Price Of The Chair Tickets For A Sumo Match In Tokyo


The price of arena seat tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo are as follows: 

  • Chair seats or Arena seats A ticket price: JPY8,500
  • Chair seats or Arena seats B ticket price: JPY5,100
  • Chair seats or Arena seats B ticket price: JPY3,800

The arena seats or the chair seats are farther away from the action. At the Kokugikan stadium, you’ll find the arena seats or the chair seats on the second floor. The arena seats are further divided into A, B, and C in the seating chart. 

Arena Seats A, B, C: You can purchase the ticket to arena seats or the chair seats A, B, and C at the PIA store, through the official website, or even when buying the same-day ticket at the stadium 

Sumo Wrestling Events 2020/2021 In Tokyo

Here’s the breakdown of Grand Sumo Tournament Matches in Tokyo for 2020 and information on when the tickets will go on sale

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**All grand sumo tournaments are held at Ryōgoku Kokugikan stadium in Tokyo. **

The Event The Advanced Tickets Go On Sale OnThe Dates Of The Tournament 
The January 2021 Tournament December 5, 2020Jan 10 – 24, 2021
The May TournamentApril 10, 2021Mar 9 – 23, 2021
The September Tournament August 1, 2020Sept 13 – 27, 2020

How Can I See A Sumo Match In Tokyo?

You have to watch a sumo match live at the stadium. Grand sumo tournament matches are held at Ryōgoku Kokugikan stadium in Tokyo. You can buy the tickets at a Pia store, online through the official sumo federation website, Oosumo, or at the stadium box office on the day of the tournament. It’s a 15-day tournament, and tickets are sold separately for each day.

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What To Know About Sumo Wrestling Before Watching A Sumo Wrestling Match In Tokyo

The Basic Rules of Sumo Wrestling

Two sumo wrestlers (aka rikishi) fight each other. The goal is to defeat the opponent by either pushing, shoving, or throwing him outside the ring. Or by forcing the opponent to touch the ground (by pushing, shoving, or throwing) with any body part, except his feet. 

What Are The Different Sumo Wrestlers Ranks?

  1. Makuuchi: Sumo wrestlers or rikishi of the highest rank fall under Makuuchi. The highest rank within makuuchi is that of a Yokozuna.
  2. Juryo: The second-highest rank for a rikishi is that of a Juryo. They compete 15 times in a tournament.
  3. Makushita: This is the third-highest rank and also when the wrestlers start getting paid. Makushita also can only compete 7 times in a tournament. And will be promoted to Juryo, if they win all 7 matches.
  4. Sandanme, Jonidan, and Jonokuchi: These are the lower ranks, with Jonokuchi being the lowest rank, i.e., when a sumo wrestler starts his career. 

Tips for watching the Sumo Tournament: 

  • Best matches take place after 2 pm till 6 pm.
  • You can descend to masu or tamari seats before the actual ticket holder comes to watch the match. 
  • You’ll find English bouts in the stadium itself
  • You can enter the sumo wrestling stadium from 8:30 onwards
  • You have to take out your shoes and keep them in the shoe storage in tamari or masu seats.

How To Buy Tickets For A Sumo Match In Tokyo : FAQ

What Time Do Sumo Matches Start?

The sumo matches start at around 8:30 am. First, the low-rank wrestlers have their matches. And only around at 4:00 pm do the higher ranking wrestlers hit the ring! So decide what time you want to arrive at the stadium accordingly. The matches can go on up till about 6:30 pm. 

Which Sumo Wrestlers Match To Watch?

You must definitely watch the high-ranking rikishi (wrestlers) bouts. They’re the ones with most action! The higher-ranking wrestler’s matches only start around 4:00 p.m. So ensure that you’re in your seats at the Kokugikan stadium by at least 3:30 p.m. 

What if I’m broke/not in Japan when there’s a sumo tournament happening?

You can watch a sumo match even if you miss the tournament or aren’t able to get the tickets to a sumo match. You can watch the sumo wrestling practice session that takes place in the morning or even book a sumo stable tour so you can enter the stadium and watch the sumo wrestlers in action as you take the tour.

How much does it cost to watch a sumo match in Tokyo?

It costs about JPY14,800 for a ringside ticket for a sumo match which you can either buy online or from offline stores like Pia Store. Ringside seats are located right near the ring and sometimes the wrestlers may fall there when the wrestle is intense.

What time do sumo matches start?

The first match begins at 8:30 am in the morning. This time usually the lower ranked wrestlers wrestle. If you want to watch higher rank wrestling then you can come between 2 pm to 4 pm in the afternoon, that’s when most people come.

Does Japan still have sumo wrestling?

Yes, sumo wrestling is one of the most celebrated s[orts of Japan that has become extremely popular in recent times. There are 6 sumo wrestling tournaments happening in Japan every year out of which 3 happen in Tokyo.

When can you see sumo in Tokyo?

You can see sumo in Tokyo at the Tokyo Sumo Tournaments. Try visiting from day 3 to day 6 or day 10 to day 12. Opening and closing days are the busiest as they usually fall on weekends.

Can foreigners watch sumo wrestling in Tokyo?

Yes, foreigners can watch sumo wrestling matches, however, it’s quite impossible for them to get the ringside ticket seat. 

Where do sumo wrestlers have their matches?

3 out of 6 Sumo wrestling matches take place in Tokyo at the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena. The other 3 are held in Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya. 

Well, now you know everything you need to know about how to buy tickets for a sumo match in Tokyo 2020. So get on with it and buy your tickets in advance so you get good seats! And let me know how your experience was!

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