How to Buy Sumo Wrestling Online Tickets in 2017

When we were planning our recent trip to Japan we decided early that we were keen to see the sumo wrestling in Tokyo during our visit as a different way to experience the Japanese culture – and it certainly was a great experience which I would definitely recommend to other visitors to Japan!  When researching options to buy tickets I came across a large number of ticket purchase options, mostly at premium prices.  After extensive research I managed to work out how to book the same tickets online directly from the vendors at a much reduced price.

Read on to find out how to buy your sumo wrestling tickets for 2017 in advance online and not miss out or be at the mercy of ‘premium’ ticket sellers or scalpers.

Sumo Wrestling Schedule in Ryogoku Kokugikan Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka in Japan

Sumo Wrestling tournaments are held approximately every two months and can shift between different venues across Japan.  I researched both the sumo wrestling and baseball schedules before finalising our Japan visit itinerary, to ensure that we had the best opportunity to attend both events during our Tokyo visit.

The dedicated sumo wrestling arena in Tokyo is Ryogoku Kokugikan, which is located in the north east section of Tokyo.  Other major sumo wrestling venues are located in Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka.  We were fortunate that a Grand Sumo tournament was scheduled to occur in Tokyo during our visit.

The official website to use to both see the upcoming matches and to purchase your tickets for 2017 is Ticket Oosumo.  If you want to learn more about the overall sumo competition and information about the competition then the website to visit is the official Sumo website.  Both websites have English language options and are easy to use and navigate.  The Ticket Oosumo website also clearly articulates when the tickets are scheduled to go on sale for each tournament, so ensure that you note the date so you are ready to purchase your tickets shortly after they are released.

2017 and Early 2018 Sumo Wrestling Schedule for Ryogoku Kokugikan Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka in Japan

For 2017 and early 2018 the sumo wrestling schedule for Japan, including Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka is as follows:

Grand Sumo Tournaments in JapanScheduleVenueAdvanced Ticket Sales Starting Date
2017 March Tournament12 – 26 March 2017Osaka5 February 2017
2017 May Tournament14 – 28 May 2017Tokyo8 April 2017
2017 July Tournament9 – 23 July 2017Nagoya25 May 2017
2017 September Tournament10 – 24 September 2017Tokyo5 August 2017
2017 November Tournament12 – 26 Nov 2017Fukuoka7 October 2017
2018 January Tournament14 – 28 January 2018Tokyo2 December 2017

About the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Wrestling Experience in Tokyo

The typical sumo wrestling tournament goes for 15 days.  Each day of the tournament usually commences at 8am and concludes at around 6pm.  While you can attend for the full day, the majority of spectators gradually arrive during the day.  The reason why is that the tournament commences with the junior ranks and then progresses to the more senior wrestlers, and finishes with the professional level wrestler competition.

Each wrestler only participates in a single match on each day of the tournament and progress using a ‘round robin’ approach to wrestle with the other competitors within their division, so by the end of 15 days they have wrestled with every other competitor.  This approach also means that often they already know who will be the winner of each division several days prior to the end of the tournament.  As a result a great time to plan to attend is 3-4 days prior to the end of the tournament.  If you would like to learn more about the tradition of Sumo there is a great compact guide which you can download.

We decided that with three young children that we did not want to attend for the full day.  As a result we arrived by train at Ryogoku Kokugikan at around 2pm, and entered to see few other spectators.  We had only arrived in Japan very early on the previous day and were quite tired so it was lovely to sit and just relax and watch the competition.  Of note is the fact that the tournament seating was sold out when we entered, so it is definitely worthwhile to pre-purchase your tickets to avoid disappointment – or having to purchase via ‘premium’ ticket sellers…

About to Enter the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Wrestling Arena in Tokyo

About to Enter the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Wrestling Arena in Tokyo

The sumo areas are set up with the immediate area around the ring being Japanese style box seats, with a mostly flat of shallow graduation of the floor height.  Behind this area are more conventional seating options with a steeper rise so that every seat can see the action.  We had purchased western style ‘Chair Seat’ tickets which were quite comfortable and at an affordable price.  We were close enough to see the action easily, and with few people around we were also able to explore the arena.

Inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Wrestling Arena in Tokyo When We First Arrived - Mostly Empty!

Inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Wrestling Arena in Tokyo When We First Arrived – Mostly Empty!

While the ‘Japanese Box Seat’ style seating was closer to the arena (and a lot more expensive) I don’t think I would have been able to sit on the floor on a thin cushion for over four hours.  If you think you can cope then go right ahead – but be wary of purchasing the inner ring tickets – we saw several bouts where the wrestlers landed on the spectators!

The professional division (Makuuchi) starts at around 4.15pm, and we saw a definite surge of spectators in the period leading up to this time.  The arena environment went from mostly empty to mostly full which really changed the dynamics of the crowd to be quite exciting!

Inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Wrestling Arena in Tokyo During the professional Level Bouts - Mostly Full!

Inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Wrestling Arena in Tokyo During the professional level bouts – Mostly Full!

Overall we had a great experience which I would definitely recommend to other visitors to Japan.

Sumo Throwdown!

Sumo Throwdown!

Sumo Second Throwdown!

Sumo Second Throwdown!

Options to Buy Sumo Wrestling Tickets for Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka in Japan in 2017

While there are many premium (and vastly expensive!) options to purchase sumo wrestling tickets for 2017, with some additional research I worked out that it was also easy to pre-purchase your own tickets online and print your own tickets.

There are three main affordable options to purchase your online sumo wrestling tickets:

  • The official website is Ticket Oosumo – it is mostly easy to use but takes a little bit of working out, and if you miss the ticket release date you may quickly miss out being able to purchase tickets.
  • If you are interested in purchasing a sumo ticket package for either Tokyo or Nagoya which includes ‘B Class’ reserved chair seat tickets, escorted transport on the train with a local guide and an optional dinner at a chanko or sukiyaki restaurant after the match then some well priced packages for both adults and children are available through Viator. Click on this Viator link and in the search box type ‘sumo’ and a range of sumo packages will show up in the search results.  There are also a heap of other sumo experience options including watching a morning practice at a sumo stable.
  • A great alternative option, particularly if the tickets are sold out for the day you wish to attend, is to purchase reseller tickets using the viaGoGo website – the prices are reasonable, they have a good reputation, and it is an affordable option to purchase the tickets you want even close to the match date.

How to Buy Sumo Wrestling Tickets using the Ticket Oosumo Website

When we first looked at the Ticket Oosumo website the tickets for our preferred event were not yet on sale.  The main page shows all of the upcoming tournaments for 2017 and early 2018, with clear information on the tournament dates and the dates that the tickets will go on sale, which is approximately two months prior to each tournament.  If tickets are open to be purchased for a tournament then extra buttons appear which enable you to click through to purchase your tickets.

Ticket Oosumo - Home Screenshot

Ticket Oosumo – Home Screenshot

I suggest that you first click the ‘View Available Seats’ button to see what is still available.  In the below image you can see that the majority of the arena has already sold out for the full tournament (if you are too late Plan B will be described shortly).

Ticket Oosumo - Seat Availability Screenshot

Ticket Oosumo – Seat Availability Screenshot

To see a description of each kind of seat and associated pricing go back to the home page and then click on ‘Detailed Ticket Information’.  The next page shows a summary of the extra costs to purchase a ticket, and at the bottom is a detailed description of each type of seat and the associated price.  Check this out before you proceed with your booking, and check whether your preferred seat type is available.

Ticket Oosumo - Webpage Detailed Ticket Information Screenshot

How to Select Your Sumo Wrestling Seats Using the Ticket Oosumo Website

Once you have completed your research on the Ticket Oosumo website you are ready to make your booking!  At the midpoint of the ‘Detailed Ticket Information’ page are the buttons to select which kind of seat you wish to purchase.  There are a series of drop down boxes to select the date you wish to attend, the type of seat you want to purchase and the number of tickets you wish to purchase.  The page also details the booking fee you need to pay.  Once you have selected all of these items then press the ‘’Next’ button.

Ticket Oosumo - Ticket Purchase Screenshot

Ticket Oosumo – Ticket Purchase Screenshot

The following screen enables you to enter your name and personal details, and in particular you need to ensure that your email address is correct, as that is how you will receive your booking confirmation.  I used the email address that I intended to use during our trip so that I could receive updates as required.  Once this is complete then again select the ‘Next’ button.

Ticket Oosumo - Personal Information Screenshot

Ticket Oosumo – Personal Information Screenshot

You then proceed to the Ticket Oosumo payment and delivery screen, where you enter your credit or debit card information, and your delivery method will be listed as ‘Will-Call’ – this means that you will pick up your tickets at the venue.  Ensure that you use the same credit or debit card to book the tickets as you plan to use while in Japan, as you need to use your card to pick up your tickets!

Once you have entered this information, select the ‘next’ button which will take you to your final confirmation page to proceed with your ticket order.  When you have confirmed your order you will receive a confirmation email.  Note that you do not select your specific seats – you only purchase a type of ticket, and they will issue you the specific seats when you pick up your tickets at the venue.

From my experience the process worked smoothly, and we promptly received our confirmation email.

How to Collect Your Ticket Oosumo Sumo Wrestling Tickets

At this stage there is nothing left to do until the day of your visit.  When you arrive at the arena there are automatic machines which you will use to obtain your Ticket Oosumo tickets.  You need to ensure that you have a copy of your confirmation email, you need the debit or credit card you used to make your booking, and your passport or photo identification.

We found that the process to obtain our tickets was very easy and we were quickly able to enter the arena.  You can obtain an arena guide at the entrance which has a English language map of the arena to help you find your seats.  If you want to look at the arena guide in advance here is the link.

As you will see there are many food and drink options also shown on the map as well as the timetable of events.  You should also receive a sheet which details the current status of the tournament competitors, and shows who has won and lost their matches so far.

How to Purchase Sumo Wrestling Tickets for Japan Using the Viator Website

The Viator website is a reputable global experience website, which includes reviews of each offered tour.  Viator offers a good range of sumo wrestling experiences – to find the latest list of options use this Viator link and in the search box type ‘sumo’.  Viator makes it very easy to select your preferred activities and then make payment.  Each tour also has clearly stated cancellation options in the event you need to change your travel plans.

Sumo wrestling tour options include:

  • Sumo wrestling ticket packages for either Tokyo or Nagoya which includes ‘B Class’ reserved seats tickets, escorted transport on the train with a local guide and an optional dinner at a chanko or sukiyaki restaurant after the match then some well priced packages for both adults and children are available through Viator.
  • Watch morning sumo practice at a sumo stable in Tokyo, which includes a 2-hour guided tour to a sumo wrestling stable in Tokyo where you will be able to watch the sumo wrestlers practicing their technique.
  • Many other tour options, including add on lunch and dinner options.
Viator Sumo Wrestling Options

Viator Sumo Wrestling Options

How to Purchase Sumo Wrestling Tickets for Japan Using the viaGoGo Booking Website

ViaGoGo is a great reliable and affordable option to purchase your sumo wrestling tickets in Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka in Japan after they have been released for sale.  When you click on the link you will see the main viaGoGo site – in the ‘Search for an event, venue or city’ type in ‘sumo’ and a list of upcoming sumo wrestling matches sorted by date with minimum pricing information will appear.

Click on the date you are interested in and it takes you to the booking page for that match, which also includes a seating match for the venue.  A pop up asks for information about how many tickets you are interested in purchasing.  Click on the appropriate number to see the available ticket options.  There is a healthy reseller market for the sumo wrestling tickets so you should have a reasonable of ticket options available – the resellers compete against each other on price which is why you should not have to pay exorbitant scalper prices for the tickets.

After considering the options available click on the ‘View’ button to commence the checkout process.  You can purchase either as a guest or set up an account if you wish.  You then go through a standard shopping cart process to pay for your tickets.

ViaGoGo guarantees provision of the tickets in the week leading up to the event, and in the event that there is a problem guarantees to provide comparable tickets or a refund.  Once you receive your tickets, you print them off and then you are ready to see the sumo wrestling match!

ViaGoGo Sumo Wrestling Screenshot

ViaGoGo Sumo Wrestling Screenshot

How to Purchase Sumo Wrestling Tickets - Pinterest

Wrap Up

The online option resulted in us purchasing tickets for the sumo wrestling which cost one third of what I had budgeted when I initially researched the premium online options.

We really enjoyed seeing the sumo wrestling in a full stadium when we visited.  We also visited a Japanese Baseball match which was a very different and very exciting event to attend so if you are interested please click through on this link to see how to purchase your Japanese baseball tickets.

 

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Have you purchased tickets to see a sumo wrestling match in Japan?  Please leave a comment below to share your experience.

28 Comments

  • Anne says:

    How fascinating that it lasts so long. Then again, everything in Japan is fascinating,

  • LeAnna says:

    I feel like Sumo Wrestling is one of those stereotypes that you then find out is actually real!! How fun would it be to experience this first hand!?

  • Bob says:

    I’m like you. I think I would opt for the chairs instead of sitting on a mat next to the ring. I am not as quick as I used to be and would hate to have to fight for seating space with a sumo wrestler being thrown.
    Bob recently posted…I Respect Your Position But You Are CrazyMy Profile

    • Bob, I totally agree with you. For people who are not used to sitting on the floor the flat cushions close to the rink would be a real issue, plus the risk of being hit by an airborne (big) sumo wrestler (plus they are a LOT more expensive), meant that we opted for the western style seating!

  • Liz and I were just talking about this the other day. This has been very high on our BucketList for years. Great info!

    Thanks,
    Josh

  • mark wyld says:

    Sumo would be amazing to see. One of the only sports in the world were the overweight guys are idolized instead of looked down on. I like what a great sport and something i would love to see if i was in japan

  • Kenny says:

    It’s important to preserve the national sport and culture and I am glad there’s a great turnout of the event. For me, I am more interested in watching baseball match 😛 @ knycx.journeying

    • Kenny, yes it is great to see the local culture. We also went to a local baseball match and had a great time – the vibe is totally different, but they were both great experiences in different ways.

  • Cristina says:

    Japan is my dream. The more I read about it, the more eager I am to travel there. Thanks for sharing the post, it’s super useful.

    Happy travels,
    Cristina

  • Salini says:

    It was fun reading about the sumo wrestling. One thing I loved so much was referee’s dress 🙂 I loved the way you have arranged your article.

  • Elena says:

    Hi, Anne. I liked how you outlined all details and patiently described every step. It’s good to know how to deal with this kind of issues in a different country. It’s great to know that tickets could be booked through ViaGoGo. I had many problems with buying tickets, passes, etc. online in foreign countries. In most cases, I could not even complete transaction. Colombia’s websites were accepting only Colombian credit cards, in Georgia, there was no English option, and in Portugal, it was impossible to complete the transaction unless your billing address matched the shipping one. Too bad that services like ViaGoGo are not widely available throughout the world yet.
    Elena recently posted…Livraria Lello, A Beautiful Casualty Of Mass TourismMy Profile

  • I never thought about watching sumo wrestling until reading this. It is an interesting sport (?). Its quite funny to think that this practice still exist! Quite an experience for you!

  • Mar Pages says:

    This is a great guide! Will be referring to this when I head back to Japan, and sharing with my friends. This will definitely help us pay less and not unintentionally go for the ‘premium’ prices!

  • I’m quite ashamed of going to Japan and not seeing any wrestling. I think I’m definitely going to have to go back!

  • Sophie says:

    Wow this sounds like an amazing experience – I had no idea you could actually go and see Sumo Wrestling take place. I would love to see this. I have some friends going to Japan soon so will have to show them your tips on this page!

  • Aya says:

    Hello. Thank you for the very helpful summary. My husband and i are planning to go to Fukuoka for the November tournament.
    I have one question. The Ticket Oosumo website says ”This service is only in Japanese”. However, the screen shots you have above show an English page. How were you able to use the Ticket Oosumo site in English?

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