/ Tokyo / Places to Visit / Ryōgoku Kokugikan
The largest sumo arena in Japan with a capacity for 10,000 spectators, this is where grand tournaments or basho are held in January, May and September, starting on the second Sunday of the month.
The largest sumo arena in Japan with a capacity for 10,000 spectators, this is where grand tournaments or basho are held in January, May and September, starting on the second Sunday of the month. These tournaments last for 15 days, and are filled with ceremony and ritual which observe strict hierarchies not just for the wrestlers, but also for the referees and callers. The competition each day begins around 9AM with the amateurs, and from there, wrestlers compete in progressing order of seniority. The professional wrestlers start around 2:35PM, but the excitement begins when the top division makuuchi enter the ring in the dohyo-iri ceremony at 3:50PM. The tournament culminates when the high-rank yokuzuna and ozeki have their bouts, around 6PM. If you have seats far from the ring, but arrive early, it is possible to borrow some seats close to the ring until mid-afternoon, when most spectators begin to arrive. English pamphlets describing the day's program and sumo in general are available, and radios with live English commentary can be rented. Food is available inside, at somewhat inflated prices. There are now signs prohibiting you from bringing in outside food and drink, but enforcement is spotty.
Japan, 〒130-0015 Tōkyō-to, Sumida-ku, Yokoami, 1 Chome−3−３−２８
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