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Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo

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.


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About Ryōgoku Kokugikan

 Japan, 〒130-0015 Tōkyō-to, Sumida-ku, Yokoami, 1 Chome−3−3−28

 +81 3-3623-5111

 www.sumo.or.jp

Ryōgoku Kokugikan and Nearby Sights on Map

Sumo Museum

Attached to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena, the Sumo Museum is a small, quirky gallery dedicated to the history of Japan's national sport

Edo-Tokyo Museum

One of the best museums in Tokyo, the Edo-Tokyo Museum is housed in a bizarre multi-storey building which is meant to evoke an old raised kurazukuri-style warehouse

Tabi Museum

Ryogoku Fireworks Museum

Kiyosumi Garden

Not the most famous of Tokyo's gardens, but the Kiyosumi is quite lovely and uncrowded

Sensoji

Sensoji, also known as Asakusa Kannon, is Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple that dates back to the 7th century AD

Asakusa Jinja

The Asakusa Jinja, also known as Sanja-sama (Shrine of the 3 Gods), is a 17th century Shinto shrine that honors the 3 Japanese men - Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari, and Haji no Nakatomo who established the Senso-ji temple after finding the bodhisattva Kannon statue in the Sumida river

Capsule Tower

A famous building of Kisho Kurokawa, that reflects the views Japanese had of the future in the70's

Fukagawa Edo Museum

Fresh from a recent renovation, this intimate museum features a wonderfully recreated Tempo-period (1830-1843) neighbourhood - complete with homes, shops, narrow alleyways, and even the local rubbish dump

Akihabara

The area houses thousands of shops selling every technological gadget you can imagine, from computers to gaming consoles and vacuums to DVDs, at reasonable prices