Guide: How to Buy Sumo Wrestling Tickets in Japan
Sumo is a traditional sport that combines ritual and sport. It is the national sport of Japan, and is very popular among foreigners, as well as local Japanese. For other destinations picked by Japanese locals click here. There are four big tournaments every year, so make sure you are in Japan for them! Going to a sumo wrestling tournament should be on your bucket list if you have the opportunity to visit Japan. Especially if you are a tourist or a foreign exchange student looking to experience Japanese traditional culture. If you are an exchange student, you might want to check out this article for tips for choosing mobile plans. So, how do you buy a sumo wrestling ticket in Japan?
Many foreigners come to Japan to watch sumo wrestling, but it may be hard to find a way to buy these tickets. But there are several easy ways in which you can easily buy these tickets.
Where to buy Sumo Wrestling tickets in Japan
1. Using the ticket machines at any convenience store in Japan
There is always a green or white ticket machine in convenience stores. Most of the time it will be next to the ATM, where you can also charge your Suica or Pasmo, and in the area of the photocopy machine. This machine will usually be set in Japanese, so you will need to change it to the language of your preference.
a. In the first screen you should click the “buying ticket” option. Which will bring you to a page with different categories. To buy sumo tickets you will need to click the “sports” category.
b. Then you will need to find sumo in the list of sports. You should finally see the list of sumo wrestling tickets that are available, and find the one you are looking for.
c. You will then need to bring the paper that the machine will print out to the cashier and make your payment there. You will need to bring this ticket that you receive on the day of the match. So don’t lose it!
2. Buying it online on the official Nihon Sumo Kyokai Website
Another easy way to buy a sumo wrestling ticket is to buy it online through the official Nihon Sumo Kyokai website. This is a more convenient and reliable way for foreigners to buy tickets ahead of time because the tickets sell out very quickly. You will only need your credit card to buy the ticket. ID is not necessary. You will receive a code after the purchase of the ticket. On the day of the tournament there are ticket machines, where you can type in your code, and the machine will print your ticket. These machines are similar to the preordering ticket machines at theaters such as, Toho Cinemas, and convenience store ticket machines. Click this link to buy the ticket online!
3. Ticket booths at the Sumo Hall on the day of the tournament
This is another option, but it is an unreliable way for you to get your hands on a ticket. Most sumo tickets sell out very quickly. They usually have around 400 tickets available for same-day tickets. The ticket booth is open throughout the tournament 7:45 am~17:00 pm, but many people come before the opening and queue in line. I recommend you to line up around 30 minutes before the opening of the ticket booth to be extra-safe. At these ticket booths, credit cards aren’t accepted. Make sure to bring cash!
4. Can be bought through Private Chat Boards and Fan Club
This is also not as reliable and hard to navigate, especially if you don’t speak Japanese. Often, fan clubs and groups stock up on tickets for their group to all be able to go to the tournament.
5. Sumo wrestling tickets can be bought at Ticket Pia Stores
These are stores in Japan that sell tickets for various events. For example, soccer, baseball, movies, etc. Japanese people usually camp out outside this store throughout the night before the start of sales of tickets for a tournament. Tickets don’t all necessarily sell out at these ticket stores. Maybe when you see a Ticket Pia Store, it may be a good idea to check if they have any sumo wrestling tickets left. You will need to fill out a form when ordering a sumo ticket. This form doesn’t require any ID.
There are three ticket levels:
- These seats are cushion seats that are right next to the ring. These seats are the most expensive. It costs around 15,000 yen. Sometimes sumo wrestlers fall into these seats!
- These seats are also cushioned seats, like the ringside seats, but they are few rows behind the ringside seats. You can buy boxed seats for your group to share. One to six people can share a box.
- These seats are the least expensive that you can preorder. These seats are chairs, on the second floor. They are usually free seating. Getting to the hall earlier than others might, may be a good idea to get your hands on a nice seat.
Last Remarks when watching Sumo wrestling in Japan:
- If you want to go to a sumo wrestling tournament make sure to plan your trip to Japan, on days where they have a sumo tournament! They usually only have four per year!
- Make sure to buy your tickets as soon as possible! They sell out fast!
- If you preordered a ticket, it is recommended to show up around 2:00pm. It is when most people go and when the finalists start to wrestle
- Don’t lose your tickets, or buy your tickets on the official sumo wrestling website for the code to input in the machine
- Weekends and final days’ tickets tend to sell out the quickest! Try to buy them quickly if you plan to go these days!
- Lastly, make sure to have fun watching sumo in Japan!
Make sure to check out our other guides for buying sport tickets: