The May Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo is one of the six major grand sumo tournaments held in Japan, and it is held annually in Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan. In 2023 (like every year) the tournament will be held over 15 consecutive days in May.

In 2023 the tournament will commence on May 14th and runs through to the 28th of May.

Key Take Aways

  • One of Tokyo’s 3 Grand Tournaments
  • In 2023 the tournament will run from Sunday 14th May to Sunday 28th May
  • Tickets can sell out quickly, so get them early
  • The easiest way to watch is to join a tour with a guide which includes tickets (Great if it’s your first time)
  • You can also buy tickets from the official site (see below)
  • Held at Ryogoku Kokugikan the spiritual home of Sumo
  • The May Grand Sumo Tournament is one of the best to attend
  • If you miss the May tournament you can still watch Sumo training throughout the year or wait for the September Tournament
  • Bring your appetite – the food stalls outside the arena are just as much a part of the experience

It is a major event for sumo wrestling enthusiasts and travelers and brings together the best sumo wrestlers in Japan. It is a great opportunity to witness the power and athleticism of these athletes.

Grand Sumo Tokyo

If you are planning to attend the May Grand Sumo Tournament, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, tickets for the tournament can sell out quickly, so it is best to purchase them in advance.

Second, the tournament is held over 15 days, so it is important to plan your schedule accordingly.

Third, if you are unable to get tickets by yourself you can also attend with a guide who will organize everything for you and explain the culture and nuances of the sport of the gods. This is a great option if it’s your first time at a sumo tournament.

How to Buy Tickets for the May Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo

Grand Sumo Tokyo

If you plan to attend the May Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, you’ll need to know how to buy tickets. Here are some options:

Ticket Oosumo

The official website for sumo wrestling tickets is Ticket Oosumo. They have an English section on their website and you can use it to purchase tickets online, but be aware that they sell out quickly.

If you miss the ticket release date, you may not be able to purchase tickets at all. The website is a little clunky so it may take some time to figure out how to use it. Note that like with buying Disneyland tickets, foreign cards can sometimes get declined.

Sumo Ticket Tour Packages

If you want a hassle-free experience, you can book a tour package that includes sumo wrestling tickets. These packages usually include box seats, a special Chanko lunch, and a guide who can answer all your questions about sumo wrestling.

I’ve just checked today (April 8th 2023) and tickets are still available for the May tournament on most days when booked through Viator. There were none available on Klook when checked.

If it’s your first time attending a sumo tournament this is a great option cause your guide will explain all the nuances of sumo culture plus the rules and expected etiquette.

Ticket Pia Store

If you happen to be in Japan on the day that tickets go on sale, you can purchase tickets at a Ticket Pia store. However, be prepared to queue. The sale date is listed on the Sumo Federation website.

Seating Options

There are two main types of seating options for the May Grand Sumo Tournament: box seating and arena seating. Box seating is closer to the action, on tatami mats and seats four people with prices starting at around ¥30,000 (approximately $270 USD). Arena seating is similar to stadium seating and prices start at around ¥3,000 (approximately $27 USD).

When to Buy Tickets

Tickets for the May Grand Sumo Tournament go on sale in April. Be sure to check the Sumo Federation website for the exact date and time. Tickets sell out quickly, so it’s best to purchase them as soon as possible.

Now that you know how to buy tickets for the May Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, you can look forward to experiencing this unique and exciting event.

May Grand Sumo Tournament 2023

Grand Sumo Tokyo

If you’re a fan of sumo wrestling, then the May Grand Sumo Tournament is an event that you won’t want to miss. Held every May, this is the third of Japan’s six annual Sumo Tournaments, known as honbasho. With sumo rankings released a few weeks before, it’s a chance to see the traditional sport up close and personal.

Schedule of Events

The May Grand Sumo Tournament will take place from May 14th to May 28th, 2023. The tournament lasts for 15 days, with each day featuring multiple matches between sumo wrestlers of ranks.

The matches are divided into two sessions, with the first session starting at 8:30 am and the second session starting at 2:45 pm. The final match of the day, featuring the highest-ranked wrestlers, typically takes place at around 6:00 pm.

Venue and Location

National Sumo Arena Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumida Tokyo

The May Grand Sumo Tournament takes place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Sumida, Tokyo. This is the same venue that hosts three of the six annual honbasho tournaments, making it a great option for any sumo fan.

The Ryogoku Kokugikan is easy to get to, with the Ryogoku Station on the JR Sobu Line and the Toei Oedo Line nearby. If you’re driving, there are parking lots in the area, although they tend to fill up quickly during the tournament.

Prizes and Awards

The top prize for the May Grand Sumo Tournament is the Emperor’s Cup, which is awarded to the wrestler with the best record over the 15-day tournament. Along With the Emperor’s Cup, there are other prizes and awards given out at the end of the tournament, including special prizes for outstanding performance and technique.

Participants and Rankings

The May Grand Sumo Tournament features wrestlers from all over Japan, with the top-ranked wrestlers in each of the six divisions competing against each other. The rankings are based on a wrestler’s performance in the previous tournament, with the top wrestlers in each division moving up to a higher division and the bottom wrestlers moving down to a lower division.

If you’re interested in learning more about the wrestlers and their rankings, you can check out the official rankings on the Nihon Sumo Kyokai website or in the Sumo Museum, which is on the grounds of the Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The May Grand Sumo Tournament is an exciting and unique event that offers a glimpse into one of Japan’s most beloved sports. Whether you’re a die-hard sumo fan or just looking for a fun and memorable experience, this tournament is definitely worth checking out.


How To Get To The Ryogoku Sumo Stadium?

If you are lucky enough to get tickets and are planning to attend the May tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan getting there is easy and affordable. There are plenty of transportation options to choose from. Here’s how you can get there:

By Train: The cheapest and most convenient way to get to Ryogoku Kokugikan is by train. The closest train station is Ryogoku Station, which is served by the JR Sobu Line and the Toei Oedo Line. From there, it’s just a short walk to the arena. You can also take the JR Chuo Line to Suidobashi Station and transfer to the Toei Oedo Line, which will take you directly to Ryogoku Station.

By Bus: Taking a bus to Ryogoku Kokugikan is another affordable option. Several bus routes pass by the arena, including the Toei Bus and the Tokyo Sakura Tram. Be sure to check the bus schedules and routes ahead of time to avoid any delays.

By Water Bus: If you’re feeling adventurous and want to enjoy the scenic views of Tokyo, taking a water bus to Ryogoku Kokugikan is a fun option. The Sumida River Line operates water buses that stop at Ryogoku Station, and the ride offers stunning views of Tokyo’s skyline.

Overall, getting to Ryogoku Kokugikan for the May tournament is a piece of cake.

History of Grand Sumo Tournaments

Grand Sumo Tokyo

If you’re a fan of sumo, you’re probably familiar with the Grand Sumo Tournaments that take place six times a year in Japan. The first tournament was held in 1684, during the Edo period, and it has been a beloved tradition ever since.

Originally, there were only two tournaments held each year, but the number gradually increased over time. In 1958, the number of tournaments was set at six per year, with each tournament lasting for 15 days.

During the Meiji period, the tournaments became more organized and structured. The Japan Sumo Association was established in 1925 to oversee the sport and ensure that it was run fairly and professionally. The association also introduced a ranking system for the wrestlers, which is still used today.

Over the years, the Grand Sumo Tournaments have become a major cultural event in Japan, with fans from all over the world coming to watch the matches. The tournaments are steeped in tradition, with elaborate opening ceremonies, traditional costumes, and a strict code of conduct for the wrestlers.

If you’re planning to attend a Grand Sumo Tournament, be sure to book your tickets well in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly.

Other Grand Sumo Tournaments

If you’re a sumo fan, you’ll be happy to know that the May Grand Sumo Tournament is just one of six annual honbasho. The others are:

  • January: Held in Tokyo at the Ryogoku Kokugikan
  • March: Also held in Tokyo at the Ryogoku Kokugikan
  • July: Held in Nagoya at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
  • September: Held in Tokyo at the Ryogoku Kokugikan
  • November: Held in Fukuoka at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center

Each tournament lasts for 15 days and features the top sumo wrestlers from around the world. The winner of each tournament is awarded the Emperor’s Cup, and the top wrestlers are promoted to higher ranks while the lower-ranked wrestlers are demoted.

While the May Grand Sumo Tournament is one of the most popular, all of the honbasho are worth checking out if you’re a fan of sumo wrestling. The January and September tournaments are held in Tokyo, which makes them easy to get to if you’re already in the city. The July tournament in Nagoya is a great opportunity to explore another part of Japan, and the November tournament in Fukuoka is a chance to experience sumo in a different region of the country.

From the excitement of the matches to the colorful costumes and traditions, there’s nothing quite like seeing sumo wrestling up close and personal.


Grand Sumo Tokyo

How much does it cost to watch sumo wrestling in Tokyo?

The cost of watching sumo wrestling in Tokyo varies depending on the seating area you choose. Box seating – tatami areas seating four people – starts at around US$286.86, while arena seats start from US$28.69. Prices may also vary depending on the tournament and the day you attend. It’s best to check the official website of the Nihon Sumo Kyokai for the latest ticket prices.

Can foreigners watch sumo wrestling in Tokyo?

Yes, foreigners can watch sumo wrestling in Tokyo. The Nihon Sumo Kyokai welcomes visitors from all over the world to watch the matches. However, Note that tickets for sumo matches can sell out quickly, especially for popular tournaments and days. It’s best to purchase tickets in advance to ensure availability.

Where can I watch sumo wrestling in Tokyo?

The main venue for sumo wrestling matches in Tokyo is the Ryogoku Kokugikan. It’s in the Ryogoku neighborhood in Sumida Ward. You can easily access the venue by taking the JR Sobu Line or the Toei Oedo Line. There are also hotels and restaurants in the area, making it a convenient location to stay and explore during your trip to Tokyo.

Does NHK World show sumo on TV?

Yes, NHK World does show sumo on TV. You can watch Grand Sumo Highlights on NHK World-Japan. The program gives you highlights and commentary on the latest sumo matches, as well as interviews with sumo wrestlers and experts. The program is available in English and can be accessed online or through cable and satellite TV providers.

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