The Japanese, however, take a different approach. They want to forget their worries, forget their jobs, and have some fun! Which is why, taking in a game or match whilst you are in Japan is an unforgettable (and very different) experience.
Picture this: It's the beginning of the match. The away team comes onto the field. Do the home team hiss? Boo? No! With the encouragement of their mascot, they help the away fans sing their anthem! As they say, only in JapanÖ
From being ringside at a Sumo tournament, sitting with the cheer squad at a football match or watching the cars go round and round at the F1, there really is something for everyone.
However, watching sport in Japan is not just a sporting experience. It is a rare opportunity to see the Japanese letting their collective hair down. Itís also a great opportunity to meet people and have a cracking time. Donít know the rules? Donít worry; youíre not the only one! When everyone stands, you stand. When everyone cheers, you cheer. Got it? Easy! Game on!
The most popular sport in Japan by far is baseball. Introduced by the Americans in the early 20th ecntury and taken to heart by the Japanese almost immediately, hundreds of thousands attend games on a daily basis. Japanese fans are like no others and tickets to the big game are certainly a great addition to any trip.
Sumo is the traditional sport of Japan and if this is a must for you we can offer tickets to the six annual tournaments or the chance to visit a stable for early morning traning.
For all the details on the full range of sporting experiences on offer from InsideJapan Tours, choose from the options below. And if you don't see what you are looking for here, please drop us a line to ask.
Sumo tournament tickets
Sumo wrestling is the ancient traditional sport of Japan and provides a fascinating and at times dramatic spectacle for anyone lucky enough to make it to a basho or tournament. Fights can be over in a matter of seconds as one wrestler hauls his opponent over the straw bales and out of the ring or thrusts him to the ground. Yet this does not make for a lack of excitement; the tension in the arena builds to a climax as the wrestlers engage in the ritual face off before each bout begins with a thunderous clash of heads. Despite their often gargantuan size these guys can move like ballerinas, pirouetting in the ring to circle the opponent or spinning on a six-pence to evade a violent thrusting attack.
Being able to see Japan's number one traditional sport in the flesh is a real highlight of any trip to Japan. We can arrange seats at any of the tournaments throughout the year, so if you are a keen sumo fan or just want to experience this truly Japanese event, be sure to time your trip to coincide with one of the main tournaments; if possible, the final week of the tournament when the action really hots up!
Two types of seating are available; masu seki which are tatami mat squares with four cushions for spectators to sit on (these are sold in groups of four tickets); and isu seki (stadium seating). We can provide either ticket type depending on your preference. There is also a wide range of ticket prices depending on how close to the dohyo (ring) you are.
There are six tournaments a year. Each tournament lasts 15 days and always starts on the second Sunday of the month.
New Year Basho (January)
Spring Basho (March)
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
May Basho (May)
Summer Basho (July)
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
September Basho (September)
Autumn Basho (November)
Fukuoka International Centre
The six annual sumo tournaments take place in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. In Tokyo the venue is Kokugikan, the national sumo arena and headquarters of the sumo association. This is an extremely impressive golden roofed building located on the banks of the Sumida River directly across from the historic Asakusa district of town. Ryogoku is also home to the vast majority of Tokyo's sumo stables.
The Osaka tournament takes place at the Osaka Prefectural gymnasium in the nanba district of the city. Nagoya basho is held at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium located within the grounds of Nagoya Castle and the Fukuoka basho is held in the Fukuoka International Centre in the centre of town.
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