My husband and I have been talking about going to see a sumo tournament, but our schedules haven't been able to accommodate a trip yet. Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a sumo tournament going on and that I'd have time to attend. What luck!
I asked the hotel concierge to help me, and I started to do my research on the Internet. I determined I could go early in the morning before my meetings and that something would be better than nothing. The trains were easy to figure out, and before you knew it I was at the Ryogoku. The main event sumo matches occur in the later afternoon (i.e. around 4PM) but the wrestling starts much earlier.
For 10,600 yen (i.e. approximately 103.60 USD) I was able to buy a lower level box seat. The woman at the ticket booth showed me a sign that said that during periods of high demand, people would need to share the box (i.e. a box has 4 cushions where 4 people can take their shoes off and sit).
When I went into the Kokukigan, I could see that it was pretty empty. I expected this based on what the hotel concierge told me. I walked around the concourse, picked up some souvenirs and settled in to watch the matches.
I saw big guys wrestle bigger guys and big guys wrestle little guys. The matches were quick and it doesn't take long to get the point. Only once did I see the judges gather in the middle to determine which wrestler won (i.e. since they both appeared to fall at the same time).
If you haven't been to a Grand Sumo tournament, the next one is July 13-27 in Nagoya. It looks like there are 6 tournaments in a year...
Enjoy the pics!
I didn't get to stay too long, which is a shame since the place started to fill up with people, but there's always a "next time"...