Sumo wrestling: the clash of the titans

Sumo wrestling: the clash of the titans

Take advantage of your visit to Osaka to attend a sumo tournament, the most popular combative sport in Japan.

Six major sumo tournaments inflame the Japanese archipelago each year. Over a period of 15 days, the honbasho animate the odd months. Tokyo has three—in January, May, and September—while Osaka hosts its own, the Grand Sumo Tournament, on the second and fourth Sundays in March, which heralds spring. Nagoya, a two-hour drive from Osaka, organises its tournament in July. As for Fukuoka, on the northern tip of the island of Kyushu (three hours by train from Shin-Osaka Station), the town closes the yearly proceedings in November.

You can buy your tickets on the day of the competition in department stores or grocery stores in the city. Face to face in a small clay ring 4.55 metres in diameter, two giants (from 90 to 160 kilos) clash. Young wrestlers compete in the morning, while the stars perform in the afternoon, especially those in the ‘5th grade' (the highest), who are called ‘yokozuna'. These men are considered living gods and have mastered to perfection the 82 permissible holds for expelling their opponent from the circle of combat. To better appreciate this literal clash of titans, try to get mazu seating, which features a loggia for four people located on the ground floor.

Osaka Sumo Tournament
Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan (Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium)
3-4-36 Nambanaka
Naniwa-ku, Osaka
Osaka Prefecture 556-0011

+81 (0)6 6631 0121

Tokyo Sumo Tournament
Kokugikan Sumo Hall
1-3-28 Yokoami
Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Tokyo Prefecture 130-0015

+81 (0)3 3623 5111

Nagoya Sumo Tournament
Aichi Ken Taiikukaikan (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
1-1 Ninomaru
Naka-ku, Nagoya
Nagoya Prefecture 460-0032

+81 (0)5 2971 2516

Fukuoka Sumo Tournament
Fukuoka Kokusai Center Sogo Hall
2-2 Chikko-Honmachi
Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture 812-0022

+81 (0)9 2272 1111