Ryogoku Kokugikan (両国国技館). The largest sumo arena in Japan with a capacity for 10,000 spectators, this is where grand tournaments or basho are held in January, May and September. These tournaments last for 15 days, and are filled with ceremony and ritual which observe strict hierarchies not just for the wrestlers, but also for the referees and callers. The competition each day begins around 9:00 AM with the amateurs, and from there, wresters compete in progressing order of seniority. The professional wrestlers start around 2:35 PM, but the excitement begins when the top division makuuchi enter the ring in the dohyo-iri ceremony at 3:50 PM. The tournament culminates when the high-rank yokuzuna and ozeki have their bouts, around 6:00 PM. If you have seats far from the ring, but arrive early, it is possible to borrow some seats close to the ring until mid-afternoon, when most spectators begin to arrive. English pamphlets describing the day's program and sumo in general are available. Food is available inside, at somewhat inflated prices. There are now signs prohibiting you from bringing in outside food and drink, but it seems that enforcement is spotty. Advance-booking Western-style chairs on the second floor are ¥3600, 4900 and 8400; Japanese-style box seats on the first floor are ¥9200, 10300 and 11300. These can be purchased at ticket outlets and convenience stores. You can buy unsold seats on the day of the tournament for ¥2100, but only at the Kokugikan box office.
Sumo Museum (相撲博物館). Mon to Fri, 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
Located on the first floor of the Kokugikan, this quirky little museum
documents the history of sumo � unfortunately mostly in Japanese only. Entry
is free, so it's worth a quick peek anyway; note that the museum is closed
Instead of peering at wrestlers through binoculars from the cheap seats at Kokugikan, you can see sumo up close and personal by visiting a sumo stable (beya) to watch the morning training, generally held from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM daily (and no, you don't have to stick around for the whole time). Advance arrangements will be necessary, preferably with the help of a Japanese speaker, and a "donation" of around �1500 is expected. While watching the training, keep quiet and do not take flash photos. Note that many stables � particularly those with very famous wrestlers � do not permit visits.
Sumo outside Ryogoku Kokugikan
(Article based on Wikitravel article by Based on work by Jonboy. Based on work by Brian Kurkoski, Jani Patokallio and Paul N. Richter, Wikitravel user(s) Nzpcmad and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Article used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0.)