Tuesday, 5 April 2016

How to Watch Sumo Wrestling and Eat Sumo "Chanko" in Tokyo, Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Stadium)

We were lucky enough to be in Tokyo when the sumo tournament was on. 
   Tournaments in Tokyo are held each January, May and September.
It is definitely a fascinating cultural experience not to be missed. 

For those planning to watch, tickets go on sale approximately one month before the first day of competition.  
 I strongly recommend that you buy your tickets the second it goes on sale online because they sell out pretty quick. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.
 Same-day tickets also the cheapest tickets available can only be purchased on the day at the stadium. 
Ticket sale starts at 8am at the box office at Ryogoku Kokugikan. 
I read some reviews that people start queuing as early as 5am. So plan accordingly.

There are three types of seats and they are as follow:
* Ringside Seats: closest to the ring, most expensive seats and difficult to get.
* Box Seats: On the first floor. Japanese-style box seats which seats maximum of four people. Tickets are sold per box whether you will occupy all seats or not.
* Balcony Seats: On the second floor. Western-style seats. Same-day ticket holders use an exclusive section of this.

Sumo matches start from 8.30am and ends at 6pm. Majority of the spectators show up between 2-4pm 
because this is when the top division wrestlers compete.
The tickets also allow you to exit and re-enter once in case you need to take a break 
or have lunch in a nearby restaurant.
  Another thing not to miss out on is a nice hot bowl of chankonabe.
It is a famous one-pot dish eaten in vast quantity by sumo wrestlers 
and there's nothing like a bowl of hearty, hot bowl of nabe to warm you up in this cold weather. 
Ryogoku is undoubtedly Japan's sumo town. You'll find plenty of restaurants specialising in chankonabe.
On my previous visit in Tokyo, we had dinner at Kappo Yoshiba Sumo Restaurant. 
I highly recommend it. Check it out the post here.

You'll know it's sumo season when you see these flags up.

It always pays to do some research. 

I'll share with you this little secret... located in the basement of the Sumo Stadium,
you can have authentic chankonabe for only 250 yen (as of January 2016).
 Really delicious and cheap.

Bowl full of yumminess! A must try in Tokyo. 

Ryogoku Kokugikan
1-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida, Tokyo 130-0015, Japan

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