Sumo Stable Visit

Sumo Experience

Sumo is not Japan’s national sport, but it is its most well known (and celebrated) of its traditional athletic competitions. Six sumo tournaments (honbasho) are held annually around Japan. Each runs for 15 consecutive days. Three take place in Tokyo—in January, May, and September. (The others are in Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, in March, July, and November, respectively.) Tickets can be rather hard to come by, so start planning at least three months before a tournament’s start. Go through the Japan Sumo Association to purchase tickets for premium seats. (You will need an address in Japan at which to receive the tickets. Major hotels are happy to take the tickets on your behalf.) Matches start at 8:30 a.m., but those are duels among trainees; intermediate divisions start midafternoon. And if a yokozuna (grand champion) loses, the crowd throws their seat cushions into the ring to show disgust. The honbasho in November and January’s Hatsu (New Year’s) Basho in Tokyo are always humdingers. Wrong timing? Consider visiting a stable to witness rikishi (wrestlers) training in their natural habitats. A good concierge will have at least one or two connections, but make sure the experience is actually private: The visit can quickly feel staged.

Sumo Stable Visit
Kokugikan Stadium, 1-3-28 YokodunaTokyo, Japan

More Things To Do in Tokyo

SCAI the Bathhouse

This leading independent gallery is considered the neighborhood of Yanaka’s cultural heartbeat.
Art Gallery

Mori Art Museum

Many visitors come for the view and leave before strolling the two floors of exhibition space below, but this is a mistake: Museum director Fumio Nanjo organizes contemporary shows that are as crowd-pleasing as they are curatorially sound.
Art Museum

A Yomuri Giants Game

For an American, attending a baseball game in Japan can be an out-of-body experience: The action on the field is familiar, but what happens in the stands is completely foreign.
Baseball Game


This from of Japanese theater features all-female casts in extravagant costumes on elaborate sets performing high-energy musical versions of recent Western cinema hits, as well as classics of the silver screen and Broadway.

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Originally built as a private home for business mogul Kunizo Hara in the ’30s, the Hara opened as a museum in 1979.
Contemporary Art Museum

Tea Ceremony

The fourth floor Toko-an at the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo offers an excellent traditional tea service experience for guests and non-guests alike.
Tea Ceremony

Meiji Shrine

Created to honor the Kami (deified spirits) of 20th-century Emperor Meiji and his wife this 200-acre forested park consists of two major gardens and traditional nagare zukuri–style Shinto shrines.

Ōta Memorial Museum of Art

The ukiyo-e genre may not be familiar to the Western world by name, but its works are without a doubt some of the most popular examples of Japanese art we have today.
Art Museum

Tokyo Cook

This small cooking school offers a wide variety of courses dedicated to the numerous styles of Japanese cuisine, all taught taught by celebrated local chefs.
Cooking Classes