Want to see fully-grown, half-naked men throw each other around in a ring? You'd better get yourself a seat at the Grand Sumo Tournament.
- When? TBC March 2018
- Where? EDION Arena, Osaka
- Price: TBC, book in advance or buy on the door.
We've all dressed up in those inflatable sumo suits for Halloween and tried to tackle our opponents to the ground in a sumo wrestling match. Sound familiar? If you're in Osaka you can see the real thing, although we wouldn't recommend getting in the ring yourself. Sumo wrestlers are professionals who are trained to wipe out their opponent, so it's probably best to enjoy the event from the ringside.
Held at the Osaka 'Bodymaker' Prefectural Gymnasium, the Grand Sumo Tournament is one of six annual events held across the country that brings visitors from around the world to see the very best wrestlers take to the ring to defend their titles.
Be sure to get there early to soak up the atmosphere and take in the historical decor used in the sumo arena. Look out for the canopy above the ring which replicates the roof of a shrine. This acts as a symbol of Shinto, the native religion of Japan.
Before the tournament commences, the highest-ranking wrestlers - also known as the yokozuna - enter the ring to perform a special ceremony which involves stylised stomping to warn off evil spirits that are said to hide in the ground. Don't miss this part of the night, it's as intimidating as it is entertaining. After that, sit back and watch as the wrestlers use their best strategies and strength to force their opponents out of the ring. Make a night of it and splurge out on the more expensive seats which include a meal and souvenirs. Be sure to book early if you want good seats as they do sell out quickly.
If you decide to go along at the last minute, you can buy arena tickets on the door but again they can sell out, so be quick or you'll miss out.
It's probably best to leave your inflatable suit at home though, we'd hate for you to get mistaken for an actual wrestler.
- Get there: After flying into Osaka, take the train to the venue. The closest stations are Namba and Osaka Namba.
- Stay: Osaka is well-connected, so choose accommodation that fits with the rest of your itinerary. You'll be able to access the stadium from all corners of the city.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!