Enjoy Sumo Tournament in Nagoya! 2016 July

Enjoy Watching Sumo Tournament in Nagoya!

Watching sumo is one of the best experiences you can enjoy in Japan, and the best way to watch sumo is to visit a grand tournament.

Sumo is not just a fat guys bumping into each other, but is a really interesting and ritual event, with long history and religious backgrounds.

Check out some points below to enjoy the dynamic sumo tournament!



5 Points You Should Give an Eye to Enjoy the Sumo Tournament

  1. Give Great Attention to the First 5 Seconds
    The rules of sumo are simple: the wrestler who first exits the ring or touches the ground with any part of his body besides his feet loses. Matches take place on a ring (dohyo), which is in the center of the venue and is covered with sand.

    Sumo wrestlers have to crash directly into the opponent as soon as the match starts. So, victory goes to the one who could move more quickly and strongly in the 1st few seconds. (This 1st motion is called “Tachiai (立ち合い).”)
    A good starter can keep his waist very low and can quickly take one step forward. This is quite hard, if you actually try. If you bent your knees in 90 degrees, you can notice that it is difficult to move forward quickly. They can do it because they have kept practicing and practicing everyday. One of the specialist of this Tachiai is the Yokozuna, Hakuho. He’s over 190cm tall, but can keep his body very low and exert a forward big power.

    So pay attention on their first few seconds when they through their weight into each other, and that would mostly determine the match.

      <small tips>
    By the way, many people think the Gyoji (referees)’s call, “Hakkyo–i, Nokotta!” means ‘get ready, start!,’ but that’s not true. Actually, it means like, ‘Charge&exert your power, You’re still in the ring!.” So sometimes, the match doesn’t start even if the Gyoji started shouting. In sumo rules, they can start at their own pace.

  2. Enjoy the Ritualistic Actions
    The matches last only few seconds. And you will be surprised that most of the time between those matches are dedicated for the various ritual events.

    The ritual events are really interesting. Maybe more interesting than the matches, if you are interested in cultural festivals, decorations, or samurais.

    The most attractive event is the Dohyo-iri, when each team’s wrestlers climb on the ring with their colorful & beautiful silk aprons (kesho-mawashi) on. This event originally had a meaning of showing that “We don’t have any weapons.”
    The Yokozuna does the original Dohyo-iri. He will perform some ritual actions, and don’t miss the moment when he raise his leg high! It’s the time when all audiences call “Yoisho!” Join the call and get a sense of exaltation!

    These rituals are performed because this sumo itself is a ritual performance offered to the gods. The ring is thought as a sacred place, so they have to behave courteously.
    To know more deeper about each actions and rituals, I recommend you to take a guided tour.

  3. Maybe a Surprising Match Would Accompany Surprisingly Flying Cushions
    Well, have you ever enjoyed throwing pillows game?

    In sumo tournaments, you may find a surprising situation when the spectators start throwing their cushions toward the ring.

    It happens when the strong high-lank wrestler scored an unexpected result.
    People are not just booing to the high-lank wrestler, but they are also praising the great upset.

    Many people loved this cushion throwing, but it’s prohibited these days for safety, so there’s not so much chance to experience this situation.

  5. Find Your Favorite Wrestler!
    These days, sumo is gaining popularity to young girls. The girls are called “Su-jo (sumo girls),” and they are enjoying sumo in a new way.
    Like them, how about finding your favorite wrestler, oshi-rikishi?
    You can choose by the rikishi’s face, or name, or of course, their way of fighting.

    Many su-jos love to find strong but “kawaii (cute)” aspects of the wrestlers.
    Get to the venue early, and wait for your favorite rikishis coming in! (It’s called “Demachi“) Cheer them up with hand clapping. If you want their autograph, wait for the rikishis coming out after all the matches. Some might have a chance to get one.

    And pay attention to their kimonos, too. Some are wearing unique kimonos.

      <small tips>
    Most of the foreign visitors just watch the matches of the Makuuchi wrestlers, but I think one of the most interesting matches are the ones fought by the Jyuryos. Jyuryo ranks lower than the Makuuchi, but ranks higher than the Makushita. If the wrestler dropped his rank to Makushita, he will lose many privileges and salary! So the young and old Jyuryos has to struggle and fight desperately. You can see their raw expressions in the games.

  7. Enjoy the Meals! Enjoy the atmosphere!
    As you know, enjoying the atmosphere is what the visitors should enjoy the most.

    At each tournament site, there are some stalls where you can buy lunch boxes and souvenirs.
    You can eat and drink while watching the matches.
    Some are very original and only sold at that venue, so enjoy shopping, eating, and enjoy the elevated mood.

    *Eating and drinking are prohibited in some seats.


How to Get the Tickets

In 2016, the sumo tournament will be held from July 10 to July 24 at Nagoya.
You can reserve the ticket from the Internet, but some service is in Japanese.
And many tickets are already sold out.

Ticket Oosumo
(Explanation in English, but the reservation service is in Japanese)

The best way to visit the tournament for foreign visitors might be to attend a guided tour.
Sunrise Tours http://www.japanican.com/en/tour/detail/NG560_/
Veltra http://www.veltra.com/en/asia/japan/aichi/editors_picks/61990

  The tickets are mostly sold out (especially the games on the weekends), but some chair seat tickets are available on the day. If you visit the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium Box Office on the day in early morning around 8 AM, you may purchase the ticket.

  By the way, I can attend and guide the sumo tournament and some other sites, too. I can’t guarantee if I can get tickets for you, but I can do my best to get some for you so if you need help, please inform me some choices of your preferred date.
Feel free to contact me if you need any further information about Nagoya or tours around Nagoya.


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