FOR FEBRUARY: Visits are possible until around the 22nd. Afterwards training will be in Osaka until end of March.
If the timing of your visit doesn't allow you to see the Sumo Tournament in Ryogoku (held for 15 days during January, May and September - more information here), you still have a chance to get a front row seat to a morning practice held at one of the 45 sumo beyas (stables)
The practices start from around 7:30am (we usually enter from around 8:00 to 8:30) and continue until about 10, though the intensity and duration will be adjusted by the stable master based on the condition of the wrestlers.
There is no weight division in sumo; the small guys try to beat the bigger guys using technique. You will be surprised at how flexible the wrestlers are; they are not just someone that is big but actually very athletic!
At the end, you might have an opportunity to take photos with the wrestlers.
Pricing: 7,000 JPY per person. Additional 10,000 JPY for guide to accompany you from hotel to sumo stable and back (Optional).
*Details will be provided over e-mail on how to go to the facility yourself if you choose to go without the guide.
*Transportation fees from your hotel to the sumo stable is not included.
*The exact location and time can usually be confirmed only 6-7 days before your visit.
Any cancellations within 48 hours of the tour start - No refunds.
You can cancel the use of a tour guide without any fees anytime, as long as you inform in advance.
Visits are not available during March, July and November when the wrestlers are playing a tournament outside Tokyo.
Strictly NO talking, eating, drinking allowed during practice...
You will have to sit directly on the floors during practice with your legs crossed. Sumo is a sport that has close relations with the Shinto religion and the ring is considered a sacred place - do not show the soles of your feet to the ring or the wrestlers. Tattoos are seen with a very negative image in a traditional environment, so please cover them if possible.
The exact location of the practice will not be available until a few days before training. Usually the location is within the Asakusa/Ryogoku area in the downtown Tokyo but occasionally it is further out in the suburbs. You cannot request for a specific stable to visit.
Important : In a few occasions, the practices may be shortened due to the condition of the wrestlers.
Please acknowledge the sumo practice is not a show for tourists and understand this possibility when you book. The duration can vary from anywhere between 30 minutes - 2 hours.
Photography without flash is permitted, but videos are never allowed.
Just so you know - The photo shows the usual environment for watching the training...directly sitting on the floor with a thin cushion provided. While the Japanese are used to this kind of sitting style, obviously this will not be ideal for anyone with leg or back pain...
Some publications will mention the possibility of tourists calling the sumo stable directly to secure a visit. This indeed was possible until about 2015, when the number of international visitors were much lower than it is now. Now with more interest in the sumo training, many sumo stables have simply shut the doors to avoid any hassle so the athletes can concentrate on the training.
Prior to the pandemic, it was possible to see the training of the Arashio Beya sumo stable for free from the outside through a window. You couldn't make any reservations or get a seat inside - you simply show up at the right time hoping it's a practice day and quietly watch the training from the street. Normally the training continues until about 10 am.
Currently the Arashio Beya website mentions that the practices are no longer open to the public. It has been confirmed multiple times that the shades were closed, preventing any view from the street.
The stable is located at 2-47-2 Nihonbashi Hamacho, Chuo-ku. It is about a minute away from the A2 Exit of the Hamacho Station on the Toei Shinjuku subway line.