Sumo Tournament in Nagoya (July)

A banner next to the Japanese flag indicates all seats have sold out.
A banner next to the Japanese flag indicates all seats have sold out.

The sumo tournament is held in the city of Nagoya, starting from the second Sunday in July for 15 days.

All of the wrestlers will wrap up their training in Tokyo around June 20th, and set up their training base in Nagoya.

 

The venue is the Dolphins Arena, also called the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium. Completed in 1964, this is another old arena just like the one in Osaka where the March tournament is held. 2024 will be the last time the tournament is held here, before the move to a brand new arena (see below).

 

The capacity is 7,448 for sumo, about the same as Osaka. However there are much fewer chair seats in Nagoya with only five or six rows in the back of the arena. The rest is the traditional Japanese style seating, which I do not recommend for western visitors.

 

The Nagoya tournament has a different ticketing system from the other tournaments, with online sales through a site called Boo-Woo Ticket, a service jointly operated by the local Chunichi Shimbun newspaper and Lawson Ticket. The tickets usually go on sale the last Saturday of May, but for the first few hours, the option to designate seats is not available and the system automatically assigns seats. As of 2023, the website lacks any English option and I assume non-Japanese residents will not be able to complete a purchase as Lawson Ticket always require a Japanese phone number for verification.

 

Normally I would not recommend the use of a third party ticketing site, but this might be the only choice for fans outside Japan.

 

Because it is July, the temperatures outside tend to be extremely hot. Unfortunately the air-con inside the arena seems to be on the weak side. It's not to the point where it is uncomfortable and considering that it is a 50 year-old arena, there probably is not much that can be done to improve it.

Seats to avoid...

The view from my "Chair B" seat in row 15 seat 30, at the very back of the arena looked like this, with the pillars being a big nuisance. 

 

The view towards the ring was not blocked, but it was still a big distraction.

 

Purchasing the chair S seats (The first two rows) might be a safer bet to avoid these undesirable seats. 

Getting there

From the Nagoya Station, take the Sakura-dori subway line (in red) to the third station Hisaya-odori, then change to the Meijo Line (in purple) and a ride for another stop to the Nagoyajo Station (M07).

The station used to be called Shiyakusho (City Hall) Station but was renamed in 2023. The arena is about a five minute walk from Exit 7 of the station. SUICA or PASMO cards issued in the Tokyo area also work on the Nagoya subways.

 

The Nagoya Castle is located next to the arena, so you might want to arrive early and do some sightseeing before watching sumo. The timetable is exactly the same as the Tokyo tournaments with the top division matches being held from 4-6pm.

 

Nagoya can be easily done as a daytrip from Tokyo or Osaka, but it is a good base for exploring the ancient Nakasendo path or for heading to Takayama. There are many hotels in the Sakae area, two subway stations to the south of the arena.

 


New location for the 2025 tournament

The IG Arena is scheduled for completion by summer 2025, in a location 800 meters north of the current site. The Sumo Association already announced that it intends to hold the tournament at the new arena for 2025. Meijo Koen (M08) will be the adjacent station, one stop north of Nagoyajo. Max seating will be around 17,000 though it is not clear how many will be available when used in sumo mode.