If your are in Japan for the month of March, the city of Osaka is where to go to catch sumo.
ALL of the wrestlers will wrap up their training in Tokyo around Feb 20th, and travel to Osaka.
The venue is the EDION Arena Osaka, also called the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. Completed in 1952, the arena lacks the modern update that is long due and is simply not the right configuration for watching sumo.
However the smaller capacity (about 7,400 seats) means you are likely to be closer to the action then the Tokyo Kokugikan seats in the same price category.
Like the Tokyo tournaments, the first day is always on a Sunday. Tickets for the days 2 to 6 tend to remain even a few weeks after the initial sale, but will eventually sell out.
Purchase your tickets from the official Ticket Osumo site.
Seats to avoid...
The view from the "Chair D" seats look like this. Situated at the corner of the arena, the seats face the complete wrong direction and you have to bend your body 45 degrees for a better view.
Seated here, you can sense that this venue was built for basketball or volleyball, but not for sumo!
The other category seats place you closer to the center of the ring, but be aware that overall the seat size is extremely small. Sitting for a few hours can prove to be a tiring experience if the seats reach full capacity.
Things unique about the Osaka Tournament
Hometown heroes always get the largest applause and during the Osaka tournament, local born URA (pictured) or TAKAKEISHO (born in neighboring Hyogo prefecture) will receive a warm welcome from the crowd.
In the front row, you'll see groups of people all wearing the same brown-colored happi coats. They belong to a membership club of sumo fans made up primarily of business owners in the Osaka/Kansai region.
The arena is about a 5 minute walk south of Namba Station, a major transportation hub in the Minami (South) part of Osaka.
From the Shinkansen station (Shin-osaka), it is a 16 minute ride on the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line. This is the oldest line in Osaka that connects all the important areas of Osaka, so the line will get very busy during the peak hours.
The final Shinkansen back to Tokyo is at 9:24 PM so a daytrip to Osaka is definitely possible, but with so much that the region has to offer, I would recommend an extended stay in this area. The tournament is before the cherry blossom season, so the huge number of international tourists haven't arrived yet.