• Sumo in Sumida, Tokyo


    Travelers will likely find no shortage of activities to keep them busy while visiting Tokyo, but one of the truly unique Japanese cultural experiences that shouldn't be missed is taking in a sumo match.

    The Ryogukan neighborhood in Sumida Ward is home to all-things sumo, and this is the spot to be for travelers looking to learn more about the sport. Ask any local about it and they'll invariably point toward the Ryogukan Kokugikan, the largest sumo arena in the world. This is well worth a visit year-round because of the excellent sumo museum inside that is open on weekdays, but the best times to go are "grand tournament" days in January, May and September.

    Sumo fans wait all year for these 15-day events, which draw in spectators from all over. Starting with amateurs in the morning and ending with the top competitors in the world at night, these tournaments are the talk of the town when they're on. Luckily, it's not too difficult to get tickets, which go on sale a month before the tournament starts. Travelers might even be able to score seats the day of the event at a reduced rate if they show up to the box office early enough.

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