Is it worth the money to go see sumo?

Asked by Carol Akiyama · 4 years ago

I have a friend of a friend visiting who says he would like to go see a sumo match. I'm not a big fan... Have people gone seen it and enjoyed it without much prior knowledge?

It seems like a long day and an a pricey affair... Should I just bring him to see a sumo stable?

  • Justin Velgus: Just like a live concert, seeing sumo "in the flesh" is a totally different experience. You can feel the energy of the crowd and wrestlers. If you just want to see sumo, a sumo stable of the amateur tournaments not broadcast on TV (usually taking place in the early morning) are a cheaper alternative. But at these you won't necessarily get the singing referees, salt throwing, and all the customs and traditions that add to the mystic of sumo. I saw a special sumo event with famous wrestlers in Sendai last year. Expensive? Yes. But it was an experience I won't forget. It could get a little boring between matches as everything is cleaned and prepped. So I would recommend bringing a bento and print out some sumo info to read while enjoying the match to make it educational. You will get more out of it. (Reply)
    • Tyra 'nell Pille-Lu: That's very informative! I've been wanting to get an experience as well, but still couldn't afford to do so.

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6 Answers
Answered by Olga Kaneda · 4 years ago

If you want to dress up (however, that's what Japanese girls do, not foreign) and get bored, yes! My foreign friend went with her husband and he liked it but she got sleepy and hungry :)

Answered by Tyra 'nell Pille-Lu · 4 years ago

For the sake of just a one-time experience, I wouldn't mind spending that amount (though I don't really know how much it costs), after all, experience has a more lasting impact in my life than just shelling a few amount of money.

We can recover the money, but the memory of a one-time experience lives on in our lives.

I'm sure it will also be something you'll cherish when you finally decide to leave Japan and retire in your home country. You can at least say to yourself, "Oh, I've been there once aupon a time."

Answered by Victoria Vlisides · 4 years ago

I can't speak from personal experience but everyone I talk to says yes! I have one coworker who rarely travels, but he took the time to go see sumo last week. Seems pretty cool and worth the money!

  • Carol Akiyama: Hey Victoria, thanks for your input. I went to see Kabuki once and wouldn't do it again, but I did enjoy my time there. So maybe it is a climb Mount Fuji thing... (Reply)

Answered by Param Pon · 4 years ago

My POV, its just experiencing the other culture. Offcourse we cant enjoy the game as much as a locale do. :) Its not about money, its about feel ;)

Answered by Meg Sing · 4 years ago

I think there are merits to both. From what I know, the stable sessions start and end relatively early (around 6-10am). This leaves the rest of the day open to other activities if your friend is short on time or has only a passing interest in sumo. You have a better chance of getting closer to the wrestlers, for free. We had the chance to take a photo with the kind rikishi wrestler who came out after practice to greet all the tourists outside the stable.

However, at the stable you are likely to be standing the whole time and watching through a window, whereas you can sit and enjoy a relatively unobstructed view at sumo matches. I believe there are only four sumo tournaments each year. If your friend's holiday does coincide with the right dates, I think it may be worth it despite the negatives listed here. The limited number of annual tournaments and the quality difference of the wrestling could surely make for a memorable and special experience! Watching for a whole day also means you have the chance to hone your eye to the sport and truly appreciate their skill.

Answered by Kylie Plester · 4 years ago

I read somewhere that you can try and get tickets on the day and they are cheaper as they are for any free seats. Only problem is you have to move around a bit if you are someones reserved seat and also need to get up early to get the tickets especially on the weekend.

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