Natsu Basho Sells Out

Natsu 2018 Sell Out

Tickets went on sale for May’s Natsu basho at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. Reports from the Sumo Association are that the entire 15 day event has sold out, except for tickets reserved for “day of” sales to ardent sumo fans who wake up and get in line at 5:00 AM.

Public interest in sumo seems to continue to be strong, in spite of the brief outcry over the Maizuru tour stop, where a pair of female medical professionals were admonished for mounting the dohyo to render medical aid to the mayor, after he collapsed during his welcoming remarks.

For readers of Tachiai who were able to score tickets, events at the Kokugikan are quite enjoyable, and offer a vastly different experience from watching the matches on video.

22 thoughts on “Natsu Basho Sells Out

  1. An additional wrinkle here, from our friends at BuySumoTickets:

    “This was the largest pre-order we have ever had in the history of our business. However, when ticket sales opened, there were the fewest tickets available that we have ever seen for a Tokyo tournament. (Most sumo tickets are never put on public sale, they are allocated in advance to friends and sponsors, etc.) The high number of orders combined with the low number of tickets made available caused a serious problem for us.”

    They were able to complete their order but it looks like some fans will be downgraded (I’m just happy to attend, so no complaints at all, it’s a wonderful service). It seems the ticket demand is higher than ever. It’s worth wondering how this will impact things especially in Tokyo in the run up to 2020 as Japan puts even more resource behind attracting tourists etc.

    • Same with me! I’m hoping I will have the motivation to get up early and score some same day tickets.

    • I hope to research and write more about ochaya and heya fan clubs. Those are other ways to get tickets. Ochaya are resellers located inside Kokugikan. They provide customers with tickets plus a bento, a beer, and some souvenirs. I don’t think foreigners can join the heya fan clubs because they mail gifts, like calendars and banzuke to the members and I don’t think they do that internationally. It’s great news for sumo but I’m sure it’s rough on BuySumoTickets.

      • By rough, I mean they’ll probably be making more money but in any customer service business it’s got to suck to tell someone who preordered that they have to be down-graded or can’t go. Either way, sounds like fan costs will go up…unless you grew up camping out for UNC/Duke tickets!

      • So my friend is a member of Oitekaze fan club, and she told me it was quite reasonable. Something like $100 USD a year. She gave me the special Endo calendar they sent out for this year :-). Now I just need to figure out how to get it back to Japan 😂😂

        • I would absolutely love if we could somehow find a way to publish information here on Tachiai about how to join various heya’s fan clubs

          Especially if we can discover one that DOES have a way to ship internationally either directly or through another member

    • I’ve had a few issues sorting my accommodation this time (which I am sure I will cover in a post similar to my Osaka post at some point), but it looks like that may be set now. Assuming that is all sorted and I receive my tickets at the destination in Japan, I’ll be at Days 1, 3, 8 and 10.

      • Actually… it sadly looks like my Day 1 was a casualty of this tournament’s 1 minute sellout. So, 3, 8 and 10.

      • I got a box for day 14, but I think I’m going to try for same day tickets on the weekend, so hopefully I will see you!

  2. If you are lucky enough to live/be in Japan, the safest way to get tickets is to go to a konbini on the saturday at 10am when they start selling them and use the machine there. It’s usually impossible to even connect to the ticket website from your browser at home and very hard to be able to reach them on the phone before all tickets are sold out, but konbini machines have a better connection to the kokugikan gods and/or access to a larger pool of tickets. But it’s in Japanese only as far as I know.

  3. A potential method for those desperate to get a ticket: I don’t know the laws about scalping in Japan, but I have been offered sumo tickets for an only mildly inflated price by individuals looking to sell theirs. If your Japanese if functional and you have the yen to spare, I think by hanging around the venue midday it might be possible to score a seat and be inside by the time Juryo kicks off.
    *Full disclosure, I have never actually bought one of these tickets, generally having pre-bought my tickets via online auction, but I don’t think its’s a scam.

  4. I’m so excited. I’m a (very) new sumo fan. We’re planning our next trip back to Japan next month, and have always tossed around the idea of seeing a match. I decided to look up how to get tickets on Wednesday, and was delighted to find out tickets were going on sale in just two days.

    So I set an alarm here in Canada to be ready at my computer the minute tickets went on sale. After seven or eight totally terrifying moments of the site completely crashing, I managed to grab three B-tier seats for the second Thursday for myself and my travel companions.

    I can’t wait to see live sumo. I’ve been researching wrestlers — thanks so much for your excellent resources! I’ll be checking in the blog regularly to get excited for the Natsu Basho.


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