Despite Tokyo’s recent spike in Covid-19 coronavirus cases, Japan has moved ahead with easing restrictions on large events and gatherings, including sporting matches. According to The Japan Times, the Japan Sumo Association will allow fans to attend the upcoming July tournament in Tokyo, which was initially delayed due to coronavirus.
The tournament will take place at Ryogoku Kokugikan starting on July 19 with a maximum of 2,500 guests, which is 25 percent of the arena’s capacity. The 15-day tournament was delayed by two weeks. It was also moved from its original venue in Nagoya to Tokyo to limit travel since most sumo stables are located within the capital.
This July basho will be the first sumo wrestling tournament held with spectators since January, as May’s Summer Grand Sumo Tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic. One closed-door tournament was held in Osaka back in March without an audience.
Visitors who are attending the tournament will be expected to comply with new safety regulations including wearing masks, no shouting and no shaking hands with sumo wrestlers. The sumo wrestlers themselves will also be asked to adhere to strict safety standards such as refraining from training at different stables, to limit their potential exposure to the virus.
The first round of tickets is available via a lottery system, which ends on July 16; general ticket sales will begin from July 17. For more information, check the Japan Sumo Association website (Japanese only).
For tips on how to go out safely in Tokyo, or anywhere for that matter, read our guide.
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