Have you ever wanted to travel to Japan to watch puroresu (Japanese professional wrestling?)
Ryogoku Sumo Hall is a famous sporting arena in Tokyo Japan notorious as the epicenter of Sumo wrestling in Japan. Despite its history as a sumo hot spot, Ryogoku also plays host to some of the largest professional wrestling shows every year, including hosting New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Climax as well as Dragon Gate Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling.
Larger than Korakuen Hall, but not as massive as The Tokyo Dome, Ryogoku holds 10,000 fans and has been the host of the final days of New Japan’s G1 Tournament, New Japan’s King of Pro Wrestling.
After years of declining revenue, All Japan Pro Wrestling recently returned to Ryogoku on November 27, 2016, hopefully indicating future growth of the once great puroresu promotion. Smaller independent promotions Wrestle-1 and Dragon Gate occasionally run larger shows. American promotions are even known to run shows at Sumo Hall, as TNA Impact Wrestling co-promoted a show in 2014 with Wrestle-1.
In 2015, with efforts to expand their streaming Network database, WWE began running annual July shows at Ryogoku. The 2015 show included former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar as well as featuring Bullet Club founder Finn Balor (Prince Devitt) winning the NXT Championship from Kevin Owens. The 2016 WWE show continued to heavily promote former New Japan talent, as Ryogoku fans witnessed the return to Japan of former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Chris Jericho.
For decades, information about visiting Tokyo to watch professional wrestling has been kept as tribal knowledge amongst inside wrestling fans. While wrestling fans tend to view the world as wrestling centric, traditional Japanese tour books and Tokyo Travel Guides written by travel agents fail to include information about puroresu.
This information is now available for fans in English to assist in making your trip to Tokyo successful! For more information on Korakuen Hall, including directions to, purchasing Korakuen Hall tickets and Korakuen Hall schedule information, read on!
Are you obsessed with Japanese pro wrestling? Have you ever wanted to travel to Tokyo to see your favorite puroresu stars live in action? This companion guide is designed by a puroresu fanatic for puroresu fanatics. In preparing a trip to Tokyo to witness the G-1 Climax in person I spent countless hours planning. I was often greeted with cold answers from the few English speaking fans in the know. A language barrier exists that keeps many of this fantastic information locked up. Not anymore! Let me teach you how to watch wrestling in Japan!
With PURORESU TOURISM, you will learn:
– Where and how to buy tickets to puroresu events at Korakuen Hall, The Tokyo Dome, and Ryogoku Sumo Hall!
– Directions to Korakuen Hall, The Tokyo Dome, Ryogoku Sumo Hall, including an exclusive map of the restaurants, bars, and merchandise shops in Tokyo Dome area!
– Directions to eat at restaurants and bars owned by puroresu superstars & legends!
– Discover puroresu merchandise shops throughout Tokyo where you can purchase puroresu shirts, DVDs, Blu Rays, action figures and more!
I’m standing in a stairwell with five hundred sweaty wrestling fans. The stairs are filthy. The walls, once pristine, are now painted black, spattered with spit and dirty hand prints, plastered with colorful hand writing I cannot read. We are sharing heavy, hot, and stuffy air. I want nothing more than to be seated and drinking a cold beer. I’ve been walking around for the last two days in one hundred degree heat in a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans. In order to save room, I packed one pair of jeans and one pair of shorts for my ten day trip. The shorts are already unwearable, soaked in perspiration and stained with my body’s salt. At 5’9”, 215 lbs, I fit into Japanese adult male’s shorts like a teenager cosplaying The Incredible Hulk in toddlers clothes. I severely underestimated the Tokyo summer. Late July afternoons spent baking in New York City in felt like a relaxing ocean breeze compared to the stifling humidity forcing every pore of my body to work.
Packed in a stairwell like single-file sardines, I am dehydrated and unsure what the ticket I purchased for 2500¥ entitles me to. Am I going to be standing next to a restroom? Did the guy at the box office recognize my cluelessness and sell me the worst seat in the house? I’m losing steam before the show has even started. I’ve grown tired of waiting in the stairwell. I simply can’t make it any longer without food. I barely communicate with the teenagers behind me, “I will be back! Please save my ‘spot’ on the stairwell against the wall!” I run as quickly as I can down a few flights of stairs to find something super quick to eat. The closest thing is a curry stand located in a gambling parlor. The older inhabitants were smoking cigarettes and far less healthy looking than what I was accustomed to expect in Tokyo. This place was not young and hip or sophisticated and cutting edge. It snuck into a tourist area for those who must consume, themselves and their vices.
In a hurry to devour anything, I pointed at the curry dish on the menu, smiled, paid and took a seat perpendicular to a frail old man. At what point do you stop caring if your face is covered in curry? Realizing the curry is dangling from your upper lip, you remain unphased, wiping your face with your bare hands. The napkins next to you remain pristine, opting instead to use your unwashed hands to smear the curry across your cheekbone and onto the cargo shorts two sizes too big. Cargo shorts purchased for you by a son who visits you just frequently enough to make sure you’re still alive but without the frequency to maintain any semblance of a relationship. I look down at the denim clinging to my leg, not sure when I’ll be able to wash them next. I’m 5,500 miles from home, lost inside my head drawing parallels to The Tokyo Dome Bukowski. I was wasting precious time. I hightail it out of the food court and back to Korakuen Hall. Fuck! People are pouring into the building. Are these seats General Admission? Did I just ruin my entire trip staring at some cantankerous old addict in a gambling parlor?
Breathe! Let’s start from the beginning. You’re here. You finally did it. You’re in Tokyo and you’re about to watch pro wrestling!