oliver

"Family / Senior Box Chair B" seats at Kokugikan - any good?

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Hello - 

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, it didn't come up in my search.

I am planning to attend the January 2020 basho with my wife and 2yo kid, having visited the Kokugikan in 2009 & 2011. I've just noticed the "Family / Senior Box Chair B" seats listed on the tickets website - basically box seats on the 2nd floor, which I didn't notice last time. Just wondering if anyone has used these - and would they provide a better experience / view than just buying 2 x Chair Seats B tickets? (Y15,600 vs Y10,200)

Also, how quickly to tickets tend to sell out online these days? (Bearing in mind I haven't bought them for 8 years!). Should I be sitting by my laptop as soon as sales open? What time is that Japan time?

Thank you so much in advance

Oliver

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Yes, tickets sell out very quick for Tokyo, especially if you want weird seats like 2-person masu on the weekend. I had success with 2 people manning 3 computers - you end up getting 404s at every step of the way so its better to have more people to do it until you break through on one. If you want to use the jp version of sumo pia try to go through the purchasing process (but don't buy obviously) with the current basho just to make sure you know what info you need ahead of time. You need a JP address but it doesn't need to be associated with the CC you are using, so any address you can find online (like a hotel) works, and you can choose 7-11 pickup.

If you want a weekday ticket for a common seat you get a bit of a leeway (a few hours) instead of a few minutes. If you fail in the rush, then buysumotickets will have some for a small markup on the price.

As for the family/senior box seat (its a masu, not a chair), I don't think they are available for Tokyo. The seat types are a little different for the different locations. The Tokyo overview is here, but its not very informative: http://www.sumo.or.jp/Admission/ticket/Sep/seat/602/

I honestly don't know if its easier to wrangle a 2 year in seats or masu. The 2 and 3 person masu are pretty roomy, the kid could lay down or stand or whatever, but the area around your masu will be cramped (no aisle running for sure). The carpet they put in the masu are pretty gnarly too, but I still prefer masu to chair seats.

Edited by Tsuchinoninjin
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I went with a 15 month old and the masu seats were awesome because, by and large, you had groups of seniors around you and they love kids and if you're okay with handing your child off to other people, you get some free child-minding while you watch some sumo. Plus they shower your kid in snacks and gifts. Downside - its crowded and the walkway is a bit narrow, so it's more challenging getting to and from the seats, particularly as it gets busier. If your kid is a wanderer, like mine, then once they're done being showered with gifts and attention and bean buns, you find yourself walking up and down the hallways around the stadium and missing most of the sumo fun. If your kid is the kind that can stay entertained sitting in one place for a long time, the masu seats are better, hands down. 

The advantage of the upper stadium style seats is that there is a bit more area to walk at the bottom of the risers (you can actually walk around people), and you can walk around the ENTIRE upper area like a lap track. Plus the walkway is down enough that if you slump a bit you're not blocking anyone else's view while you walk. So if your kid is the needs-to-move-around kind, the upper seats will totally give you the better experience.

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Thank you both, that is very helpful - yes I think the upper seats are probably better bet as she will likely want to move around a bit!

And thanks for the tips on purchasing tickets, I may well just outsource the whole thing to buysumotickets.

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