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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Tokyo Sports
Tokyo Sports Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Sumo wrestling is Japan’s national sport and the 6 annual 15-day tournaments generate huge interest throughout the country. The January, May and September tournaments take place in Tokyo. Tickets are available for purchased at the venue, the Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium, 1–3–28 Yokoami, Sumida-ku (tel: (03) 5237 9310).

Even greater passion and loyalty is aroused by baseball (yakyu or besubaru). Many of Japan’s 12 professional teams are based in Tokyo and games always attract huge crowds. Among the best places to see a game is Tokyo Dome, 1–3 Koraku, Bunkyo Ku (tel: (03) 5800 9999), home to Japan’s favourite team, the Yomiuri Giants.

After Japan’s successful co-hosting of the World Cup 2002, football (sakka) is more popular than ever. Japan’s professional J-League consists of 12 teams and games are played regularly at Tokyo Dome (see above) or the National Stadium, Kokuritsu Kyogijo (tel: (03) 3403 1151).

Tokyo has 2 horse racing (keiba) tracks, the Tokyo Keibajo (tel: (0423) 633 141) and the Oi Keibajo (tel: (03) 3763 2151), with races usually held on weekends.

Ticket Pia (tel: (03) 5237 9999 for English-language telephone booking) and Lawson Ticket (tel: (03) 5537 9999) are the major ticket agencies, with outlets throughout the city. Events are usually sold out and bookings should be made well in advance.

Fitness centres

The Clark Hatch Fitness Center, Azabu Towers, 2–1–3 Azabudai Minato-ku (tel: (03) 3584 4092), offers day membership and the major hotels almost all contain fully equipped fitness centres.

The Hotel Nikko Tokyo’s Bayside Spa ‘Zen’, 1–9–1 Daiba, Minato-ku (tel: (03) 5500 5500), and Park Hyatt’s high rise Club on the Park, 3–7–1–2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku (tel: (03) 5322 1234), both are worthy of a special mention.

Golf

Japan is a golf-crazy country and, while Tokyo enjoys more than 500 driving ranges (often located on rooftops), enthusiasts should be prepared to travel to golf courses. Fees are high and weekends can be extremely busy.

The Sakawa Royal Golf Club, Kanagawa Prefecture (tel: (0465) 772 226; fax: (0465) 772 632), located 2 hours by train west of Tokyo, boasts views of Mount Fuji. Non-members are allowed to play on weekdays and on weekends outside peak season.

The Kazusa Monarch Country Club, 856–2 Yanoshiroji Yasurozawa Kimitsu, Chiba (tel: (0439) 293 101; fax: (0439) 293 399) allows non-members at all times. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the course is located 90 minutes by train southeast of Tokyo. Course fees are from ¥13,000.

Most golf courses are closed on Monday. The Tokyo Golf Course Guide provides additional information.

Jogging

Tokyo’s parks are very popular with joggers. A favourite is Yoyogi Park, easily accessible via Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote loop line or Meiji-jingumae Station on the Chiyoda underground line. The outer moat of the Imperial Palace provides a beautiful jogging route but runners here could suffer from car fumes.

Tennis

The Hibiya-koen tennis courts (tel: (03) 3501 6428) are centrally situated in Hibiya Park, near Ginza. They are open 09:00–21:00 daily and fees are ¥3000–4000 per hour per court. Membership registration is necessary but can be acquired free of charge. Court reservations should be made well beforehand. There is a website that provides information on additional places to play.