Sumo Tickets For Children, Japan Driving Passport Translation, Japan’s Aquametropolis, Popular Japan Travel Resources



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Sumo Tickets For Children, Age Restrictions, Buying in Advance

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I received the following question about children attending sumo tournaments...

"Travelling with my 15 year old son in September – in time for the Aki Basho!! Super excited. Something I read mentioned age limits for the venue? Any issues with a 15yo at Ryōgoku Kokugikan [venue in Tokyo]? Also, is it wise to book all tickets in advance for all bouts we want to see? I will definitely try for the grand final first."

Here's my reply:

Children of all ages can watch sumo, including at Ryōgoku Kokugikan, but some require tickets and some don’t depending on their age. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Children 3 years old or younger can enter for free if they don’t need their own seat.
  • Children aged 4-15 (inclusive) a child ticket is required.
  • Children aged 16+ are considered adults.

For age verification, children (under 15 years old) you’ll need bring a document that can confirm their age (student ID card, public certificate with date of birth).

Note: these rules apply to the sumo tournament bouts themselves. Any other special events happening around the tournament may have different rules.

Yes, it’s a very good idea to buy tickets in advance, particularly if you’re looking for the latter stages of a tournament as they are likely to sell out. A limited number of tickets are available at for purchase at the venue on the day, but the queues for these can start very early (not ideal if you're not an early morning person!), and once the allocation is sold out, that’s it.

Driving Passport Translation (Driving in Japan)

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In April, I published a blog post entitled Driving In Japan Made Easy – A Beginner’s Guide.

If you're considering driving in Japan, all foreign visitors require an International Driving Permit (IDP), to drive in the country. These permits are not issued in Japan and must be obtained in your home country before coming to Japan.

Japan recognises International Driving Permits based on the 1949 Geneva Road Convention. Unfortunately, Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Monaco and Taiwan are not on this list. Drivers from any of these countries will need a translation of their national driver's licence in order to drive in Japan.

The company Driving Japan offers such translations, which are officially issued by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF).

You can order it online and it will be sent to your hotel address in Japan or even to your home address. They also offer the handy service of printing it out within a week at a 7-Eleven store in Japan.

You can learn more about their service on the Driving Japan website. Also, if you're considering driving either in Kyushu or Okinawa read: Driving in Japan: Kyushu or Okinawa?

Osaka city guide Aquarium Kaiyukan The Real Japan Rob Dyer

I've just published another in my on-going series of city guides - this time it's Osaka!

There's no other city in Japan quite like Osaka.

Japan’s second largest metropolitan area is referred to as 'Japan's kitchen', demonstrating the locals' love of food and home to takoyaki, okonomiyaki, kushikatsu and more delicious regional dishes.

It's also referred to as Aquametropolis on account of its abundant waterways and ports.

It oozes a sense of fun, the locals are friendly, it has one of Japan's most iconic castles and the world's 5th most visited theme park in Universal Studios Japan.

And a walk through the crazy streets of Dōtonbori will stay with you forever!

Osaka is easily one of my favourite cities in the whole of Japan.

So I asked local resident, Osaka Bob, to create an insider's guide to the city, and I think it provides a convincing argument for the claim that Osaka has something for everyone.

Have you been to Osaka? If so, why not share your experiences by leaving a comment at the bottom of the post so others can benefit from your experience?

Popular Japan Travel Resources

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Here's a selection of the most popular Japan Travel Resources currently being booked... - Japan Rail Passes, Regional Rail Passes, WiFi rental + Airport Meet & Greet Services.
See Website - for the best range (and frequently best prices) of accommodation across Japan, including ryokan.
See Website

Mobal SIM Cards - by far the bestselling SIM cards I recommend.
See Mobal Website

Viator - for short guided Tours by local experts, plus Things To Do, Tickets, and Attractions.
See Viator Website

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Book Your Trip: Japan Travel Essentials

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Book Your Trip: Japan Travel Essentials

Click to See My Recommendations

Book Your Flight
Find the best flight by using Skyscanner. It's my go-to flight search engine because it has the most comprehensive global search options.

Book Your Accommodation
I frequently use as they consistently offer the cheapest rates and most flexible cancellation options for hotels and guesthouses. Use Hostelworld if you're looking for budget-priced options.

Book Your Japan Rail Pass
The best official agent by a country mile is Clear and easy to use website. Excellent customer service.

Book Your WiFi
I never travel in Japan without pocket WiFi. Get Ninja WiFi for unlimited internet everywhere, use Google Maps, supports up to 10 devices.

Book Your SIM Card or eSIM
Order your physical
SIM Cards or eSIMs to stay connected and in touch while in Japan.

Book Your Hire Car
Rent a car in Japan without speaking or reading Japanese via's Car Rental portal.

Ready To Book Your Trip?
Check out my Recommended Japan Travel Resources. The list covers all the essentials. It’s filled with carefully selected travel resources. And I only include the best travel resources - those I use myself or recommend to my clients.

Need Help Planning Your Trip?
Japan Travel Store includes essential travel items as well as my books, travel guides and more.

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