Tomioka Hachiman Shrine – the Birthplace of Sumo

Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is famous for its festival, its golden portable shrines and as the birthplace of sumo wrestling. A lesser known but excellent spot to check out.

Tomioka Hachiman Shrine is the largest Hachiman (God of warriors and divine protector of Japan) shrine in Tokyo, famous for its annual summer festival, The Great Festival of Edo, its golden Mikoshi (portable shrine) and as the birthplace of professional sumo wrestling. 

Mikoshi Photo Credit: Masayuki (Yuki) Kawagishi via Flickr cc

Mikoshi Photo Credit: Masayuki (Yuki) Kawagishi via Flickr cc

From the entrance gate, you’ll see a display hall to your left. Inside, find two golden portable shrines or Mikoshi, each weighing four tons, valued at one billion yen each and encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. They are the largest Mikoshi in the Kanto region and the pride of the shrine, displayed for all to see at the summer festivals.  

The First Sumo tournament

Photo Credit: Guilhem Vellut via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: Guilhem Vellut via Flickr cc

In 1684, Tomioka Hachiman Shrine held the first sumo tournament in Japan with official permission from the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and has continued to be heavily associated with the sport ever since. It is still the shrine at which tournament champions come to pray, each having their names carved into the Yokozuna Stone – a large stone monument honoring titans of the sport.   

Tomioka Hachiman Festival

Photo Credit: ayustety via Flickr cc

Photo Credit: ayustety via Flickr cc

Once every three years, the golden Mikoshi is carried down adjacent Etai Dori for the Hachiman Matsuri (festival), one of Tokyo’s Big Three Festivals. Affectionately called the Mizukake Matsuri (Water Pouring Festival) it attracts over half a million spectators. As the procession proceeds, spectators throw water on the shrine carriers, turning the ceremony into something resembling a water fight. As with all big festivals, the streets are lined with food stalls selling traditional foods and sweets.


Adress: 1-1-20-3 Tomioka, Kōtō-ku, Tokyo

Telephone: +81 03-3642-1315

How to access to Tomioka Hachiman Shrine ?

Photo Credit:Dabikun [CC 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By train: 10 minutes walk from Tokyo Station or Nihonbashi or an 8-minute walk from Monzennaka-Cho Station

Visitor Information

Duration Of Visit

45 minutes- 1 hour

Period Of Visit

All year. 

Opening Time

Always Open




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Ines Smaili

Ines Smaili

Hi, I'm Inès, I love to travel all around the world especially in Japan, I will share with you all the information needed to have the best trip of your life!

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# Things to Do in Tokyo # Things to Do in Japan

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