With Hirakata being perfectly situated between two major cities, Osaka and Kyoto, it’s never difficult to find something to do with your evenings and weekends. Whether you’re interested in cultural or sports events, there’s something for everyone. To name a few, you can spend a day catching a Sumo tournament, Hanshin Tigers baseball game, Gamba soccer match or even a Noh play! Of course there’s also many free events you can participate in as well.


Sumo • Hanshin Tigers Baseball • Gamba Osaka Soccer


One of the most iconic images of Japan, a Sumo wrestler standing in a picturesque tradiotional Japanese Sumo ring. A recommended event everyone should witness at least once in their life, and where better to see an authentic match then in Japan itself. Matches are held in two week-long segments every other month spread over central Japan, with matches being held in Osaka during the month of March. If you’re only staying for the Fall semester, you could always catch a match in either Tokyo in September or in Fukuoka in November with a little careful planning. Cost of Regular Ticket: ¥3,800


  • Tickets can be purchased online Here or at most Konbini’s such as Lawson’s, 7/11 and Family Mart’s at a Loppi ticket vending machine. Ask attendant for help on these machines.

  • Sumo Tournaments start quite early but don’t stress out about arriving right at the beginning. The best matches are saved for later in the afternoon.

  • If you plan on staying a while, take some food with you. Snacks and drinks can be brought in with no problem, including beer.

View the Tournament Site Here for more info

Hanshin Tigers

If you have a class with Professor Zurcher, one thing he and I agree on is to go see a Hanshin Tigers game, baseball fan or not. The Hanshin Tigers are Osaka’s home team, and the experience of watching is one you will not easily forget. If you’ve ever been to an MLB game, prepare for an experience totally different from what you’re used to while still enjoying a great game of baseball. Matches are held at Koushien Stadium in Osaka, and is easily accessible by train. Season games run February through October so regardless of which semester you’re attending, you should have no problems catching a game.


  • Tickets can be purchased at most convenience stores at Loppi machines. Avoid buying online as they are usually third-party sites charging additional fees. Your RA or Japanese friends can help you with the ticket machines.

  • Buy those tube shaped balloons you’ll see everywhere at the stadium. During the 7th inning stretch, literally everyone in stadium will be blowing these up and releasing into the sky!

  • YOU CAN BRING ALCOHOL INTO THE STADIUM, and food. No need to buy it inside.

  • Depending on what time of day you go to a game, you will want to bring sunglasses, hat, and/or sunscreen. You will be in direct sunlight.

  • Average price of tickets: ¥2500-¥3500. Buy them early as games do sell out.

Gamba Osaka Soccer

If soccer is your thing, then be sure to catch a match at the Osaka Expo ’70 Stadium! Seating around 20 000 people, obtaining tickets shouldn’t be too difficult, but don’t wait too long if you plan on going with a group. Matches are held regularly March through November, typically with at least two to three home games a month. Tickets range between ¥2100 and ¥5700, depending on what seats you buy and when.


  • Take a hat or sun screen, you will be in the sun a lot depending on the time of day.

  • Tickets can be purchased online here.

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