Monday, January 18, 2010

Japanese MMA scene venue list

If you want go to a Japanese MMA event, it can be quite intimidating if you don’t know exactly where the venues are.

Here’s a list of the venues where Japanese MMA events are often held, along with a Google Maps link and a short description of the venue.

I strongly recommend you watch a local MMA event in a small venue like Shinjuku Face. That is the best way to see quality local fighters - and future stars - up close and personal. Ticket prices usually start at a relatively inexpensive 5000 yen, too. Many large international cities still can’t boast the kind of local MMA scene you can enjoy in Japan.

I will later write a guide to buying MMA tickets in Japan, so please watch out for that.(It Done.)

How to buy MMA ticket in Japan (Shooto and Pancrase)
How to buy MMA ticket in Japan (DEEP and Jewels)

Shinjuku Face
Shinjuku Face MAP
Official seat capacity: 600
Nearest station: Shinjuku

This is the most recommended venue to watch local MMA. Located in Shinjuku, access from central Tokyo is easy. Shooto usually hold quality local cards here, like past events “Shooting Disco” or “Shooto Gig Tokyo”. You can get pretty close to the ring. Even in the furthest away seats, I don’t think you’ll feel like you are too far away from the ring.

Kitazawa Town Hall
Kitazawa Town Hall MAP
Official seat capacity: 294
Nearest station Shimokitazawa

Shooto holds smaller local cards at this venue. This is the place to go if you want to see lower level fighters up close.

Korakuen Hall
Korakuen Hall MAP
Official seat capacity: 1873
Nearest station: Suidobashi

The Japanese fight industry grew up here. It has played host to many MMA, boxing and kickboxing events. I recommend Shooto and DEEP (especially when the 70kg and under champ participate shows) here. You should plan ahead when coming to watch DEEP, as it can end late at night when the trains are not running or running irregularly.

If you want to watch kickboxing here, I recommend Krush’s 60kg grand prix - it’s a great event.

Meets Port (Tokyo Dome City HALL)
Meets Port (Tokyo Dome City HALL) (English Page)
Meets Port (Tokyo Dome City HALL) MAP
Official seat capacity: 3000+
Nearest station: Suidobashi

Shooto often holds its flagship events here. The shows that are held here are usually of high quality, but the cheap tickets will leave you some distance from the action. The venue itself is relatively new meaning everything is nice and modern.

Differ Ariake
Differ Ariake MAP
Official seat capacity: 1273
Nearest station: Kokusai Tenjijyo or Ariake Tennis No Mori

This is where you can watch Pancrase and Cage Force. I recommend Pancrase’s up-to-70kg championship or flyweight matches in particular. Cage Force is one of the only Japanese events to be held in a cage daily.

Shinkiba 1st Ring
Shinkiba 1st Ring MAP
Official seat capacity: 350
Nearest station: Shinkiba

A small, local-level MMA venue.

Saitama Super Arena
Saitama Super Arena (English Page)
Saitama Super Arena MAP
Official seat capacity: Min: 5000, Max: 37,000
Nearest station: Saitama Shintoshin

The most famous MMA venue in Japan. PRIDE, DREAM and SRC hold major events here.

Yokohama Arena
Yokohama Arena (English Page)
Yokohama Arena MAP
Official seat capacity: 17000
Nearest station: Shinyokohama

A large venue for major MMA events in Kanagawa.

Yoyogi National Gymnasium
Yoyogi National Gymnasium MAP
Official seat capacity: 13291 (1st gymnasium)
Official seat capacity: 3202 (2nd gymnasium)
Nearest station: Harajyuku or Meijijingumae

Venue for major MMA events in Tokyo. Near Harajuku, famous for its teen fashion scene.

Azalea Taisho
Azalea Taisho MAP
Official seat capacity: 300
Nearest station: Kizugawa or Tsumori

Osaka's venue for local MMA.

Osaka Jo Hall
Osaka Jo Hall(English Page)
Osaka Jo Hall MAP
Official seat capacity: 16000
Nearest station: Osakajokoen

Major MMA venue in Osaka. DREAM hold events here.

Asunal Hall
Asunal Hall MAP
Official seat capacity: 430
Nearest station Kanayama Sogo

Nagoya's venue for local MMA.

Nihon Gaishi Hall
Nihon Gaishi Hall (English Page)
Nihon Gaishi Hall MAP
Official seat capacity: 10000
Nearest station: Kasaradera

Nagoya's venue for major MMA events. DREAM holds Nagoya events here.

Zepp Sapporo
Zepp Sapporo MAP
Official seat quantity 822
Nearest station Nakajimakoen or Yamahana9jo

Sapporo's venue for local MMA.

SKILL MMA's Japanese MMA venue exterior photo series

Big thanks to Matt Benyon (from The Grappling Dummy) for English editing.

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