New Japan Pro-Wrestling and STARDOM

New Japan Pro-Wrestling and STARDOM

Pro-wrestling brings thrills and spills to Tokyo nightlife


While Tokyo nightlife staples in Shinjuku, Roppongi, and the like are booming in popularity post-pandemic, Suidobashi has recently seen its own surge in international nightlife. 

In the shadow of the Tokyo Dome, Korakuen Hall is a frequent host of New Japan Pro-Wrestling and its female-oriented counterpart, STARDOM. Japan’s two largest professional wrestling organizations have fans packing the venue several times a month, all hungry for pro wrestling’s blend of high-impact athleticism and entertainment.

“International attendance has risen rapidly after pandemic restrictions eased,” remarks NJPW President and CEO Takami Ohbari. “Well over 10% of our attendees are from outside of Japan, and that’s growing all the time. There’s a unique experience only we provide.”

Part of the attraction is a lack of language barrier. While American pro wrestlers might spend as much time on a microphone as in combat, Japanese wrestling adopts a ‘show before tell’ philosophy, making the experience much more physical and captivating. Venue signage is in English, and for those wanting more context of what happens in the ring and backstage, English commentary and subtitled wrestler interviews are available online.

“There’s a traditional Japanese samurai-like fighting spirit unique to pro-wrestling here. It lets us bring a slice of Japan to the world,” comments NJPW English announcer Chris Charlton, “but there’s also an element of bringing the world to Japan that is just as important about what we do.”

“There are 40 women on the NJPW roster,” explains Italian-Japanese former World of STARDOM Champion, Giulia. “That’s 40 different worldviews and personalities. There’s real, gritty human drama that contrasts with the colorful looks and costumes.”

With no off-season, the drama surrounding championship glory never ends. Yet all wrestlers pursue the biggest stage of the year, which for NJPW means Wrestle Kingdom. Staged every January 4 in the Tokyo Dome, Wrestle Kingdom sees 40,000 fans in the venue and hundreds of thousands more worldwide witness the peak of professional wrestling. This year, ‘Wrestle Kingdom Week’ will see NJPW take over the Tokyo Dome City area with visually stunning signage, fan events and more. STARDOM gets involved with January 4 matches in Tokyo Dome City Hall, a stone’s throw from the Dome, right before Wrestle Kingdom takes place.

For the female athletes of STARDOM, Ryogoku Sumo Hall sees a spectacular end to the year on December 29 for Dream Queendom. Tickets for both events are easily purchasable in English. The chance for fans new and old from the world over to bookend their year with memories to last a lifetime is an irresistible one.

NJPW official English homepage 

X @njpwglobal

STARDOM (Japanese only) 

X @we_are_stardom