Built in 1964 for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the Nippon Budokan was meant to foster international interest in traditional Japanese martial arts and inspire young people to connect to the world through them. Able to seat over 14,000 people, the hall is often used for concerts by famous musicians.
Muhammad Ali fought Japanese pro-wrestling legend Antonio Inoki at the Budokan in 1976
Music groups such as Led Zeppelin, Cheap Trick, and Bob Dylan have recorded live albums here
This venue is accessible by train and taxi.
The Budokan is inside Kitanomaru Park, just beyond the Tayasu-mon Gate, a one-minute walk from Kudanshita Station. The entrance is not far from the Showa Memorial Museum.
Budokan literally means "Japanese martial arts hall," and to this day it is the main stage for national martial arts competitions of all kinds, including aikido, judo, karate, kendo, Japanese archery and more. While certain events are closed to the public, there are also quite a few free admission tournaments or championships, mainly held on on Saturdays or Sundays.
Pro-wrestling and boxing events are also held regularly, and in 1976 legendary boxer Muhammad Ali fought a bout with Japanese pro wrestler Antonio Inoki at the hall.
Besides martial arts tournaments, this is also a major venue for live concerts. While at first it was only open to Japanese artists, in 1966 the Beatles became the first Western group to perform here. Since then dozens of international stars have strutted across this famous stage, including Eric Clapton, Frank Sinatra, and Diana Ross. For Japanese musicians, performing at the Nippon Budokan is considered a huge milestone in their careers.