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Tokyo day 3 - Sumo!

Written on: Thursday January 21st, 2010

A journal entry from: Japan 2010

We got up early today to buy cheap seats for the sumo wrestling at Ryogoku Kokugikan. The sumo goes all day, but the higher grades aren't until mid-afternoon. Therefore, we checked out the crumbly old Kanto Earthquake Memorial Museum and the very cool Edo-Tokyo Museum in the morning. Museums in Japan, and the Edo-Tokyo Museum in particular, are into really low lights levels (presumably to preserve the artifacts), which make me sleepy! We got lunch at a small restaurant near the Sumo stadium. We had buy a ticket from a vending machine, then give the ticket to the cook to be served the set lunch. While we were eating, 2 sumo came in to the restaurant, very exciting!

After lunch, we went to the sumo, which gave our sore feet some much needed down time! Our seats were the very back row of the stadium, but for 20ish dollars we got our money's worth. A typical sumo bout goes like this: announcer does some ceremonial-type announcement of the 2 fighters, 2 fighters enter the ring, then about 10 mins worth of "psyching out the opponent" beings. In this stage, there's lots of salt-throwing, posing ready to fight, stare contests, breaking away to get more salt, etc. It gets kind of frustrating for the spectators though. Then, when you've almost stopped paying attention, the 2 fighters leap at each other, there's some serious shoving and "nappy" wedgy-ing, and usually within about 10 seconds someone's pushed onto the floor or out of the ring. Jack says I missed the best bout of the day (where a sumo was thrown into the 1st/2nd row of the crowd, as I'd gone to the toilet then to get an ice cream! :( They did have mocha ice cream (my fave coffee flavour!) in my defence.

Sumo wrestling is definitely in my top 3 Japan experiences, it was really fun to watch (even all the annoying staring contests).