see + do
Sumo at Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium, Tokyo
Tel: 81 3 3622 1100
Concierge.com's insider take:
Sumo wrestling is one of the quintessential Japanese sports, and there are three tournaments a year in Tokyo, all held at the sumo stadium in Ryogoku. Matches begin with the lower ranks and end with the top wrestlers. The best seats are in boxes of four (on tatami mats), although it will be hard to find a seat anywhere near the ring (or dohyo) on the day. Sumo is a hierarchical, traditional sport and rituals are strictly adhered to; even the waitstaff runs around delivering food and drinks in anachronistic garb. Bouts are short and tense, and crowds respond to well-fought matches by throwing their cushions in the air. Join the fans afterward and watch the supersize wrestlers leave the stadium in their cotton robes (yukata) and wooden shoes (geta). The Ryogoku area is brimming with historic sumo connectionsthere are numerous sumo stables in the area and many restaurants serving the chanko-nabe stew that wrestlers eat to bulk up. Consult the Sumo Association website for schedules and ticket information.
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