Our timing of vacation in Japan luckily hit the season of sumo wrestling. It wasn’t part of the tour so I made sure we it was on our list of spots to visit during the one free day we had for ourselves. True enough, it was a wonderful experience that I recommend even at least once. If you don’t enjoy the wrestling part, I suggest you simply immerse yourself in the culture.
Before heading to the Ryougoku Sumo Hall, I made sure I researched enough to make the trip worthwhile. Some of the advice I saw online said that it was expensive and difficult to get tickets for. Well, we didn’t really go there to see the best match of all time so we risked it hoping that one blog’s advice on simply getting the General Admission ticket that seats you farthest in the arena will get us through. He was just about right! Apologies as I’ve forgotten the ticket price. It must have been about $20/ticket.
We came in early in the morning where matches are of the amateurs first if I understood it correctly. It gets better towards the end of the day. I noticed that the seats near the wrestling area were made of mats and people really opt for it. I wonder if it gets tiring for a while having to sit that way.
We saw a couple of matches during the hour that we stayed there. My mom, bro and I would take sides on who will win each time. It was difficult to tell. You can’t really say the bigger one would win. Sometimes, the smaller one seems to be more aggressive and even strategic! It’s oddly therapeutic with the silence the arena brings.
We couldn’t leave without a photo with some of the sumo wrestlers. It was a bit embarrassing to approach them but I just brought out my tourist “ticket” as excuse to get a souvenir. I feel lucky and grateful to my parents for giving us the chance to go to Japan. It makes me giddy to remember the trip every time. Before heading home, we indulged in some sake we bought. It was a happy memory to my mom who traveled back to the hotel a bit tipsy! 🙂
This Ryogoku Sumo Hall is just walking distance from the Ryogoku station. If you want to explore the place, there’s an Edo-Tokyo Museum near the stadium, as well as temples and shrines. Annual sumo tournaments are held in the months of January, May and September. Try catching one!
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