Grand Sumo Tournament Ryogoku Ward Reviews
Sumo in Japan Jun 03, 2014
When you go to Japan there's several things that you just have to do, like eat sushi, drink sake and of course watch Sumo!
I visited Japan in May and there happened to be a big sumo tournament going on at Ryogoku Kokugikan Hall. I just had to see it.
The event ran all day, from 8am to 6pm. You are allowed one re-entry for the day.
From the outside the Hall looks quite small and compact but when you get inside your instantly struck but how big the Hall is. I think the current capacity is 13,000!
On the day I went it was jam packed, surprisingly there seemed to be as many foreigners there as there was Japanese.
The building was warm and had a great atmosphere.
There was alot of salt throwing and butt slapping before the actual fighting but when the action started it was alot of fun and the crowd soaked it up.
I would recommend to everyone to go see Sumo. You don't have to be a fan of it to enjoy it. Plus with the one re-entry you can go see Yasuda Garden, Yokoamicho Park and Edo-Tokyo Museum which are all surrounding the Sumo Hall.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Sumo Wrestling Tokyo Mar 22, 2011
If you happen to be in Tokyo during one of the tournaments then it is well worth a look.
I would recommend just getting the cheapest ticket. The locals only really come in during the main matches towards the end of the day so you can get a good view of the action earlier on.
Like me you are unlikely to know what is going on or recognise any of the wrestlers so the the minor bouts prove to be just as interesting.
I would say that an hour or two is plenty of time to take in the atmosphere. You can go in out out throughout the day and it proves to be a good hiding place from the heat.
Japanese national sport May 22, 2007
In 4 cities, Tokyo (3 times), Osaka, Aichi and Fukuoka, the annual Grand Sumo Tournament takes place.
I went to the may tournament in Tokyo, which starts in the morning with matches between new sumo trainees, followed by the Jonokuchi bouts (lowest rank), moving up to the junior grade (Makushita). In the afternoon, the Juryo division bouts (intermediate rank) begin, followed by the entrance of the wrestlers who will participate in the Makuuchi bouts (highest rank) and finally the ring entrance of the Yokozuna (Grand Chanpion) who performs a ceremonial before the the bouts take place. At the end of each day, after the final bout, a lower ranked wrestler performs the Yumitori-shiki (bow dance) as a conclusion of the days bouts.
Before a bout begins, a wrestler throws salt to purify the ring. The wrestlers also stamp their feet, then squat opposite of each other, pretend to start the match, looking at each other in what's called a "cold warfare" then return to their corners. This is repeated 3 times before the bout actually starts. 1 clear signal that the bout is to begin is when the Gyoji (referee) stands face forward to both wrestlers, instead with his side to the wrestlers.
The bout begins and both wrestlers go at each other for victory. Usually the matches last a few seconds, but some matches can last a few minutes, mainly due to exhaustion, the wrestlers take a pause to rest and breath, while entangled with each other. There are 2 ways of winning a match: a wrestler is forced out of the ring, even just the heel outside the ring counts or when he touches any part of his body, except for his feet, inside the ring.
Sometimes it happens that the judges and referee have to gather to determine the winner, since both wrestlers fell down in the ring or left the ring at the same time. When undecided, the match has to be done again. In one particalur match I watched, the wrestlers had to do the bout 3 times before the winner was finally determined.
Sometimes an upset happens when the grand champion, a Yokozuna, loses his match. The crowd from the first floor seating area, throw their seat cushions in the ring. I witnessed this when I was at my first Sumo Tournament back in may 2007. It amazed me to see that kind of reaction, as the atmosphere is calm, apart from the shouting for the favorite wrestlers and cheering when a bout lasts longer then expected.
After the tournament is over, it lasts for 15 days, the award ceremony takes place, started off with the national anthem then followed by the award ceremony where the tournament winner receives his prices.
In my opinion, this is a must see event when you're in Tokyo. It's expensive, but well worth the money. I had a wonderful day, where I got to witness a great sporting event, see how the local people react and behave during such an event and learned more about the japanese culture.
Part of the list What to see and do in Japan
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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