Sumo at the Kokugikan

Sumo is more than a sport. It is deeply rooted in tradition and spirituality. The life of a sumotori is strictly regulated. When in lower ranks, sumo wrestlers must be obedient to their seniors. Wrestlers live in stables, large living complexes that feature, sleeping, eating and training facilities. Several times a year, all wrestlers meet at the major tournaments.

I had the chance recently to attend a Sumo tournament held in Tokyo at the Kokugikan. Upon arriving at the Ryogoku station, one notices the Sumo wrestlers getting off the train and the large posters of sumo wrestlers in the station. The stadium itself, the Kokugikan, is quite peculiar. The seats are divided into two sections. The upper one consists of normal seats. The lower one has what is called a masu-seki. It is a flat space with cushions large enough to fit four people. The sumo stage is at the center, under what looks like the roof of a shrine hanging from the ceiling. The sumo ring is indeed a very sacred place. The ring itself is covered in sand and is encircled by a rope.

Sumo matches are very short. Most lasted a several seconds and rarely exceeded a minute. When the two wrestlers put their fists on the ring the bout starts. They accelerate rapidly towards each other and hit with a phenomenal force. From then on, wrestlers try to force their opponent out of the ring or to fall on the floor. Once the bout is over the sumo wrestlers withdraw and two new wrestlers come for the next match.

Sumo tickets are sold for a whole day of competition. The day starts with the lower ranks and ends with the best wrestlers. Between every division, a ceremonial cleaning of the ring is carried. Most spectators come to watch the upper divisions so it is generally quiet in the morning. Before the uppermost division, Yokozunas, the best wrestlers, performs a special ceremonial entrance.

share photos of Japan from GaijinGoJapan

Address
Click on links to see the interactive map
Country: Japan
Area : Kanto area
Prefecture : Tōkyō-to
City : Sumida-ku
District : Yokoami
Getting around
Directions to "Sumo at the Kokugikan" in Google Map
See more about
Japan > Kanto area > Tōkyō-to > Sumida-ku > Yokoami

Tokyo Skytree (Tōkyō Sukaitsurī,東京スカイツリ)

Tokyo Skytree is now the highest tower in the world with a height of 634 meters. You can get some incredible views of Tokyo including the Sumida river region, Sensoji temple, Ueno park, Tokyo Tower, Mount Fuji and more! Sky Tree is extremely busy since its opening, get there early to minimize the wait. A 30 min wait to buy tickets is not uncommon and gets longer during the day (the ticket line extended out of the building and under the sun by noon). The second deck requires you to buy an additional ticket from the main observatory, be prepared to wait 15-30 minutes again in crowded conditions. Plan plenty of time for waiting in line because the visit is well worth it!


Gaijin-San's theater

share photos of Japan from GaijinGoJapan

Address
Click on links to see the interactive map
Country: Japan
Area : Kanto area
Prefecture : Tōkyō-to
City : Sumida-ku
District : Oshiage
Getting around
Directions to "Tokyo Skytree (Tōkyō Sukaitsurī,東京スカイツリ)" in Google Map
See more about
Japan > Kanto area > Tōkyō-to > Sumida-ku > Oshiage

Restaurant boats in Tokyo (Yakatabune)

Isakaya Boat In Tokyo
Isakaya Boat In Tokyo

Restaurant-boats are a common sight along the Sumida river in the evening but can also be seen in great numbers in the bay of Tokyo.

On the menu : typical isakaya-style fare or okonomiyaki and plenty of beer. Some of them have a terrace accessible on the roof to take a breath of fresh air and enjoy the night scenery of Tokyo.

Address
Click on links to see the interactive map
Country: Japan
Area : Kanto area
Prefecture : Tōkyō-to
City : Sumida-ku
District :
Getting around
Directions to "Restaurant boats in Tokyo (Yakatabune)" in Google Map
See more about
Japan > Kanto area > Tōkyō-to > Sumida-ku >

Edo Tokyo Museum

Edo Tokyo Museum is huge, and is held in the air! It was actually modeled according to an old storehouse style. The museum presents the last 400 years of history Tokyo, formerly called Edo.

share photos of Japan from GaijinGoJapan

Address
Click on links to see the interactive map
Country: Japan
Area : Kanto area
Prefecture : Tōkyō-to
City : Sumida-ku
District : Yokoami
Getting around
Directions to "Edo Tokyo Museum" in Google Map
See more about
Japan > Kanto area > Tōkyō-to > Sumida-ku > Yokoami