My SUMO Morning Practice Experience in Tokyo!
How to Watch SUMO training in Tokyo!
Did you know that we can watch the training session of SUMO wrestlers in Tokyo?? I’m sharing my amazing experience of visiting one of Sumo Stables and watching Sumo wrestlers practice in Tokyo!
*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.
Sumo is one of the most unique and fascinating cultures of Japan. In Tokyo, there are numbers of sumo stables (training room) especially in Ryogoku area (very close to Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree). And some of them are open for public to watch the wrestlers practicing.
I have decided to join a sumo morning practice tour and booked through the tour company. As soon as I made a reservation for the tour, the host contacted me and briefly guided about what time and where to meet. In the morning of the day, the host picked up me at Honjo Azumabashi Station (next to Asakusa station) and took me to the sumo stable, Azumazeki Beya. There were around 10 other guests.
Before entering, they explained us a few rules to follow in the sumo stable (as written below). As sumo wrestlers practice very seriously and hard everyday, there are something that we have to keep in minds not to disturb them as well as showing them respects.
-Video shoot is not allowed (Photo shoot is allowed without flash)
-Don’t lean on the wall
-Do not put your feet towards Dohyo (the circle ring)
When we arrived, the Sumo wrestlers were already warming up by marching in the circle with “Suriashi” (walking with sliding feet). Then they also started practicing “Shiko” (Leg stomping) and “Teppo” (pushing a pillar). We were guided to sit down next to the training field, right in front of wrestlers.
Then they moved on to “Torikumi (sumo bout)” and the session lasted over 1 hour.
The Torikumi session:
1. Sanban Keiko- against the same wrestler repeatedly
2. Moushiai- the winner of 1 can practice with another wrestler
3. Butsukari- hit tackle and defense
Sumo practice are done from the lower ranked wrestlers
Sometimes the coach and senior wrestlers were pretty harsh on young wrestlers. Although I knew it was a part of the practice and the strong discipline of sumo to train young, watching young Sumo wrestlers practicing was almost overwhelming as they seemed to try very hard not give up on the training.
As time goes by, stronger and bigger wrestlers went on practice on each other and it was much more powerful and spectacular to watch.
And their practice ended with stretches. After all, guests had an exclusive chance to take a photo with sumo wrestlers, which was a really rare experience to have!!
The best thing about joining the morning practice tour is that you can see the sumo wrestlers really close and feel their energy by watching them in action. Even though the wrestlers I saw that day were still not ready to play in the grand tournament, such as the one you see on TV, they were really powerful and dynamic. The tour also gives you a great opportunity to learn Japanese tradition and disciplines. It’s one of the most rare and precious experiences we can have in Japan.
If you want to book the same tour, click HERE to make a reservation 😉
▽For those who want to watch Sumo tournaments, check out this perfect guide!▽
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