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My First Sumo Wrestling

No, it wasn’t me in the ring. I didn’t fight. I’m too tiny for that. LOL. 

I am one of those lucky travellers in Japan who came here during Sumo season: January, May and September.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.Yesterday I went and watched alone. I was supposed to meet 5 couchsurfers at the subway exit but I was late for 20 minutes and was not able to find them later at the venue. Since everyone were traveler, communication was non existent between us. 

I bought the general admission ticket for 2,100 yen. They’ll gave me the whole day tournament schedule, a sumo fan and a brochure about sumo. Before I got inide the Ryogukan Sumo Stadium, they told me to sanitize my hands by pointing at the hand sanitizer nearby, inside the makeshift tent. 

When I went inside the stadium, I was surprised to see only very few people watching—with wonder and fascination. 

I was supposed to sit at the farthest area on the second floor but since there was no one there to check my ticket and seat number, I walked down towards the sumo stage. There, I sat like a boss, on the third row which has a really good view of the sumo fight.  

It turned out that morning fights are the day’s preliminary fights. It’s not as exciting as you’ve seen on TV. Those who’ll go on the semi-final rounds will fight in late afternoon ’till evening where the event is televised via NHK Channel.  People come and watch the event–so this means that you’ve got to sit according to your ticket seat number—because it will be crowded.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Two sumo wrestlers are introduced to each other. 

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Both warm up. 

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Or as they say, “break a leg.”

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

When the referee commands them to be in position, they do this. 

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Then, they fight, by pushing each other to the side. 

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Since both are strong and heavy, it takes a bit of time for the other one to be pushed outside the circle. 

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

When they fight, they become very intimate. 😉 

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Like, really intimate! 🙂 

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

In my observation, most fights only lasted in less than 3 minutes. There was even one that was less than 45 seconds. 

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo Wrestling at Ryogukan Sumo Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sumo seems to be a lost Japanese art. Young people seemed to be uninterested about this sport which fascinated droves of foreign visitors, including me, to Ryogukan Sumo Stadium.

After the fight and during lunch break, I went backstage to catch a sumo wrestler for a photo op. I saw two of them going out and I never wasted time but asked them if it’s ok to pose with them. One volunteered to take the shot and the other one happily obliged to pose with me. I was happy tourist at the end.
Twenty minutes later, I went out of the Ryogukan Sumo Stadium and crossed the street to grab a bite at McDonald’s. There, I saw the two sumo wrestlers I’ve just met. They nodded their head when they saw me. They occupied the huge table for both of them. Each ordered three combos! yes, three combos!

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