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Sumo

mad pierrot

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Well, for the past two weeks a friend from the states has been visiting me. The definite highlight of his trip was going to the Spring Basho in Osaka. What can I say? I love sumo! This was my second time going to a tournament, my first being several years ago in Tokyo when Asashoryu was on the rise. To anyone who’s never been to a sumo tournament, I recommend you go if youツ‘re ever in Japan. Buying tickets can be a little confusing, but if you know a little bit before hand it’s a snap. For example, in this last tournament, you can’t reserve tickets over the phone or on the internet; you must buy them at the box office. There ARE 2 exceptions: On the first day of ticket sales you can reserve tickets over the phone and at anytime you can reserve tickets over the phone if it was a party of 20 more. All reservations are taken in Japanese. One of the benefit of buying your ticket on the first day is that for a small extra fee they’ll actually deliver the ticket to your door. No waiting in line at the box office! This bring us to the next option, buying tickets at the box office. The windows open at 9:00am and ticket purchases are limited to 4 tickets per person. Ticket prices vary according to distance from the ringside, and can cost as much as 14,300 or as little 3, 600 yen per seat. (That’s about anywhere from $140.00 for ringside seats to $36.00 for the nosebleeds.) The best seats are sold in ツ“boxes,ツ” seating 4 people. You can’t buy these seats separately, except on the day of the tournament when any unsold boxes are then allowed to be split up in to sets of two seats. None of that is set in stone, prices and such vary from tournament to tournament. For all the details, check out the official website HERE.

Both times that I’ve gone I’ve sat in the 3,600 yen seats. (The equivalent of the bleacher at a ballgame.) It was great fun and worth every penny, even though I could reach behind me and touch the back wall with my hand. Last time I went, I bought my tickets at the box office the day before. I got to my seat around 3:30pm, just about the same time the real big wrestlers were waddling out. Once I got to my seat, I was shocked to see how many foreigners were there. At least 1/3rd of the nosebleed seats were occupied by foreigners, including a big group of Mongolians there to see Asashoryu. For those of you not familiar with him, Asashoryu is a cocky young Mongolian wrestler, also the yokozuna, or grand champion. He’s also a hotshot with an amazing record and shows no signs of slowing down. For a yokuzuna, he’s not even that big. (144 kilos compared to former yokozuna Akenbono's 220+kilos.) Another crowd favorite that day was Hakuho, another Mongolian wrestler. Incredibly, Hakuho is only 20 years old. 2 and 1/2 hours and half a dozen beers later, the tournament was over and people were filing out of the stadium. I wandered out into the street and headed to a local izakaya to get a bite to eat.

Why is watching overweight wrestlers battle it out for 30 seconds so fun?

:sorry:
 

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Iron Chef

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Sounds like you had a great time. :) I've yet to see Sumo in person myself but I hope to someday. Asashoryu never ceases to amaze me... he is as good a technician as I have ever seen with the strength and speed to match. With so much new talent on the rise, the future of Sumo looks bright. The institution could stand to update some of their archaic gender-biased customs though... heh.
 

Jungle Boy

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A guy I know in Japan (he's lived in Yokohama for 15 yrs) used to go all the time but he says there aren't anymore good wrestlers like when he started watching. Personally I would love to go to a match though.
 

mad pierrot

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To be honest, one of the things I like the most about sumo right now is all the foreign wrestlers. Maybe it's just my gaijin minority complex, but I like seeing the Mongolians win...

😌
 

mad pierrot

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some more pics.....
 

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Mycernius

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I used to watch sumo regularly on Channel 4, but they stopped showing it. It is on digital, but at really odd times. It is a pity because I really enjoy watching it, but I am a little out date with it.
 

mad pierrot

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more pictures....

From the Wakayama prefectural Sumo ground's Open House last year. We got to watch, join in, and eat Chanko Nabe. Lightweights beware!
 

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Brooker

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I went to sumo in Tokyo and it was just awesome. People talk about it being boring, but I thought it was pretty exciting. I think the trick is not to show up at the very beginning or you'll be there for like six hours or something. We showed up just in time to see the good stuff. Funny thing is, I think at least half the people there (in the cheap seats) were gaijin. I never met a young Japanese person who liked sumo.
 
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