Let’s be honest, the sight of two elephant sized men in thongs grappling in the ring isn’t an everyday sight this side of the Aegean. Front row seats at the Sumo Championships provide a thrilling spectacle and a real insight into the Japanese culture. Combine this with a five-day break in Tokyo and you’ve got yourself a unique experience.
The rules of Sumo are simple: two men enter, one man leaves. If a wrestler touches the ring with anything other than the soles of his feet, or steps out of the ring, they are out.
Most matches are over in minutes. Seeing these giants collide with incredible force in the 4.5 metre dohyo (ring) is a sight to behold, and in front of a packed house of passionate fans gives you a once-in-a-lifetime sporting memory.
And if this isn’t reason enough to attend, alongside ringside seats for the bi-monthly Basho, you’ll spend five nights in the cutting-edge Park Hyatt Hotel in this highly charged city. From the futuristic new cityscapes of Odaiba and Roppongi Hills to the bustling shopping and entertainment centres of Shibuya and Shinjuku, Tokyo surprises you at every turn.
old japan to new tokyo
Aside from the architecture, bright lights and beguiling bustling streets, Tokyo also offers a more tranquil side allowing you insight into the beautiful traditions of the past.
What is left of the floating world of old Japan can be glimpsed in the northeast of Tokyo, the old home of courtesans in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters, the magnificent Asukusa Kannon temple and the Sumo stables of the Ryogoku district. There is even a Sumo museum in the area, if you just can’t get enough.
For something less frenetic, Ueno Park is home to some of the world’s top-class museums, and dotted throughout are scores of smaller independent galleries which are a delight to visit. If you fancy a cuppa, take a break in one of the Japanese tea rooms to experience a classic society lesson. And for all those gadget geeks, a must see is the Sony Building where all the latest Sony models are on display and can be tried out.
Sumo in the world’s most frantic and exhilarating city: definitely an experience.
Available Year Round
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