Sumo, also known as Japan’s national sport, is a traditional and iconic sport practiced for centuries since the Edo period (1603-1868). It is rooted in the culture and history of Japan, and its popularity continues to grow, even gaining international recognition with tournaments taking place worldwide. Would you consider participating in a sumo battle? Do you think you’ll win?
May Grand Sumo Festival
The Sumo Grand Festival is one of those tournaments that attracts international visitors. The one held every May in Tokyo is the third of Japan’s six annual Sumo Tournaments, also known as Honbasho. They hold the other Sumo Festivals in Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka during January and September.
The Sumo Festival starts on a Sunday and lasts for 15 days. The tournament begins as early as eight in the morning, but the strong wrestlers, or the much-awaited battles, start at 3:30 in the afternoon. If you are watching the match, best be aware that ringside seats are limited and dangerous. There are chances of a wrestler falling off the ring. Box seats or Masu-seki can also fit four people and provide a good view of the matches. Arena seats are also available on a higher level for those who prefer affordable seats for just viewing the matches.
Where else to experience Sumo
Besides the six sumo festivals, there are other ways to watch sumo matches and wrestlers. Booking your personal sumo experience is a thing, and the wrestlers themselves will tell you all about the sport, and you can even engage in a playful match against the wrestlers. Another way to experience Sumo is by watching a sumo morning training. Tourists get to watch the wrestlers during their intense training and get a chance to take photos. You get to learn about the sport and experience it up close!
Sumo wrestlers have become icons in Japan as representations of strength and courage. We see them as warriors and entertainers, inspiring generations with their dedication to their craft. Not everyone understands Sumo or the point of Sumo wrestling. But people might understand and learn about the sport by watching or joining activities promoting Sumo’s culture. Don’t you find Sumo interesting? Will you also try watching a Sumo match or attending their morning practice? Or have you watched one before? Share your stories with us!