Tokyo Sumo Tournament: Ryogoku’s Grand Event Explained

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A Glimpse at the Japanese National Sport

The Tokyo Sumo Tournament, held every September, is the penultimate of Japan’s six annual sumo tournaments, honbasho. As one of Japan’s most popular traditional sports, sumo wrestling attracts numerous local and international fans. Several guided tours are available for tourists visiting Tokyo during the tournament to ensure a greater appreciation and understanding of this ancient martial art.

Immerse Yourself in the Thrilling Tokyo Events in September with the Tokyo Sumo Tournament

Unique Tour Experience with Professional Guide

Visitors can choose to reserve B-class or C-class seats for the sumo tournament and enjoy the matches with a professional guide passionate about sumo wrestling. Witnessing the intensity of sumo wrestlers battling it out on the dohyo (ring) with a knowledgeable guide enhances one’s experience. It provides a deeper understanding of the traditions and customs inherent in this revered sport.

Must-Visit Destination: Ryogoku District

Ryogoku, a district in Tokyo, is regarded as the heart of sumo wrestling in Japan. It is home to Kokugikan, the sumo stadium, and many sumo stables. This area also houses chankonabe hotpot restaurants where visitors can taste traditional sumo wrestler meals.

Exploring Ancient Beginnings: Origins of Sumo Wrestling

Sumo is believed to have originated as an entertaining performance to appease Shinto deities hundreds or thousands of years ago. According to legend, these gods practiced sumo before passing it down to humans. Later, it became part of Shinto rituals meant to ensure bountiful harvests during Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868). Visitors can further explore this fascinating history at Ryogoku’s Sumo Museum.

Rituals and Traditions: A Key Part of the Sumo Tournaments

In modern-era sumo wrestling, it is common to see remnants of its Shinto ritualistic role. Wrestlers perform purifying rituals with salt and show respect to the gods, demonstrating the sport’s ancient origins.

Essential Understanding: Key Facts About Sumo Tournaments

For an in-depth appreciation of the Tokyo Sumo Tournament, tourists should familiarize themselves with some basic key facts:

  • Six major honbasho tournaments are held annually—January, March, May, July, September, and November—in major cities across Japan.
  • Wrestlers are ranked based on their previous performances—from yokozuna (highest rank) to jonokuchi (lowest rank). The top-ranked wrestlers are called ozeki.
  • A wrestler wins a match by forcing their opponent out of the ring or causing any part of their opponent’s body other than their feet to touch the ground in the ring.
  • Each wrestler competes in one match daily, earning a point for each victory.

With these essential tips and information about sumo wrestling and its history, visiting spectators will get a deeper understanding of this ancient martial art and fully appreciate the grandeur of the Tokyo Sumo Tournament.

Experience the perfect blend of tradition and excitement at the Tokyo Sumo Tournament and Senzoku-Ike Autumn Festival.

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