Mixed Martial Arts or MMA may be the hottest full contact sport competition in the world right now, but to witness true brute strength and raw human power, nothing beats sumo wrestling! One of the top things to do in Tokyo, Japan is to witness the ancient art of sumo amidst local fanfare at the popular Ryogoku Stadium.
Also known as “Ryogoku Kokugikan”, this famous stadium can be found in the Yokoami neighbourhood. Located near the Edo-Tokyo Museum and the Ryogoku Station, the Ryogoku Stadium hosts three main sumo wrestling tournaments; the “hatsu basho” in January, the “natsu basho” in May and September’s “aki basho”. There is also a museum here where you can learn more about this fascinating sport and its origins.
After entering the stadium, you can make your way to your respective “house”, which is where you will be seated. It is easy to be over-awed by the sheer energy and expectation of the event, especially when the 13,000 capacity stadium is sold out.
At the beginning of the competition, you can observe such traditional customs as the ring-entering ceremony and the salt purification customs. When the bout begins however, all that is forgotten as the stadium is filled with the frenzied thrill of seeing these massive wrestlers in action. As you get swept away in all the excitement, you may even have a chance to ponder the age old question of what happens when an unstoppable force collides with an immovable object!