Tour Report January 13, 2016(Weekday Tour)
- East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
Today we welcomed 7 guests from Finland, Australia and Canada.
We all enjoyed the pleasant walk under the clear blue sky.
Many guests mentioned that they would go see the Sumo tournament during their stay.
So here is a quick introduction of Sumo.
Sumo is Japanese style of wrestling and Japan’s national sport. It goes back to ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto gods. Therefore many pre-match rituals are involved.
Here is the standard ritual:
1) Both wrestlers welcome each other when sitting crouched.
2) They look each other in the eye (sometimes escalates into challenging eye contact towards the end of ritual).
3) They rub their hands, and clap them once (by doing this, they ask for the attention
of the gods). Then they move their arms horizontally sideways, the palms of their hands facing up. Later they turn their hands of the palm facing down, then put their hands on their knees.
4) They lift each of their feet.
Wrestlers wear only “Mawashi belt”, and practice above arm/leg movements to show the Shinto Gods that they are unarmed. Over the course of the ritual, salts are sprinkled on the ring by wrestlers to purify themselves and bad spirit. At the same time they would pump themselves up to prepare for the initial charge, “Tachiai” which is extremely important
in gaining advantage and momentum over the opponent.
In the middle of ring are 2 white lines. When the judge gives the signal for the wrestlers to fight, both wrestlers crouch behind their
lines and face each other. Upon the GO call, the match begins. This is the moment that excites spectators most.
Once the match begins, wrestlers may use any method to take down the opponent except pulling hair, closed fist striking, or choking.
The wrestler loses either when any part of his body (besides bottom of his own feet) touches the clay ground of the ring, or when he is pushed/thrown out of the ring.
Matches usually last couple of seconds.
The first Tokyo tournament of 2016 is held between Jan.10 and Jan.24 .
Tournaments are all day event starting early morning till 6PM, but main events starts around 4PM.
Prior to the tournament, you could drop by the Sumo museum next to Kokugikan venue, and enjoy post tournament dinner at
Chanko (staple hot pot for sumo wrestlers) restaurants near the venue.
For Sumo tickets, visit:
We thank our guests again for joining today, and wish all a wonderful
and safe stay in Japan. 🙂
Be the next to join our friendly guides on the Tokyo Free Walking Tour.
(Every Saturday 13:00 – 15:00)
Report by Asako