The Japanese, however, take a different approach. They want to forget their worries, forget their jobs, and have some fun! Which is why, taking in a game or match whilst you are in Japan is an unforgettable (and very different) experience.
Picture this: It's the beginning of the match. The away team comes onto the field. Do the home team hiss? Boo? No! With the encouragement of their mascot, they help the away fans sing their anthem! As they say, only in JapanÖ
From being ringside at a Sumo tournament, sitting with the cheer squad at a football match or watching the cars go round and round at the F1, there really is something for everyone.
However, watching sport in Japan is not just a sporting experience. It is a rare opportunity to see the Japanese letting their collective hair down. Itís also a great opportunity to meet people and have a cracking time. Donít know the rules? Donít worry; youíre not the only one! When everyone stands, you stand. When everyone cheers, you cheer. Got it? Easy! Game on!
The most popular sport in Japan by far is baseball. Introduced by the Americans in the early 20th ecntury and taken to heart by the Japanese almost immediately, hundreds of thousands attend games on a daily basis. Japanese fans are like no others and tickets to the big game are certainly a great addition to any trip.
Sumo is the traditional sport of Japan and if this is a must for you we can offer tickets to the six annual tournaments or the chance to visit a stable for early morning traning.
For all the details on the full range of sporting experiences on offer from InsideJapan Tours, choose from the options below. And if you don't see what you are looking for here, please drop us a line to ask.
Morning Sumo Practice
Sumo is the traditional sport of Japan, famed throughout the world for the enormous wrestlers going head-to-head in a true clash of heavyweights. However, the sport is often misunderstood and in the West the level of athleticism, strength and pure determination required to succeed at the top level are rarely appreciated.
Our morning training experience is designed to provide you with a genuine insight into the lives of the sumo wrestlers and the training that is required to excel at this sport. You will be met by a professional guide at your hotel at 7am. You will then be taken to a sumo stable to see the morning training known as 'asa geiko' in Japanese. Attending training is a very close up experience as you will be sat on tatami mat flooring just a couple of metres from the practice 'dohyou', the sumo ring. From here you will see the wrestlers go through their paces, with repeated leg raises, practice arm thrusts and some unusual lifting of weights - often heavy logs or sacks of rice. Training usually concludes with a winner-stays-on match up where one wrestler takes on all comers until he is defeated, at which point the new champion takes over.
You are allowed to take photographs but flash photography is strictly forbidden. Other house rules include no talking in loud voices (whispering is usually okay) and no pointing of the soles of the feet at the ring. And with the threat of being removed by the stable master or one of his 'boys' it really is best not to step out of line!
This is a truly unique experience and one you will never forget.
Sumo wrestlers train Monday to Friday although there are often unscheduled holidays. However, these are on a stable by stable basis and rarely will all stables be closed. During the six annual tournaments there is no morning training and for the Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka tournaments (March, July and November) the wrestlers usually leave town around one week prior to the opening day. If you are keen to visit a stable do check the tournament dates and make sure these do not coincide with your visit.
Perhaps the best time to see training is around 7-14 days before a tournament. This is when you can see the wrestlers at their most serious as they really get down to the final hard work before the competition.
The vast majority of sumo stables are located in Tokyo with most of these being in the Ryugoku area, just across the Sumida River from the histroic district of Asakusa. The specific stable you will visit depends on the training schedule of the stables.
Plan your trip
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There are many things to consider when planning your Japan trip: time of year you wish to travel; how long you have available; where in Japan you want to go; the things you wish to experience; what budget you have available to name but a few.
Our Tailored Trip Enquiry Form is designed so we can get as clear an idea as possible as to what will make the perfect Japan trip for you.
After we have received your enquiry, one of our Japan-expert travel consultants will get in touch to discuss your trip in more detail so as we can out together a proposal for you. We donít ask for any money upfront to put together a quote and most importantly, every quote we do is 100% tailored for you.
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