Insider Experience: Sumo stable visit

Insider Experience: Sumo stable visit

Step inside the world of sumo wrestling with a visit to a sumo stable in Tokyo to see a morning training session

Sumo is Japan's national sport and a national obsession. To become a wrestler requires years of strict training at a heya, or stable as it is known in English. This is where the wrestlers eat, sleep and train. There are 47 stables in Tokyo today and a wrestler will stay with the same stable throughout his career.

InsideJapan Tours have built up a special relationship with one of the sumo stables which means we can arrange exclusive access for you to watch a morning training session. You'll be accompanied by one of our "Insiders" who'll explain all about the sport and the strict etiquette for spectators watching the wrestlers train. In our safe hands you won't have to worry about making a cultural faux pas! A highlight of the training session is the "king of the castle" wrestling session where the winner stays on.

We must stress that this experience is not for everyone! You will be expected to sit on the floor for 90 minutes in complete silence so as not to disturb the wrestlers. You must sit cross-legged or with your legs tucked to one side. You are not allowed to sit with your legs stretched out in front of you as it's taboo to show the soles of your feet to the wrestlers. If you get uncomfortable, you won't be able to speak to your guide to ask to leave. Children under 12 are not allowed at all. But if you can stick to these rules, you're in for a truly authentic experience. It's remarkable that sumo stables open their doors to the public at all as this is the equivalent of watching premiership footballers or soccer stars in training.

Insider Experience: Sumo stable visit

located in Tokyo

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Journey through the lush rural landscapes of Tohoku, the region that stretches 500 miles north from Tokyo, on this superior two-week itinerary.

    Northern Highlights

    Japan's Tohoku region stretches 500 miles north of the capital and, in stark contrast to the modern skyscrapers of Tokyo, boasts outstanding natural beauty and well-preserved history a reminder that traditional ways are still very much alive and well in Japan.

    Read more >

    Journey through the lush rural landscapes of Tohoku, the region that stretches 500 miles north from Tokyo, on this superior two-week itinerary.

Other Traditional sports experiences

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    The chance to experience all the excitement and ritual of Japan's oldest sport, sumo wrestling.

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    Try this modern martial art drawing on traditional Japanese swordsmanship techniques.

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    Learn to wave a katana sword in the style of the samurai

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  • Osaka sumo

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    Visit Osaka for the spring sumo tournament which takes place in the city's Nanba district

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  • Nagoya sumo

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    Experience the excitement of the summer sumo tournament in Nagoya

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