See Sumo Wrestlers in Japan on Guided Tokyo Sumo School Tour

in Japan

In Japan, sumo wrestlers earn the respect of Hollywood actors and rock stars.

The sport is the oldest martial art in the country.

It was originally a form of ritual dedication which asked the gods for a prosperous harvest, although in time it developed as a form of combat. Modern-day tourists can get a glimpse of the strict training regime of future sumo champions on the H.I.S. Experience Japan website (if it’s up!) or also see: Day in the Life of a Sumo tour in Tokyo.

During the tour you’ll meet the sumo stars of the future. These promising young athletes live and train on the premises, so they virtually breathe sumo. You’ll also eat lunch with the coach, or oyakata, who’ll share stories of sumo and a meal of their in-training diet.

Clearly chanko, a blend of seasoned lean chicken, vegetables and rice, isn’t the off-season diet of these chunky wrestlers!

While sumo wrestlers have a reputation for being on the large side, there are actually no weight restrictions. It’s not uncommon to see a wrestler taking on an opponent twice his size, and winning.

These practice bouts are one of the most exciting parts of the tour. Salt purifies the ring before the near-naked wrestlers enter it. The opponents stare each other down, menacingly, before attempting to overthrow one another. Sumo is a game of strategy rather than size, so it’s always exciting to see who will win.

H.I.S. Experience Japan Day in the Life of a Sumo tour runs on Tuesdays and Fridays, except during Grand Sumo Tournament time. They cost $207 for adults and $161 for children.

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