tokoyo\'s sumo district : in the middle of toyko, vistors can immerse themselves in the ancient japanese art of sumo by watching wrestlers train, browsing in sumo gift shops and eating at sumo restaurants. welcome to . . . : fat city
I was in a room where 10 people averaged over 300 pounds per person and when they crashed their fat body was covered with dust and sweat.
They are naked except the belt;
Their hair was covered with thick grease and pulled into knots. Smack!
In addition to the heavy breath and the beating of meat, the room was silent.
It has no decoration except the earth ring.
Here, there is nothing to break the intensity of the human race against humanity, and for more than 2,000 years, believers believe that in the holy fusion of sports, religion and art, muscles and strength have been hit.
I felt as if I had stumbled back in time to some of the original villages where the tribal adult ceremony was taking place.
In fact, I\'m at the center of Tokyo, at the center of the sumo world in Japan ---
A world that attracts international attention with its charm, novelty and amazing barbaric movement.
You will not find the listed areas in the standard guide, but here you can watch the morning exercises of sumo wrestlers, browse the sumo souvenir shops, visit the Sumo Museum at sumo\'s special restaurant for lunch or dinner at the national sumo stadium.
You can even shop for Kings
Akbono, a long Japanese thong worn by a native Ha waiian-
Recently became the first American to win the Yokosuka championship. When the 23-year-
The old sumo king named Chad Rowan was awarded the highest honor of sumo, which made the sport more and more popular in the United States. Only a five-
It takes only a few minutes by train from Akihabara, the electronics district of the neighboring Ryogoku, to trace back to Japan\'s timeless and feudal past.
The consumption temples of Akihabara are messy,
Recorder and palm size
The size of the computer represents the most futuristic look of Japan, and Ryogoku offers a glimpse of a fascinating aspect of Japanese culture that has not changed significantly for centuries.
The area itself is located in the old district of Tokyo. home, working-
A class community of small families, shops and factories in their 30 s
The West is based on Sumida River, north of the East Yi Asakusa subway line, and south of the East Tsai subway line.
However, the main action is concentrated around 10-
The railway station is radiating out of the block.
The Sumo players you see walking there still live in men
Only public areas.
They still follow a strict hierarchy, with primary wrest hands doing most of the cooking and cleaning for \"stables\" or clubs.
They still wear kimono, worship (topknot)
Thongs that evoke images of the 17 thCentury Warrior
If you really want to see Sumo, Ryogoku is the place to try to buy tickets before each of the three games held in Tokyo on January, 5 and September each year.
Tickets range from the cheapest $25 to the 600 dollar round seat on the same side of the stadium where the emperor sits.
But since Sumo Mania took off here three years ago and turned wrest\'s hands into a national fan, it has become increasingly difficult to get tickets.
In particular, there are two handsome, skilled and more polished models-
Out brothers in Takanohana (
It used to be Takahanada)
Wakahanada has attracted many new female fans to sumo and has sparked a storm of public interest in the once considered mysterious movement for the elderly.
So unless you have a season ticket connection with sumo or Japanese companies, you are almost demoted to line up in front of sumo National Stadium three days in advance
Book a ticket.
Or you can show up at 5: 30. m.
A stop on the day of the game-room-
Can only pass, or pay three times the face value from the scalper.
You might get the same if you\'re lucky-
Day tickets for the first few days of the 15 th-
Queue up at the stadium for day tournaments at 10. m.
But you don\'t have to look at sumo for a trip to Ryogoku, which is worth it.
The region offers a cultural snapshot of one of Japan\'s oldest traditions, a truly different experience ---
Just an ordinary good time.
The day at Ryogoku started very early, but you will not regret the lost sleep time.
For most outsiders, several of the area\'s approximately 20 sumo stables allow visitors to watch their early training for free.
The wrest hands got up as early as 5: 30. m.
Knock your head in the ring of about 6: 30 to 9: 30. m.
Not so ambitious, I didn\'t get to the Ryogoku train station outside the Sobu Line in eastern Tokyo until 7: 45 A. M. m.
I met the Times researcher Chiaki Kitada there.
We decided to visit the asumazaki stables, next to the Honjo fire station near Mitsume Road, northeast of the area (4-6-
It\'s led by the only foreigner in the sumo world.
Born in stable host, former Jesse kururu of Hawaii.
The Happy Sumo pioneer was the first foreigner to win the game, and he recruited sumo stars akbono, little Siki and other Hawaiian to participate in the sport.
Former Japanese Prime Minister yasuiro Nakasone has written the stables in black.
We went into the training room, a sparse but airy room of blonde beauty --
A wall of wood around a dirt ring.
In front of us, like the ancient gladiators, the huge, choppy, male bodies are wrapped only in brown training bands.
When the two wrest hands are facing off in the ring, others jog around them, stretch their bodies, and lift weights.
Some of them asked us about the situation.
No wonder: We are the only woman in the room.
The energy of men is overwhelming.
I feel a little embarrassed, especially conspicuous.
Sumo is a man\'s world in which women are not even allowed to step into the ring.
But the Japanese manager, Ji Karimata, is very friendly.
He asked a young wrest to bring us the mat.
Then he was curious to see me taking notes in English.
\"Are you writing in English?
But you have a Japanese face.
Do your grandparents understand English?
Can your parents speak Japanese?
He turned to 462 akbono.
The pound sumo champion, 6 feet tall and 7 inch, is known for his leucorrhea.
\"Hey,\" shouted the manager to the champion.
\"She\'s from California!
Akbono strode into the ring.
He alternate with the other two wrest hands and did a short job on them, using his trademark double-handed thrust.
Sweat flowed down his face.
The heat rises from his back. (
In sumo, the goal is to move the opponent from 15-
The foot ring, or let him touch the ground with parts of his body other than the soles of his feet. )
Between the races, the akbono clown is nearby.
He burped loudly and laughed.
He jokingly threw water on wrest\'s hand at a teenager who wouldn\'t flinch.
After leading his fall wrest hands to finish the practice with a circle of ceremonial rings, he growled in the basement locker room downstairs, turned on rap music and started falling.
Akbono was commensurate with his rank, and he was taken care of endlessly, as the young wrest\'s hand slammed his back in a hurry, poured him water, and refastened his belt.
Not all sumo stables can accommodate tourists.
Your best bet might be to call before you fall down.
Most sumo books and English bookslanguage Tokyo-
Headquartered in Sumo World Magazine (
Found in some hotels and most bookstores)
List the stables and their phone numbers
Be sure to observe sumo etiquette when watching exercises.
According to Andy Adams, the sumo world publisher, visitors should not use flash, talk, or approach wrestlers during the practice.
Be sure to ask for consent before taking photos.
Also, in order to respect the male tradition of the sport, women should wear pants, sit together and fold their legs under or on the side and never crosslegged.
Stable from Azumazeki, take a taxi back to the starting point of the train station.
In the street, in the previous station, it was Moonlight-Chome;
It is marked in English and will take you north to the stadium and south to souvenir shops, temples and sumo restaurants.
Apart from the fact that in July, November and when sumo athletes hold tournaments and exhibitions in other parts of Japan, they have a high chance of walking on the streets.
Especially around the sumo stables, we often see falling wrest hands in slow running uniforms doing housework, or wearing kimonos, whose belongings are wrapped up in Japanese handkerchiefs called furoshiki.
Sumo National Stadium is a green and golden dome structure that can be seen directly from the station.
At the time of the game, there were bright banners on the stadium with the name of the wrest hand. From 1 p. m.
About that, sumo fans began to gather together to watch the stars enter the stadium.
From female students to grandmothers, women are fascinated by men (
\"Oh, he\'s really big! \")
Shamelessly grab the arm of the behemoth and pose for a photo.
If you are brave, you can. (But ask first. )\"Hey, sister!
A man came to us.
Do you want to see sumo?
Only 12,000 yen ($95).
Okay, 10,000 yen ($80).
If you come here all the time, you might as well take a look at sumo.
\"He\'s a scalper and it\'s a way if you want to see sumo.
Scalpers are easy to find-
Sloppy characters who often wear leather jackets and mobile phones lurk in front of the stadium.
They can\'t speak English, but Kitada suggests saying \"sumo chiketto\" to them \"(
This is the ticket, Japanese pronunciation)
Negotiate the rest with a calculator.
Despite the excitement in the air during the game, there is still an advantage to go to the Ryogoku offseason.
Then you can see the Sumo Museum inside the stadium for free (
Only those with tickets can enter during the match).
The museum is small, but there are many sumo objects.
When we went, the museum exhibited several fine brushes of Japanese sumo wrestlers, as well as photos of sumo ceremonies, including a comb over the heads of sumo wrestlers.
The top knot is the spiritual symbol of sumo, and when a wrestler retires from the sport, it is cut off, and this emotional ritual inevitably makes the athlete cry.
Return to royoku station.
By now, your stomach may have begun to complain.
It\'s time to taste the Qing Palace soup.
There are several sumo shops;
However, most are only open at dinner.
Many of them are former wrest hands who sometimes sit down and recall their glorious years.
The current wrest hands tend to eat the fragrant o meat they eat every day in the stables, but you may find them dining at the local yakiniku or roast beef restaurant.
Lunch time, there are two shops near Ryogoku 3Chome.
Taro Tataro is on the left of the west exit of the station,
The logo is in Japanese, but the place is clearly marked with food samples outside the entrance.
The lunch package is delicious and the price is reasonable.
Chicken anko is a simplified version of the truth dish. it is an iron pot of chicken, mushroom, spinach, tofu stewed rice, all for $6. 50.
Other packages include shrimp tofu, beef bowls and stir-fried dishes.
For a real sumo experience, however, along the moonlight-
Two blocks south.
Turn left on the small road between Mori pharmacy and rice cake shop.
The fifth building on the right, identified by Brown and Blue sumo banners, is Tomoegata, a chanko store owned by the name\'s former wrestler.
Food is not cheap--
Prices range from $25 to $36.
But the quality of the ingredients is the highest, including crabs, clams, salmon, sardines, scallops, beef, chicken and vegetables, all of this is cooked in the hot pot on the gas grill in the middle of your desk.
What is the Ryogoku tour without storing sumo souvenirs?
South of the Moon-
Until you reach the main intersection of the National Road14.
Quick stop at the Eikoin temple here where sumo wrestlers pray for success.
Then go east on the National Road.
A few blocks on the left are the Hoshi no Ojisama gift shop, where the windows are filled with roly-
Poly sumo dolls of all sizes.
They sell T-too-
Shirts, piggy bank, lighters and ballpoint pens, although they are in Japanese, maps of Ryogoku can also be distributed free of charge.
Another store, Okadaya, where wrestlers are customized
Order their Thong, a few blocks further down the national road at the intersection of Midori 1chome (
Marked in English). Slipper-
Make a wine song Okada to show off what will be taken-inch-long sandals (
Sumo is the largest in the world with a retail price of $225)
It also explains how the wood clo or geta is thicker than usual to support the weight of a wrestler.
When we were at the last stop of the Fugang Hachiman shrine, dusk was coming, a shrine consisting of red columns, brown wood and dozens of bright paper lanterns.
$8 by taxi from Okadaya crossing, the shrine has an impressive stone monument dedicated to all the champions of sumo;
Their names are permanently engraved.
In front of the entrance to the shrine, there are stones that fall wrest\'s hands --and footprints.
Sumo began two thousand years ago and is closely related to the local religious Shinto of all things in Japan.
In the \"Kojiki\" of Japan\'s oldest mythical traditions and historical events, the first sumo champion, noomino Sukun, was regarded as God.
When we climbed the taxi, the taxi driver was listening to the sumo radio on the radio.
He could hardly control himself and blurted out the latest news.
\"Kotobeppu was injured,\" he announced, panting.
Then, \"Who do you like? Ah, Akebono?
He\'s big, isn\'t he?
The second largest in xiaoxiji. Really huge.
Did you see Mito springs?
He\'s a yo-yo kid, isn\'t he?
\"We know we\'re in royoku.
* More guides on summary: take the Japanese railway Yama-
Attention line of Akihabara Station;
Turn yellow Sobu Line, track number
Go in the direction of Chiba.
Akihabara is the second stop.
Or take a taxi from anywhere in Tokyo to Ryogoku station.
It is easiest to get to the stable by taxi from the station.
Azumazeki stable is under $5-than-five-
The taxi is only a few minutes away.
Where to stay: if you plan to stay at the royoku River Hotel (2-13-
No. 8 Susilo-ku; from U. S. telephones 011-81-3-3634-1711)
It is conveniently located in kitty corner of the railway station.
$54 per order, $96 per order, $137 per order.
Pearl Hotel Ruku (1-2-
Suji Yokosuka No. 24-ku; tel. 011-81-3-3626-3211)
1 minute from the station.
The price starts at $60.
Business hotels near Asakusa Bridge (1-11-
Month Asakusabashi, Taitung-ku; tel. 011-81-3-3865-4747)
It is three minutes from Asakusa Bridge subway station and railway station.
$60 to $105 per pair.
Most hotels help tourists call Sumo Japan.
Information about the tickets, but it is often not possible to help get the tickets.
Where to eat: Tomoegata (Ryogoku 2-17-
6, local phone 3632-5600)
$9-set menu with chanko, sashimi and appetizer$72. Yoshiba (Yokoami 2-14-5, tel. 3623-4485)
Converted from the actual sumo stables, the ring is still in the center of the restaurant.
The menu is varied and reasonably priced, around $13, $10 or less for fish and other side dishes. Tamaya (Ryogoku 3-21-6, tel. 3631-3844)
A restaurant with more than 80 years of history, mainly serving noodles and tempura.
For homesick, Danny\'s (
Around the corner of the National Highway.
Month, month-Chome, tel. 5624-1066).
For more information, please call or write to the National Tourism Organization of Japan 624. Grand Ave.
Suite 1611, 90017, Los Angeles; (213)623-1952.