Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Wanna go to the sumo tomorrow?" E asked.

Never one to turn down an opportunity to watch big, no, huge men in near-naked cloth belts battle it out in a ring of sand, I accepted his invitation.

With his best friend James visiting from Down Under, we bought the cheapest ticket at 3600 yen (about SGD50) and headed to the National Sumo Stadium in Ryogoku at about 1.

Seated on the second floor and looking down at the stage, the sumos all looked so tiny. It was only when we started looking through the Sumo handbook that a pair of eldery ladies gave to us that we realized they were all at least 6 feet tall and over 100kg. The youngest wrestler was a mere 19 year-old from Russia.

The questions in our minds were, "How does one decide to become a sumo?", "Why are there two Yokozunas?", "What on earth are they shouting?" and the most befuddling one of all- "What do sumos do all day long?".

A junior match

Sumos entering the ring

With a can of beer in one hand, my other hand thrown in the air cheering for no one in particular, I felt like I was watching an illegal boxing match with a stadium full of old Japanese people and gawking gaijins.

The best part was being able to try out E's SLR with all his fancy lens, and taking some great shots... if I could say so myself. ;)

After spending an entire day at the stadium, we headed to Ebisu to get ourselves some authentic yakitori and proceeded to stuff ourselves silly with skewered meat and hanemitsu-sawa.

Now on a high, we eventually convinced poor James to join us for an hour of karaoke in Shibuya. But not before we dragged him into a purikura shop filled with cute Japanese girls.

We were given a tiny room on the 8th floor with no ventilation, standing on the cushioned seats with mikes in our hand, E with his embarrassing 80's dance moves and me jumping up and down like a silly schoolgirl, singing the night away.

It ended with me being pushed by James to get a Free Hug right outside the Hachiko exit.

C'mon, is there any other way to spend a day in Tokyo?

More pictures here.

For information on sumo, you can go here or here.

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Female. Singaporean
Traveller. Bookworm.
Coffee Addict.
Amateur Photographer.
Wannabe Fashionista.
Museum Geek.

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