Enter the world of sumo wrestling with a visit to a sumo stable in Tokyo for a morning training session
Sumo is Japan’s national sport and a national obsession. Becoming a fighter requires years of strict training in a heya, or stable as it is known in English. This is where the fighters eat, sleep, and train. There are 47 stables in Tokyo today and one wrestler will stay with the same stable throughout his career.
Only One Travel has established a special relationship with one of the sumo stables, which means that we can arrange exclusive access for you to watch a training session in the morning. You will be accompanied by one of our guides who will explain everything about the sport and strict etiquette for spectators who watch the fighters train. A highlight of the training session is the “king of the castle” fighting session where the winner stays.
We must emphasize that this experience is not for everyone! You are expected to sit on the floor for 90 minutes in complete silence so as not to disturb the wrestlers. You should sit cross-legged or with your legs to the side. You cannot sit with your legs stretched out in front of you, as it is taboo to show the soles of your feet to wrestlers. If you feel uncomfortable, you will not be able to speak to your guide to ask you to leave. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed at all. But if you can follow these rules, a truly authentic experience awaits you. It is remarkable that the sumo stables open their doors to the public at all as this is the equivalent of seeing the Prime Minister’s footballers or soccer stars in training.