How Temples Lead Us to Sumo

Mike and Shux explore the temple at Asakusa, then cheer on the Yokozuna at a sumo tournament.

Last weekend on Sunday we headed to Asakusa to see Sensō-ji temple there. We braved the visiting masses who came to pay their tributes in the new year. After delicious, warm ramen and a few hours of walking around the neighborhood, Shux read about sumo tournaments held nearby. One was held in January!

Asakusa temple entrance

So we set off for the Ryōgoku Kokugikan. Along the way we saw the fertility clinic Asahi Beer Hall. That’s a flame on top.

Asahi Beer Hall

The ticket window was already closed for the day when we reached the Kokugikan, but we caught some wrestlers heading home. I came back the next morning to get tickets for this Sunday.

The spectacle was pretty cool. With little knowledge of the sport or understanding of the Japanese language, we were limited to observation and the tiny amount of information contained in the English program. We also had a little help in the form of English commentary for the Makuuchi round of bouts.

I want to go again, next time getting seats on the lower level where sake is served, and hopefully with some locals who can explain the subtleties in what’s happening in the ring.