Watching sumo wrestlers practice from close range
Sumo is the national sport of Japan. The appearance of rikishi with their massive bodies colliding into each other is truly spectacular. It is a very popular sport attracting even fans from abroad. You can see the true matches on television and sumo tournaments, but to see the epic practices by the rikishi, you have to come to the sumo stable. The sumo wrestlers polish their prowess both psychologically and physically while they are provided with their daily lifestyles at the stable opened by former rikishi. Arashio Stable was established in June 2002 by the former komusubi Oyutaka.
Early morning sumo practice
Mornings start early at a sumo stable, and practice begins when it’s still dark outside. That is also the case at Arashio Stable where practice is held between 6:30am and 10am. However during the periodic tournaments and for one week after the final bout of the tournaments as well as during the New Year’s holidays, all of the stables around the nation are closed. These closures are listed on the website as the schedule draws near. However, you should confirm the practice schedule by phone on the day before your visit between 4pm and 8pm. Also, the practice is viewed outside of the practice area through glass. Since it can get cold especially in the winter, it is recommended that you wear suitable clothing when viewing the practice. Finally, group reservations are not possible.
Watching sumo with real presence at the official tournaments
If you are going to watch close-up practices at the stables, then seeing real sumo matches during tournaments will be even more interesting. In particular, the climactic tourneys in January, May and September at the Kokugikan in the sumo neighborhood of Ryogoku in Tokyo can’t be missed.