Grand Sumo Tournament – Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium and Namba Parks

We recently had an appointment in Osaka at the US consulate to gain our US J1 visa, which was granted successfully.  Luckily, on the same day we were able to get tickets to go and see some live Sumo Wrestling at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.  Once we had finished at the US consulate we made our way over to the Gymnasium where the Sumo was being held to collect our tickets, on arrival we were able to grab a photo with one of the athletes competing in the tournament


He definitely had his game face on.

The tournament day starts at 8.30am, with the lower ranking wrestlers starting proceedings.  The top ranked wrestlers were due to start at around 4 and run through until 6.  Luckily Namba Parks was just around the corner so we walked there to visit what used to be a disused baseball ground, now a shopping centre with quite amazing roof top gardens.  Had it not been for probably the strongest winds I’ve experienced so far in Japan I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

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Once we couldn’t bare the cold wind and snow any longer, we headed for lunch.  After lunch it was time to return to the BODYMAKER COLESEUM, we arrived just in time as a crowd was gathering outside for the arrival of the top ranked wrestlers, who are very much seen as icons and treated like celebrities


We found our seats in the stadium (after a good look around the souvenir stands).  What an atmosphere, we were just in time for the introduction of the top ranked wrestlers.

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????Most bouts only last around 10-15 seconds, the pre-bout ritual is an opportunity for each wrestler to try and psyche the other out, with all sorts of mind games being tried.  The bout only commences once both wrestlers have touched the floor of the dohyo (ring).  The rules are simple, the loser is the first to either exit the ring, or touch the ground with anything other than the soles of their feet.


Pre-bout ritual shiko exercises



Surprisingly agile for their size.


Staring at each other in an attempt to psyche their opponent out.


Returning to his corner to provoke a reaction from the crowd.

It was such a great event to go and see live, and I even got myself an XL t-shirt as a memento.



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