Monday, March 15, 2010


Osaka, famous for being on Superdry t-shirts, was a very short train journey from Kyoto.

As we were only staying 2 nights we walked around town generally getting lost! We did a practice run for getting to the sumo stadium as we would be getting up early to try and get tickets!

When we got back to the hostel the receptionist told us we could get tickets from a convenience store. She gave us a note in Japanese to explain what we wanted to the people working in the store but we were told the tickets had sold out. We were a little worried but still stuck to the plan of early morning tickets on the door.

On our search for that evenings meal we came across a Yakitori restaurant which is skewered meat cooked BBQ style. But on reading the menu we were definately put off when we found out the 'meat' they used was knuckle, pork gristle, heart, diaphragm, tendons, and gizzards! Not so appealing, I think we'll leave Japan without trying Yakitori!! The restaurant also served 'underdone chicken with eggs'! A recipe for salmonella if ever I heard one!!

We got to the stadium at 7.45 the next morning and a large queue greeted us. We were given bits of paper with no.135 and 136 which meant we were in! We got the tickets and headed back to the hostel to get ready. We stocked up on some goodies to take in including a 'chocolate France' (-pan au chocolate).

We got back to the stadium for about 10.30 and were shown to our seats. The stadium is so small that although we were quit far back we had a great view. We were also pleased to have proper seats, as what they had advertised to be the boxes that seated 4 people were actually 4 pillows on the ground in an area marked out by poles only about 1.5m squared!

The stadium was empty when we arrived, as it was only the low ranking wrestlers fighting from 8.40-14.40. It was still really cool to watch though.

We were allowed to leave the stadium once so headed next door to get some beers from the convenience store. On our way back in all the top Sumo Wrestlers were arriving. It was funny to see people taking their photos and a little kid asking for their autograph.

The wrestling did get a lot better in the afternoon. They were quite a bit more vicious, and were allowed to carryout certain rituals the lower ranking Sumo's weren't. Upon entering the ring they were given 4minutes to 'psyche each other out'. Now I would say that the New Zealand rugby team do a good job of this, or boxers before a big fight, but the Sumos just crouched and then stood up again, threw a bit more salt around and then crouched again...not that intimidating! But the crowd seemed to love it! Even though this meant that it would take a lot longer to prepare for a fight that actually do it! Most were over in about 10seconds! N

It was quite clear who the Japanese favourites were, including an absolutely huge guy who the crowd loved!! He was so big he could hardly even walk to the ring, we really didn't think he'd be able to fight, maybe just stand there until the other guy gets warn out and belly bump him out the ring! But to our surprise his opponent picked him up by his giant man nappy and threw him out the ring! The guy looked completely shocked, being lifted out the ring was the last thing he was expecting!

The Russian and Eastern European Sumos were pretty good and won their 10second fights! Apparently the Japanese Sumo have had to change their approach to training as these guys are fat but also muscular!

After the Sumo we walked around Namba, including the Dotonbori and America Mura area, which were pretty cool. Pretty tired from our early start we quickly grabbed something to eat (I say something as i don't know what it was, some sort of omlette potato cake with fish shavings on top -the fish shavings were pretty gross!) and headed back.

The next morning was Kris's birthday. As Japan don't really do birthday cakes I got another Chocolate France and put happy birthday candles in them. ( and opened my presents!!)

Then it was off to Tokyo, our final destination before home!!! Holding back the tears for now!

Video of sumo! (dont worry pics below!)

The first picture is a picture of a 'Love hotel' where you can rent a room by the hour 'for a rest', at least that's what their parents think!
The 2nd picture is of the toilet robot arm and gadget functions!

Free Blog Templates Free Blog Templates