Two weeks of tradition crashing together at Osaka’s sumo tournament
Sumo wrestling is a sport that has been deeply rooted in Japanese culture for over 2,000 years. It is not just a physical contest, but also a manifestation of the country’s history, traditions, and values. And for two weeks in March, all of this tradition comes crashing together at Osaka’s sumo tournament.
The tournament takes place at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Namba, a bustling district in the heart of Osaka. This is where the heavyset men, known as rikishi, enter a small ring called a dohyo to battle it out for supremacy. The goal is simple: to either eject their opponent from the ring or to knock him over. It may seem like a simple task, but the physicality and skill required to succeed in sumo wrestling is truly remarkable.
The matches start early in the morning, at 8:30 a.m., and continue until 6:00 p.m. This gives spectators ample opportunity to witness the action and experience the excitement of this ancient sport. As you make your way to the gymnasium, you may even catch a glimpse of a yukata-clad wrestler walking the streets of Namba after a match, adding to the mystique and charm of the event.
One of the highlights of the tournament is the early matches between up-and-coming wrestlers. These matches are filled with energy and excitement as the young rikishi try to make a name for themselves in the sumo world. It is a chance to see the future stars of the sport before they become household names. These matches are often fast-paced and intense, as the wrestlers give it their all to prove their worth.
After witnessing the early matches, it is worth exploring the Namba entertainment district. This area is known for its vibrant nightlife, with countless bars, restaurants, and clubs to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Japanese cuisine or international flavors, Namba has something to satisfy every palate. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at karaoke, a favorite pastime of many locals.
Getting to the sumo tournament is easy, as it is located within a five-minute walk of Nankai Namba train station. The Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, also known as EDION Arena, is situated on the same street as the Osaka Namba Post Office. Simply head west from the train station, and you will find yourself at the venue in no time.
When planning your day at the tournament, it is important to note that the matches increase in significance as the day progresses. This means that more and more people pour into the arena as the afternoon wears on. For those with limited time, it is recommended to arrive around 15:00 to witness the top division matches, which take place between 15:30 and 18:00. These matches feature the most skilled and experienced wrestlers, and they are guaranteed to be thrilling.
But the sumo tournament is not just about the matches. It is also an opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and tradition. Throughout the venue, you will find stalls selling traditional Japanese snacks and drinks, as well as souvenirs and memorabilia. It is a chance to try some delicious takoyaki, a popular street food in Osaka, or to purchase a sumo-themed t-shirt to commemorate your experience.
After the matches, don’t forget to explore the surrounding area. Namba is not only famous for its entertainment options, but also for its shopping. The district is home to numerous department stores and shopping malls, where you can find everything from high-end fashion to quirky souvenirs. It is a shopper’s paradise, and you can easily spend hours browsing through the shops and finding unique treasures to take home.
As with any event, it is important to note that the information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19. It is always a good idea to check for any updates or restrictions before attending the sumo tournament. The safety and well-being of both the wrestlers and spectators is of utmost importance, and any necessary measures will be taken to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
In conclusion, the Osaka sumo tournament is a unique and unforgettable experience. It brings together tradition, athleticism, and entertainment in a way that is truly captivating. Whether you’re a fan of sumo wrestling or simply curious about Japanese culture, this is an event that should not be missed. So mark your calendars, plan your trip to Osaka, and get ready to witness two weeks of tradition crashing together in the ancient sport of sumo.
Address And Maps Location:
3-4-36 Nanbanaka, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu