If you can't get to one of the 6 official Sumo Tournaments then the morning training tour is a well worthwhile alternative - it was an amazing experience. We were able to watch the wrestlers warm up and do general exercises but also take part in actual fights to practice their techniques. We had hoped that we may see some wrestling but was surprised how much we did get to see. It wasn't a display for tourists but full on fighting with their peers. Just amazing and highly recommended!
I can't think of a better way to experience Sumo in some small way other than to get ringside seats at a Grand Tournament, We were sitting on thin cushion pads inches from the student wrestlers and they were giving their all. They are clearly pushed hard and this is no 'put on for tourists show' as they were at times reduced to tears. Be aware that our timing was brought forward without much notice - check emails the day prior.
Watch the Sumo morning training at a Sumo table in Tokyo
Did you know that the Sumo-wrestlers' day starts very early?
The Sumo-wrestler's who are highly ranked/skilled normally start their training from 8 am. If you go and watch the match in the Sumo Stadium it's really difficult to get a seat close to the sumo ring, but the good thing about this tour is that you get to watch their training from a very close distance!!
A local tour guide will take you to the "World of Sumo"
How well do you know about Sumo? Do you know about the rules of the Sumo match? Do you know what the Sumo-wrestlers eat to grow big? Don't worry, that's why a local tour guide will be there for you throughout the tour to give you insights. Please feel free to ask any questions during the tour!
You will meet your guide and group at Ryogoku JR Station East Exit. Your guide will be holding a red/orange "MagicalTrip" board.
Stop At: Ryogoku, Sumida Tokyo Prefecture
Your guide will walk with you to one of the sumo stables. It will take around 5min to 30min depending on which stable is available to us that day.
You will enter the stable together with your guide and watch the sumo practice for around 1 to 2 hours.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Pass By: Ryogoku Station, 1 Yokoami, Sumida 130-0015 Tokyo Prefecture
After watching the sumo practice your guide will walk you back to Ryogoku station.