FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Visit a Sumo Stable in Tokyo

by Matt Rimer

Feb 18, 2015

Opening Ceremony of the grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, Japan © J. Henning Buchholz | Dreamstime

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours
Wrestlers in the Sumo Arena, Tokyo, Japan © Presse750 | Dreamstime 46712360

Wrestlers in the Sumo Arena, Tokyo, Japan © Presse750 | Dreamstime

While Sumo evolved since its conception more than a thousand years ago, many of its original traditions still remain. One of the surviving elements is the“beya,” or sumo stable where the junior wrestlers of each band competitors live and practice. They follow strict regiments of eating, sleeping, bathing and training — respecting the lifestyle rules of their ancient art. These skilled giants train day in and day out with the aim of becoming the “Yokozuna,” meaning “Grand Champion,” at one of the six yearly tournaments.


Two sumo wrestlers in a practice match © J. Henning Buchholz | Dreamstime 10933813

Two sumo wrestlers in a practice match © J. Henning Buchholz | Dreamstime

Historically, these stables are known for being private and closed off to the world. Some stables still do not allow visitors, but others are open to allowing outsiders to watch their training. Visitors attending one of these morning practices will be able to watch from 10 or 20 feet away — much closer view than at a tournament — and observe as each wrestler obeys the many fighting rituals, like salt purification.


It is imperative visitors remember they are guests, and these fighters are welcoming the outsiders into their home. Onlookers should act as a fly on the wall, making sure to refrain from talking or making noise. They should turn off their camera’s flash, and set their cellphones to silent. Additionally, visitors should take off their shoes, as well as their hat and sunglasses as a sign of respect, and remain seated until the practice is completely finished.



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