As the Tokyo part of my trip comes to an end, I feel the need to dedicate this post to the simple people of the city: the mud slingers and construction workers, the chefs and cooks and assistant cooks, the people who sit at underground exists and whom I continuously force to change my tickets.
To them and to fat people. I mean sumo wrestlers.
Now, a short culture lesson for everyone: in case you didn’t know, Japan had continuously changed the location of it’s capital according to which family (or shogun in certain times) controlled the seat of power. Once there was this place called Edo – which is more or less now know as Old Tokyo – the modern variant being a behemoth of recent age. (i do hope these facts are correct but for now am too tired to double check. Lazy, I know).
Off course, Old Tokyo is divided into several sections, one of which is called Sumida.
It houses a large monstrosity of a building called the Edo Museum (which just looks like a Walker from Star Wars), as well as being home to Ryōgoku (両国) which is the sumo neighbourhood. Here you will find many sumo stables where these fighters train, as well as the Sumo Museum and other various old age artefacts of a building.
However, sumo matches are only held in specific periods, so if you want to partake in this check online to make sure. Supposedly you can also go to stables and watch them train (some offer a sort of such tour), yet I didnt venture towards such activities.
The street was ornated with little statues of sumo men and what seemed to be plaques of hand prints from what I believe to be famed wrestlers, just so that you don’t forget who’s boss here.
Upon seeing that gate I became curious as to what it held within: I never let knowledge stop me from being reckless, so I wasn’t going to let ignorance stop me. However, it proved to be an unexciting building filled with old people
I walked towards Sumida river to unwind a bit – as I continuously say, travelling can be so tiresome. All I needed was a good bench to sit and watch some pigeons and some boats with mud pass by.
It’s a great place for boat watching, as it seems it’s geographical position permits odd boats (which would probably sully the aspects of central Tokyo) pass by at their leisure. A hungry stomach, tho, forced me to leave the small quaint temple offered by the riverside.
Though the are offers a specific food popular with sumo wrestlers called Chanko, it seemed a but pricey and wasn’t sure I was feeling in an experimenting mood (sure, if it was cheap I would have jumped on it). It also seemed as if the Chanko places were all closed during that time of the day – slightly unusual for Japanese restaurants. So I went for some soba instead (cold noodles). After that, I returned to my abode for some more rest (yes, my last days have not been fully filled woth adventure), managing to finally finish the Alain de Botton book I am reading. Later I went to Shibuya (again) for dinner and stopped at a nearby bar for a Long Island Cocktail and to watch all the drunk Japanese people dance and strip.
This post is part of a (fantastic, amazing, life-changing) series:
- Land of the Rising Sun (Japan #1)
- What the carp? (Japan #2)
- Of Fish and Men (Japan #3)
- Ioan dreams Sushi (Japan #4)
- Just my Luck (Japan #5)
- The Forest of Tennis (Japan #6)
- Let the drums beat! (Japan #7)
- Big fat men (Japan #8)
- Titanium (Japan #9)
- Snow Shenanigans (Japan #10)
- Sea Critters (Japan #11)
- An end to Japan (Japan #12)