Lunch with a sumo wrestler in Japan
Your Japan adventure starts here
Meet at sumo wrestler for lunch in Japan
WHAT IT'S ABOUT
Japan’s sacred national sport, sumo wrestling, has had its importance since ancient times when it was performed to entertain Shinto deities. There’s many delicate rituals to this dynamic art, like the symbolic purification of lining the ring with salt, but once in the ring, the rules are simple: the wrestler who gets the other one outside first, wins.
This is a deep dive experience, where you’ll watch matches with two retired sumo wrestlers, then sit down for a calorie-rich, sumo-style lunch, to learn all about the history, etiquette and training regime involved. As well as the demonstration, there just might be an option for you to join in after learning some moves of your own.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
You’ll be taken to a restaurant in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward for an up-close sumo experience. You’ll meet retired sumo wrestlers, see them in action and learn some moves, before trying out the art of sumo yourself.
Sumo wrestlers go through rigorous training, with part of that being a high-calorie diet. Eat like a wrestler and savour chanko-nabe (hot-pot cooking), packed with vegetables and tons of protein in a warming dashi-broth stew, as well as plenty of rice, ice cream and even oolong tea.
WHAT OUR COMMUNITY SAYS
“Sumo wrestlers are real showmen,” says writer, Laura Holt, who traveled to Japan during the cherry blossoms of spring. “Even though we were in a small group, rather than a big stadium, they really knew how to work the room and keep the crowd enthralled.”
“We were all cheering them on from the ringside,” she continues. We even got to try some moves ourselves. But few are brave enough to truly take on the full force of these fearsome fighters. For that, you must spend years in training – and eat many, many, calorie-dense meals.”
HOW TO BOOK IT
This sumo experience and lunch is bookable as part of Flash Pack’s Japan: Another World adventure, which also includes dining with a trainee geisha in Kyoto, staying overnight in a temple with Buddhist monks and searching for the best foods in Osaka.
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