We had the most wonderful time on our sumo stable tour. We weren't sure what to expect but to be honest, it exceeded any expectation, above and beyond, that we had! It was the highlight of our trip and I can't recommend it enough. Yuriko from Japan Wonder Travel was absolutely gorgeous. She had extensive knowledge of the history and tradition involved with sumo along with great visual examples for us to understand further and know what to look for during the training season. We walked for around 10 minutes and stopped at Hakkaku sumo stable. We walked in, sat down and were immersed in this beautiful, powerful and amazing sport.
During the training, Yuriko explained anything that was interesting or important via pen and paper (as you are not allowed to speak). We had visuals of the sumo in front of us with their height and weight along with their ranking.
Whilst watching the sumo train, we were lucky enough to have the number one Japanese sumo, Yokozuna (grand champion) Kisenosato turn up. This was a rare opportunity to watch one of the greats in action. We also saw many other known sumo such as Okino umi, Hokuto fuji and Mitoryu.
We also saw Kitanofuji (former stable master) and Maino umi (former wrestler and commentator about sumo). It was amazing and all three of us were in awe of what we were witnessing.
After the amazing training session, we left and then had some photos with some of the sumo who were outside cooling down. They were friendly, cheerful and full of life after this very intense session! They were more than happy to have a chat and answer questions whilst Yuriko translated for us.
I honestly can not tell you how magical our experience was but it topped off our trip and I will always remember the sumo. It was definitely worth booking and I can't recommend the tour with Yuriko enough. Thank you for making our last day in Japan, one of the most memorable!
by Ali (01/11/18)
I had the most wonderful and memorable tour! It was really an up close view of the sumo when they trained. It was beyond my expectation and it was due to my very good guide Yuki-san! Once we reached the stable, we were not allowed to talk. Yuki-san explained to me what to expect and gave me some information when we met at the train station. When we were there, she had on hand an iPad and showed me pictures of who's who were in the training. She also prepared a note book and pen and wrote down things to look out for and for me to ask questions, otherwise, I would have been quite lost! I'm quite sure the other tourists did not know the man arrived later was the Stable Master and a former Grand Champion and the photo hanging on the wall was him when young. After the training ended, I was surprised that the sumo were friendly and nice when we asked to take photos with them, that's after a very tough, long training session! While on the way back to the train station, Yuki-san brought me to the free exhibition next to the sumo stadium, it was not part of the tour but she did it anyways. I'm very glad to sign up for this tour with Japan Wonder Travel and I'm even happier that Yuki-san was my guide. I would give her 10 stars if I could!
by Selina (09/19/17)
The Sumo tour was excellent. Very up close and personal. The tour guide also spoke about some of the other attractions we past on the way to the stables, which was really good. I would recommend this tour to anyone looking for the authentic Japan.
by Pam (08/13/17)
We booked this tour a couple of days in advance when we saw it pop up on the Viator website. We initially wanted to go to a show, but all of the tickets were sold out. The practice was actually better though, I think, because we were right up close to the wrestlers and even got to meet them afterwards :-) This was such a cool experience and our tour guide Yuri was so thoughtful and knowledgeable of the subject. The only bad thing (which turned out perfectly actually) is that the tour description on the website said the practice would last 3 hours, but it was really only 1.5 hours. This is not a problem at all. That timeframe was actually good enough to see what we wanted to see. So yep, we definitely recommend this outing...totally worth taking some time to do!
by JVana (05/31/17)
It was a great honor to be in the presence of strong, hardworking sumo wrestlers and get to see and know the way they live. This was truly an experience to remember! :)
by shinecarrot (01/22/17)