Sunday, May 18, 2008
Sumo! Sumo! Sumo!
Went to a Sumo tournament on Saturday of last week with a group of fellow JETs. The plan was to all ride the train together and arrive at the area at around 11:30. However, I wanted to stop by Fujima Camera and pick up a new DSLR and thus took an earlier train. I am now the proud owner of a Nikon D40 with a 18-55 II lens. After picking up the camera, I met up with everyone outside the stadium around noon.

Sumo seems a lot like baseball to me. A lot of waiting with a little bit of action thrown in every now and then. So yeah, sumo was a little bit boring, but I did get to do quite a bit of picture taking with my new camera which made me very happy. I even ran out of battery power at one point, but managed to find an outlet and recharge it. I also picked up a sumo bento lunch while I was there and enjoyed eating bento and drinking sake while watching sumo. You can't get much more Japanese than that.

An interesting note about sumo. The tournament goes on all day, but all the matches in the beginning are low level and very few people show up to see them. The good matches start around 3 in the afternoon. That is when all the famous sumo wrestlers start their matches. It's also when all the TV cameras start filming and when most of the spectators start showing up. While there was pretty much no one in the arena when we arrived, by the last match, the place was packed!

After that, most everyone headed back home, but I wanted to make a weekend out of it and headed to my hotel to check in. I booked a dorm style room at the Sacral Hotel and when I went to drop off my stuff, a nice older Japanese woman was already there. She actually lives in Houston, but was in Japan visiting family and, while we were talking, the news started showing coverage of the sumo matches I had just seen! After our chat, I went to check out the Tokyo Dome, home of the Giants baseball team, grabbed some dinner, and then headed back to the hotel for a good nights rest.

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