Located in Sumida, Tokyo, Azumazeki Sumo-beya is one of a few sumo stables that allows visitors to observe morning practice. This is the stable where Akebono, the Hawaiian sumo wrestler that became the first non-Japanese Yokozuna, trained in the 90s.
Like many other Japanese martial arts, there is a very obvious sempai-kohai (senior-junior) relationship. Some of the juniors looked as if they were being bullied by the seniors. I can't help but wonder what it must be like to live at the sumo-beya and be tormented by their seniors.
While 2.5 hours is quite a long time to be sitting on a wooden floor to observe a practice, it provides a glimpse into traditional Japanese culture. If you are wide awake in the morning, I highly recommend watching a practice. It's amazing to see the amount of dedication, sweat, and hard work needed to become a sumo wrestler, many which never become famous.
- Cost: Free
- Duration: ~2.5 hours
- Time: 7-10:30am
- Address: 4-6-4 Higashi-Komagata, Sumida-ku, Tokyo