On the day after we landed, our first destination was to travel about 20 minutes from our hotel to the famous
Takasago Stable (髙砂部屋)
In Japan, sumo live together in a heya, a stable or training quaters in English. As our trip was pitched to us as a Fashion and Runway trip, this addition to the schedule was met with much scepticism! But as we were told that seeing the sumo train was actually highly exclusive and it's not something you can just walk in on, we were all intrigued to see something really traditionally Japanese!
I travelled in a Taxi with Miyake! She is so nice, I'm really happy to have met her! If you are super old-school-beckii you'll know that I bought some clothes from her shop like 3 years ago and reviewed them on my previous blog! I've found that I meet people who I probably would never have met otherwise in Japan, even if we live close together. For example, Gemma, Sarah and Johanna from the Cruel Angels, all of which live max 3 hours away from me but it turned out that we could only meet 6,000 miles away from home.
I'd appreciate you don't repost any of these photos! If you can't help yourself, please link back and give credit.
Urban Tokyo Shots ❤ I took these on the way to the Stable. It was a really pretty and bright day in Tokyo- not too sunny, and not too cloudy. Just a happy medium.
When we arrived at the Stable we were welcomed in, removed our shoes and sat down in the viewing area. The Sumo were already fully in their training, and so we just observed.
From what I learned, the Sumo stand in a ring. When both have touched their knuckles to the ground it shows that they're ready and they then try to push the other out of the ring. This seemed to be the main excercise anyway!
There was also another exercise where one was out of the ring and one was inside facing. They do some kind of high-five, the outer sumo rolls on their back to the other side of the ring and tries to push the other out of the ring. It's very complicated and I don't think I'll be a great Sumo educator any time soon!
The entire time the sumo trained, this man who I believe to be their sensei sat and read his newspaper. He looked up all of one or two times! It was so funny to me, because his students were all working so hard, but I guess he's seen it all many times before.
This box is a small shrine to the gods. They pray before practice and they purify the ring with salt. As Sumo is such a traditional practice, it's not surprising to see so many famously Japanese items here, such as the drum, shrine, and I suppose the upturned carton used as a chair!
After the practice the sumo washed the sand from their back, purified the ring with salt, and brushed all the loose sand into the centre of the ring. They then put on yukata, and as we were their guests, they served us some food!
The soup we were served was called Chanko-Nabe, and it's what the sumo often eat as part of their weight-gain diet. It's quite healthy in itself, but they eat so much of it, and after they've eaten as much as they can they go to sleep so they become as fat as possible! We were also served Tamago and something I can only describe as a more flavoursome and less spicy variant of Kimichi. Sadly when I travel I get a huge anxiety and stress reaction which causes my appetite to become almost non-existent so I didn't eat much of it, but it was all delicious to taste!
We all were presented with one of these posters each! It's a ranking of the sumo's strength. The best and strongest have their names written the largest and boldest. We all felt really sorry for the tiny names at the bottom (´～｀)
We all took lots of photos together! Such typical blogger girls ʕ·ᴥ· ʔ 1st is with Stella, 2nd is with Alodia, 3rd is with Jess and Elle, and then we have a shot all together with the sumo! I was really awkward looking in lots of my photos I'm so sad especially because all the girls I was with are so pretty! ヽ(´ー｀)ノ
Our group shot actually ended up in a newspaper! We did an interview for Nikkan Sports Shinbun ❤ Miyake could read Japanese the best out of all of us and she was unimpressed with the report as it called us all cosplayers, which wasn't true! But it was so cool to be in the newspaper in Japan!