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JonSF

Visiting a sumo practice in Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka.

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Hi All,

Am a semi-pro photographer from San Francisco. Hi everyone!

Am visiting Tokyo from Sept 16th through the the 23rd, then Kyoto through the 28th, then Osaka through the 3rd of October.

I'd really love to visit a Heya to see and photograph (I know about the no shutter sound rules and stuff...) a practice session!

I believe that the "Ryogoku Kokugikan 2019 September Grand Tournament" is going on during my entire time in Tokyo - I THINK that there are no permanent Heya's in Kyoto and Osaka... So, am I out of luck to see a practice? I'm guessing that all wrestlers are going to be at the tournament. Right?

If my only option to see Sumo is to go to the tournament, then I have some follow-up questions for y'all.

Any help is hugely appreciated!!!

- Jon

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I think the lower rankers do still practise during tournaments and so there may be something for you to watch.

Not 100% sure but someone with more knowledge will be able to help more. 

 

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4 hours ago, Edwardoho said:

I think the lower rankers do still practise during tournaments and so there may be something for you to watch.

Not 100% sure but someone with more knowledge will be able to help more. 

 

Oooh, that's promising. Anyone know how to find one that might be still practicing during the tournaments?

- Jon

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Anyone have any ideas? Should I just get a list of Heya's and start calling around?

- Jon

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It was getting to be almost impossible when I was there two years ago, and I arrived a week early not to have to disrupt proceedings when everyone was too busy concentrating on the tournament to allow foreign visitors, who would not know how to sit still for hours on end and not be a nuisance. Foreign tourists had gotten a bad name by then.
Calling did not turn out to work. The only possibility was to wrangle an invitation somehow. 

In the end I went to stand outside Oitekaze-beya, which has floor-to-ceiling windows with a good view on  the Oyakata's back and the proceedings in front of him. Endo hadn't come out, but everyone else had, and a week before the basho they were training hard. It was well worth the trip.

Training does not stop because there is a basho, but unless you have connections, I'd say you have little chance.  
 

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1 hour ago, orandashoho said:

It was getting to be almost impossible when I was there two years ago, and I arrived a week early not to have to disrupt proceedings when everyone was too busy concentrating on the tournament to allow foreign visitors, who would not know how to sit still for hours on end and not be a nuisance. Foreign tourists had gotten a bad name by then.
Calling did not turn out to work. The only possibility was to wrangle an invitation somehow. 

In the end I went to stand outside Oitekaze-beya, which has floor-to-ceiling windows with a good view on  the Oyakata's back and the proceedings in front of him. Endo hadn't come out, but everyone else had, and a week before the basho they were training hard. It was well worth the trip.

Training does not stop because there is a basho, but unless you have connections, I'd say you have little chance.  
 

Ouch. That does not bode well for me... Thanks for the info.

Does anyone on here have any connections for a well behaved photographer and his super Sumo curious friend to attend a training?!

- Jon

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Well - I took a chance and signed up for a tour with Voyagin. We'll see how that goes. Thanks all!

- Jon

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This is not at a heya, but if your sumo curious friend wishes to get a more personal experience of sumo whilst in Tokyo, they could always give this a try: https://raien.co. The sessions take place in a local sumo club in Mitaka City, and are tourist-friendly.

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