SUMO GRAND TOURNAMENT!
There are 6 Grand Sumo Tournaments a year. 3 in Tokyo, and one in Osaka, Nagoya, and Kyushu. I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, but I found it very interesting and exciting! Before I went, I did a bit of research on Sumo so I would know more than just 2 fat men trying to push each other out of the ring.
Origin of Sumo
Sumo is an ancient Japanese sport that has spiritual roots. It dates back around 1500 years ago. First sumo matches were a ritual dedicated to the gods for a good harvest.
In the 8th Century, sumo was introduced into the Inperial Court. They held annual wrestling festivals. Sumo didn't have many rules and was a mix of boxing and wrestling.
Later, more rules and techniques for sumo developed. Sumo became used in the military.
Professional Sumo today is from the Edo period, when Sumo was organized to entertain.
A bout is won by forcing the opponent out of the inner circle.
You may lose by: touching the ground with any part of your body. Or by putting any part of your body out of the ring.
Prohibited: Punching, hair pulling, eye gouging, choking, and kicking stomach or chest.
There is no weight limit so Sumos often find themselves in matched against someone much heavier.
Price of Sumo
Ringside Seats: 14,300yen ($US 140)
I tried to buy ringside seats, but basically you have to be affiliated with the high-prestige geisha houses or be someone very very important.
Box Seats (seats 4): 10,300yen per person (US$100).
Good view, from high, but not as good as ringside!! Tip! Sumo tournaments run all day and the highest ranking Sumos fight later on in the day (4pm-6pm) so go around lunchime, there'll be no one in ringside seats! 'Borrow' their seats and take some good photos!
2nd Floor Arena Seating:
A - 8,200 yen
B - 4,900 yen
C - 3,600 yen
If you're interested in Sumo Ceremonies / Rituals, and more Sumo Photos, visit my Osaka Travelogues!
easy also for tourists
The metro-system is easy also for tourists, becaúse the names of the stations are also printed in our spelling on the top of each schedule. We got a map by the tourist-office and bought a dayticket, I think it was 600 YEN. The metro partly goes high above the street on stilts in the outskirts of Osaka and close to the port.
The cruiseport has its own metrostation within walking-distance of just about 400 meters.
Okonomiyaki are large, savory pancakes made from diced seafood, meat and vegetables. Okonomiyaki literally means add what you like. Customers get to choose their own favorite ingredients and then cook up their pancakes right at their table. Okonomiyaki is similar to pizza, only the similarity really ends there.
Main ingredients available; an order of okonomiyaki consists of a bowl of pancake-like batter, plus a dish of diced vegetables and the main ingredient, such as shrimp or pork. A regular order of shrimp okonomiyaki is called ebi-ten (or ebi-tamayaki); some restaurants also serve monja-yaki, which is a somewhat thinner and more watery pancake.
The waiter or waitress will come by to turn on the grill at your table and brush the surface with oil; after that you're on your own. First mix together all the ingredients, then pour the mixture onto the grill when it's hot enough. You'll find small spatulas for flattening the pancake and pushing it into shape, and a larger spatula for turning it over. Before and after turning, you can brush the top of the pancake with Worcestershire sauce, then you can sprinkle it with aonori (green seaweed powder) and katsuo (dried bonito shavings) before eating it.
It takes a bit of experience to figure out when to flip the pancake and when to take it off the grill. Okonomiyaki takes longer to cook than you might expect, and the finished product doesn't hold together nearly as well as a pancake. You might ask your waiter for advice, or else pay close attention to the technique of the people at the next table.
Okonomiyaki-ya also serve yakisoba (fried Chinese noodles with vegetables), as well as some egg-based dishes that are closer to omelettes than pancakes.
Besides the serene park, which is a good palce to daydream (for a entrance fee), there is a tennoji zoo. Unless you have an Osaka unlimited pass, don't think of comng here - not really worth the entrance fee. It's a normal zoo, and the design of the zoo is meant to emulate the open, natural environment, which was nice. But the animals were not very well, and I kinda feel sorry for them. The giraffe was kept in an indoors enclosure, and that was that. They didn't have much space to walk around. But one thing made it interesting for me - and that was the penguin enclosure was out in the open. I never got to see pengiuns that close, given that my country's zoo is a tropical one and all penguins are keep in enclosed glass rooms.
Famous Neon Signs of Dontomburi
This area is famous place to visit in Osaka. If you look at other Osaka Virtual members page, most likely same photo near neon signs & bridge will be shown. Bridge is located on Midosuji Street. On other side is shopping walkway. When Hanshin Tigers won the NPB Baseball championship in the 1980's people jumped off bridges in this area in celebration!