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Forget football. Instead, embrace Japan’s national sport and time your Tokyo visit to coincide with one of three annual sumo tournaments, in January, May and September, each lasting 15 days. Sumo tournaments take place at the Kokugikan arena in the Ryogoku district of Tokyo. Up to 11,000 spectators gather around a central ring known as a “dohyo”, where sumo wrestlers toss salt (an ancient purification ritual), stamp feet and lunge at opponents as they battle it out to become champions. While tournaments tend to run from morning until early evening, it’s possible to pop in and out or spend just a few hours there. The days start with lowest ranking wrestlers, finishing with the highest, so it gets progressively more exciting - the time I’d normally aim to visit is between around 3pm to . Tickets go on sale a month before the tournament starts and can be purchased online. For a unique post-tournament meal, head to one of the numerous nearby restaurants serving “chanko nabe” – a surprisingly healthy hotpot-style soup which sumo wrestlers famously eat in order to bulk up.

“Tokyo Goons” samples the theme song “Unravel” from the popular anime series Tokyo Ghouls. “Tokyo Goons” is a play on the title of the show.


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