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No place like home...Thank goodness !!! For those of you that know us, you'll already know the story, basically we decided that we've both worked enough (I've been working for 11 years, Danielle for 11 Months) and that we deserve some long overdue R&R and decided to take in some sights....enjoy

Mission Complete...Onto the Sumo!

JAPAN | Tuesday, 24 July 2007 | Views [1440]

After a long old Train ride we made it to Sendai in the North of Honshu, where the final Japanese `wonder` (the Shrine at Hiroshima and Amanohashidate were the other two) awaited us at Matsushima!

After checking in, we took a stroll around the city, which was flattened by bombing during WWII and has been rebuilt with massive roads, overhead walkways etc. so is quite a nice place! I tried Sushi (actually called Sashimi - Sushi is the rice its served on FYI!), which actually didn`t taste of anything, but was still not nice (as i`m a complete non fish eater!). I`m glad I can say I did it though...and James gobbled the whole lot!

An early rise got us to Matsushima by 9:30am, after the disappointment of Amanohashidate we weren`t expecting much from this last `wonder`, but it was actually beautiful! Matsushima is basically 260 tiny islands (shima) covered in pines (matsu) — hence the name. We took a wander around the island of Fukuura, again, beautiful, spent some money in the local shop and headed back to Sendai! Mission of seeing Japan`s `Great Views` completed...onto Nagayo for the Sumo Tournament!

We arrived at Nagoya hot and bothered, but still managed to pop out for an Indian that night! James rose early to go and buy the Sumo tickets and some essentials (gloves, torch etc.) for our climb of Mt Fuji the next day, while I packed and lounged around!

The Sumo was a weird experience - it was very Japanese, people were mostly sat on pillows on the floor (although we were plonked in the seats at the back) around the shrine/ring. Initially the day starts at around 8:30am (although we didn`t arrive until 11:00am) with the `trainee` class of wrestler fighting bouts to try and qualify for getting to the next stage. People didn`t start to arrive until around 3:00pm so we had the whole morning to wander around, get up close to the action and see them train downstairs! It was very different to any sport we were used to, firstly because it goes on all day and you can come and go as you please and its very relaxed.

Each wrestler does a `dance` prior to fighting, mimicking a Japanese Fan and showing their first `move` to their apponent.

The `medium` and `professional` wrestlers were definitely the ones to watch - their bouts lasted longer than a minute or so and you could really see the skill (there are no weight limits so you can see small skinny guys - comparatively - fighting large, robust men!) in the fighting. 

The crowd did go mad over some baseball player (for the Dragons) called Tyrone Woods who was sitting amongst them. We obviously had no clue who this guy was, but I took a couple of shots of him anyway (just in case it was usher or someone!!). The poor guy was being hounded by people though!

I`m glad we went - if only for the experience (the fighting itself got a bit tedious after a while), and it was a good `chill out` before the climb of Mount Fuji the following day!


Tags: Adventures


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