Sumo StableFree: All time

To learn about sumo, it is possible to attend a training session, or an “asageiko,” in one of the many sumo stables, or a “beya” in Tokyo. Many companies charge tourist a fee for the opportunity to visit a sumo stable, but it can in fact be done for free. It is a misconception that asageiko is an off-limits area of the world of sumo. Some of the sumo stables, mostly located in the Ryogoku and Kiyosumi areas, welcome visitors to view their morning practice (which usually starts at around 5:30am – 10am). To schedule an appointment to visit an asageiko, call a day in advance. A few advices for visiting a session: call in advance of their visit, preferably bring a Japanese speaker, bow to any seniors overseeing the practice, observe the sessions in silence, don’t move around too much when sitting in the traditional cushion, no food or drink, ask before taking photos, and bring a small gift (such as a bottle of sake) for your visit (not an obligation).

Some of the sumo stables in Tokyo:
Wakamatsu Stable
Address: 3-5-4 Honjo, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am
Direction: Subway Toei Asakusa Line to Honjo-Azumabashi Station
Phone: +81 (03) 5608-3223

Futagoyama Stable
Address: 8-16-1 Kita Koiwa, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 10am
Direction: Train Keisi Main Line to Keisei Koiwa Station
Phone: +81 (03) 3673-7339

Musashigawa Stable
Address: 4-27-1 Higashi Nippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 5:30am – 10am
Direction: Train JR Yamanote Line to Uguisudani Station
Phone: +81 (03) 3805-6343

Oshiogawa Stable
Address: 2-17-7 Kiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 6am – 11am
Direction: Subway Tozai Line to Kiba Station
Phone: +81 (03) 3643-8156

Oshima Stable
Address: 3-5-3 Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 9:30am
Direction: Subway Sobu Line to Ryogoku Station

Photo credit: pyramis (Flickr CC), NJ Moore (Flickr CC)