One of the best ways to enjoy a visit to a new place and have a local experience is by attending a sporting event. I’ve done this all over the world and often made local friends and had great experiences. It can be tricky to match up dates, but there is almost always some level of professional sport going on in developed and developing nations. In Japan I have a few options:
Sumo is a traditional Japanese sport that involves two wrestlers, called “rikishi,” who compete in a circular ring, called a “dohyo,” to force each other out of the ring or make the other wrestler touch the ground with anything other than the soles of their feet. Sumo has been around for centuries and is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and history.
Sumo wrestlers, or “rikishi,” are known for their large size and strength, as well as their distinctive hairstyles and traditional attire. They follow strict training and dietary regimes, and many live in communal “stables” under the guidance of a “stable master.”
Sumo is considered a national sport in Japan, and it has a large following both within Japan and internationally.
There are several ways to watch sumo in Japan. One way is to attend a basho (tournament), which are held six times a year in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Japan Sumo Association’s website or through a travel agency.
Another way to watch sumo is to visit a sumo stable, where you can observe morning training sessions and meet the wrestlers. These visits must be arranged in advance and are often only available to small groups.
You can also watch sumo on television in Japan, with most of the major tournaments broadcast live on NHK, the public broadcaster.
Additionally, you can also find Sumo matches live streaming on many Japanese platforms like Abema.tv, or sports streaming platforms like DAZN or J Sports.
Professional baseball in Japan, also known as Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), is similar to Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States in many ways. The league is divided into two circuits, the Central League and the Pacific League, and each circuit has six teams. The teams play a regular season schedule, and the top teams from each league advance to the playoffs to compete for the championship.
One of the key differences between NPB and MLB is the length of the season. The NPB regular season is shorter, typically lasting from late March to early October, and the schedule includes more games played per week. Additionally, the NPB uses a smaller baseball and a smaller strike zone, which can lead to higher scoring games.
Another difference is the quality of the teams, NPB teams are known for their strong team cohesion and situational play, this is due to the fact that Japanese players tend to stay with one team throughout their entire careers, and the teams are often managed by former players.
The NPB also has a strong following in Japan, with dedicated fans and passionate support for their teams. Many games are broadcast live on television, and the league has a long history and tradition, with many famous and accomplished players.
The NPB is also notable for the large number of players from the US and other countries, especially in recent years, but also for the “posting system” where the best Japanese players can go play for teams in the MLB.
Professional soccer in Japan, also known as J-League, is the top level of soccer in Japan. The league was founded in 1991 and currently consists of 18 teams, which are divided into two divisions, the J1 League and the J2 League. The teams play a regular season schedule, with the top teams from each division advancing to the playoffs to compete for the championship.
The J-League is known for its strong team play, tactical discipline and good quality of play. Many Japanese players are considered technically skilled and have good ball control, which makes for an attractive and dynamic game.
The league also has a strong following in Japan, with dedicated fans and passionate support for their teams. Many games are broadcast live on television, and the league has a long history and tradition, with many famous and accomplished players.
The J-League also has a number of foreign players, mainly from other Asian countries and some from South America, Europe and Africa. This adds a diverse touch to the league and makes it more interesting to watch.
These are just some of the sports I am interested in seeing. There is also professional Rugby, Volleyball, Basketball, and more in Japan.
Phrase of the Day:
- “Ganbatte!” (頑張って！) – This phrase means “Do your best!” and is a way to encourage someone or show support.
- “Yoroshiku!” (よろしく！) – This phrase means “Nice to meet you!” and is a polite way to greet someone.
- “Kakkoii!” (カッコイイ！) – This phrase means “Cool!” and is used to express admiration or approval.
- “Ee jan!” (ええじゃん！) – This phrase means “All right!” and is used to express agreement or enthusiasm.
- “Saa, ikuzo!” (さあ、いくぞ！) – This phrase means “Let’s go!” and is used to encourage someone to start or continue an activity.
- “Sankyu!” (さんきゅう！) – This phrase means “Thank you!” and is used to express gratitude.
- “Shiai hajimemasu” (試合はじめます) – This phrase means “The match is starting”
- “Kachitagatte!” (勝ちたがって！) – This phrase means “I want to win!”
- “Mate!” (まて！) – This phrase means “Wait!” or “Hold on!”
- “Kettei-sen” (決定戦) – This phrase means “Decisive match”