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Osaka 2019 - Japan

sumo-tastic

sunny 70 °F
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party town

One immediate difference from Kyoto, is that Osaka is a party town. It's a gritty town (in terms of overall spotlessly clean Japan), where bars and lounges and shopping is open late, there's sketchy alleyways, and a buzzing energy to the city alive with people looking for their version of a great night.

not so classic Japan

We stayed in the Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori neighborhood where nearly every building had one if not all five floors containing a small bar (4-12 person), mostly with people singling karaoke and drinking heavily. We checked out the Amerikana area with shops selling vintage american style 80's wear, with some local Japanese stores mixed in. There was also a modern zoo and entertainment center near the developing Tennoji metro stop. We wandered some local markets that looked like a permanent garage sale spot, and saw the worlds largest ferris wheel ride. There was a lot in Osaka that was nothing like the sites we can to accept as normal Japan in Tokyo and Kyoto.

still classic Japan

We did also see some more typical Japanese items. There was the Shitennoji temple and pagoda, the Osaka park with it's blooming cherry trees, the Osaka castle, and delicious fresh fish and noodle restaurants (and one where we tried Kobe beef). And perhaps the most traditional Japanese event, was the national sumo tournament we got to witness.

There were 30+ match-ups that we saw throughout the full day tournament. It was one out of 15 days that the tournament lasts to determine the best of the best. There are several levels of skill that the wrestlers progress through and the talent got better and better later into the day. Each match up lasted about 5 minutes. Most of that was a warm up ceremony. It consisted of an official yelling out some commands that instructed the wrestlers of the stages of stretching, throwing lucky salt powder, going into several trial stances, and then the final actual battle. It was a furious and brutal flash of pushing, slapping, throwing, grunting. And yet it was balanced with such nimbleness and agility. There was also incredible sportsmanship with no anger at losing and no gloating at winning. Each match started and ended with bows and the contestants peacefully walking into and out of the platform. Quite an experience.

Recommend:

  • sumo tournament
  • Dotonbori nightlife and river walk
  • America village
  • Shitennoji

Japan Trip
Tokyo
Kyoto and Hakone
Nagoya
Osaka

Trip Map

Sumo Videos

Ceremony
Entrance of wrestlers
Warmup practices
Big Battle
Long Battle

Pictures

Osaka castle
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Ferris Wheel
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Sumo tournament
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Murk Travels - Japan album
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Links

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Posted by MurkTravels 01:10 Archived in Japan Tagged parties trains japan castle asia 2019

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