Friday, December 11, 2009

Fly-by-night Sumo Trip to Japan

A few weeks ago we had the wonderful fortune of going along on a trip to Fukuoka in Japan. The main, and almost only, purpose of our trip was to watch the Sumo Wrestling Grand Tournament which was being held in Fukuoka. There are four grand tournaments a year, and only on in Fukuoka - the nearest Japanese city for us - so it was the perfect opportunity. We took a train down to Busan (3 hours) and then a 3-hour ferry across to Fukuoka.

The only part of this experience which was bad, was the awful mission we had to go through to get visas: we had to provide so much paprework, for a 2 day visit. What made it all the more annoying was that the Brits, Canadians and Americans whom we went with were visa-exempt - love it! (Wait 'til we got o China...:))

Anyway, we had a really fabulous time. We were a group of 8 and all got along like a house on fire, I was amazed at how a group of 8 interdependently-minded people could make travel decisions without too much struggle at all. Yey!
We also managed to fit in a delicious Japanese drinking-meal and a some late night capers in a Bourbon bar in downtown Fukuoka - where I was incredibly privileged to be given a Kimono as a gift - a 60-year old one at that, thanks Bourbon+Asian generosity :)

The next morning we managed to fit in a visit to the Robot Center and the beachfront before catching our ferry home.

Here are the pics I showed my students - they laughed SOO much at the sumo wrestlers, they loved it! I tried to emphasize the importance of respecting Sumo as an ancient part of Japanese culture and get them to look beyond the 'sexy panties' and big bellies and 'boobs' but that was lost on them :)

1 comment:

EEbEE said...


I've always wanted to don one of those Austin Powers sumo wresling suits and have a good bounce!