7 Best Sumo Experiences You Can Book Instantly
When it comes to sport in Japan, there's nothing quite as iconic as giant sumo wrestlers throwing each other around (and out of) a circular dohyō ring.
Watching an actual sumo bout, or getting closer to the ancient traditions and rules that govern the sport, such as visiting wrestlers morning training, are rare opportunities for visitors to glimpse inside this exclusive world, providing a fascinating window into a Japanese tradition.
If you're considering including the great sport of sumo in your plans or need to book something on the quick, here's my new guide to 7 of the best sumo experiences out there that you can book instantly.
68 Days Until Japan Rail Price Increases
Earlier this year the JR Group of companies (that's those which sell the popular Japan Rail Pass) recently announced a 'price revision' to the JR Passes which sees increases of around 70% on some tickets.
It's a huge increase but, honestly, this just goes to show what fantastic value the pass is at present.
Under the plans, a 7-Day Ordinary Class Adult pass increases from ¥29,650 to ¥50,000 (a 69% increase). Other than the new prices further details on the new scheme are still to be confirmed.
It's now just 68 days until the changes are expected to come into effect on 1st October.
Here's some useful bullet points:
- The pass can be activated 3 months after issue date
- At activation time in Japan, a starting date up to 30 days in the future can be selected
- Keep your exchange date + 3 month activation window in mind when placing the order. For example, if your exchange date is Nov 25th - then you should order on Aug 27th or after.
If you're travelling in Japan in 2023 and are planning on buying Japan Rail Passes, then you have until the end of September, to order yours at the current bargain rates.
Valuable Insights From a 17th Trip To Japan (Includes 28 Day Itinerary)
Mats Franzen, resident of Stockholm, Sweden, has been a frequent traveller to Japan and also a long-time subscriber to The Real Japan.
Last month he visited Japan for the 17th time with his wife, and posted some thoughts and photos from his trip in The Real Japan Private Facebook Group*.
I enjoyed reading his reflections and photos so much that I asked Mats to turn them into a blog post so I could share them with you.
Their itinerary included Hakone, Kyoto, Naha, Nara, Odawara, Seragaki and Tokyo.
Here then are Mats' valuable reflections on his 17th trip to Japan, warts and all. I hope it inspires you.
* You're welcome to join my Private Facebook Group (It's open to subscribers only and you'll need to confirm your subscriber email address).
Ohazassu Podcast - Japan Travel Tips
A new 'life in Japan' podcast started recently, run by John, an Australian guy living in Japan.
And I really like it.
He describes the show as a "Shootin' the mornin' buriizu podcast based in Japan. News, lifestyle, food, travel, language and potentially irrelevant topics. New episodes *almost* every weekday."
The second episode included some Japan travel tips, including some good advice on using IC cards like Suica (see item below), and included a brief mention of The Real Japan as a good source for travel information.
(It was entirely unsolicited, John contacted me to say he'd mentioned my site.)
Jump to 11:30 to listen to the specific section on travel in Japan.
Last Few Physical Suica Cards Remaining
Sales of physical Suica travel cards have recently been hit by a chip shortage.
(For the uninitiated, Suica cards are rechargeable emoney cards used mainly for travelling in and around Tokyo on JR and non-JR trains, metro and buses + more.)
If you are planning to buy a Suica card anytime soon, then SIMCard Geek (my recommended supplier) - have less than 100 cards remaining.
If you need physical Suica cards, you should buy them now before they all sell out.
SIMCard Geek offer free, worldwide delivery.