This 4 hours morning private walking tour focus on Ryogoku, a town of Sumo and Edo culture. Ryogoku has a permanent Sumo stadium, Ryogoku Kokugikan, so that 5 or 6 out of 43 Sumo stables (as of March 2017) are dotted around there. You get basic knowledge of Sumo, including finding some Sumo stables (no practice observation). Ryogoku has also the Sumida Hokusai Museum and the Edo-Tokyo Museum where you can step into the Edo culture world. The tour fee includes these two museums admission fees (about 1000yen). Edo NOREN, a facility next to Ryogoku Station, will also show you traditional Japanese foods as a culture along with the real size Dohyo (Sumo ring).
The guide will pick you up at your hotel at 8:30am and take you to Ryogoku by getting on a JR train. JR Ryogoku Satiation is really a station of a sumo town. You may be surprised to find a lot of Sumo relating displays inside the station. Outside of the station, along the Kokugikan-Dori Street, you can see 6 miniature stone statues of Yokozuna (highest rank Sumo wrestlers). You can learn the stylized formation of "Dohyoiri" from the statues. At the south end of the Street, a temple "Eko-in" is located. Current style of Sumo tournaments was established in Edo era and authorized open-air Sumo tournaments were mostly held in this temple. The temple is closely related with Sumo, which you learn in the tour. Then, we pass by some Sumo stables. If lucky enough, you can listen to the voices of hard practicing from such stables. (1)After about 30 minutes walking, we get into Edo NOREN to view the real size Dohyo as well as getting fundamental information about Sumo here. You can also get to know Japanese traditional foods there. The most remarkable spot in Ryogoku is, of course, Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo stadium). We drop in the Sumo Museum in the Kokugikan, if open, to view the sumo match video and observe the pictures of all Yokozuna (There have been 72 Yokozuna so far as of March 2017) (2).Ukiyoe (wood block printing) is one of most typical culture developed in Edo, which also gave a significant impact on the western arts, especially to the Impressionist too. Especially, Hokusai Katsushika is famous and popular with its Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series. Hokusai was born in Sumida ward, where Ryogoku is located, and spent most of his life until the age of 90 in Sumida. The Sumida Hokusai Museum was just opened in 2016. We visit the museum to see its unique displays. (30 or 40 minutes only for ordinary exhibition)One of fantastic museums in Tokyo is the Edo-Tokyo Museum. The first view will start crossing the real width with a half-length old Nihonbashi bridge as if you step into the Edo world. You can observe and experience what Edo people did in their daily life. The museum has so many exhibition, so if the tour time is not enough, you can stay there longer with the enough advice how to get back to your hotel from there.If time allows and you are not too tired, we drop in a typical Japanese garden, Former Yasuda Garden, where you can learn how feudal lords enjoy strolling in a garden. *See Additional information for (1) and (2)