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Long day in Osaka with Sumo and aquarium?

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Jan 8th, 2007, 09:09 AM
  #1
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Long day in Osaka with Sumo and aquarium?

We will be staying at the Westin Kyoto for a four day period in March. On one of these days we would like to take the train in Osaka and spend the day at the aquarium and seeing some of the sumo wrestling tournament. If we had more time we would do each of these on separate days, but that would mean missing out on much in Kyoto.

Our kids (ages 12, 10 and 5) are good travelers. Is it okay to cram both events into one day?

Which one should we do first?

Is there any way to buy some kind of sumo tournament pass that gives us a cost-effective way of only taking in 2-3 hours of action, or are we committed to paying for a day pass and foregoing several hours of action while at the aquarium?

How easy is it to navigate the sumo wrestling event with young children?

Is there any way to take in some action (e.g. practices, etc.) without actually paying to attend the tournament?

Thanks!
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Jan 8th, 2007, 11:08 AM
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emd
 
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I went to the spring sumo tournament in Osaka in March 2005 (also stayed at Westin Miyako in Kyoto). It is best to get to the municipal gymnasium for sumo about 3 p.m., as from then til 6 p.m. is when the really good matches take place. In fact we first went to a baseball game at Osaka Dome and left the game early to get to the gym at 3 p.m.

I do not know where the aquarium is in Osaka but the transportation system is good in Osaka and my bet is that you can easily do the aquarium and sumo in one day w/kids that age.

Here is the part of my report on going to sumo in Osaka. the municipal gymnasium was not easy for us to find. But it was really worth it! You will have to pay for a full day ticket, and you will be able to walk up and get tickets in the seats that day at the gym, unless it is one of the last days of the torunament:

"Getting to the sumo venue, Osaka Municipal Gym, was a challenge. I was helped by a poster on another Japan forum who translated the map from the sumo site for me. It was easy to take the JR loop one more stop past Taiso to Imamiya and switch to the JR line that goes one stop to JR Namba station. Finding the gym was a bigger deal. It was pouring. I don’t even know if I could do it again right now. No one seemed to know where the gym was- the only thing that saved us was that I had the mapquest map in Japanese for the area and had marked on it where the gym was, plus I had the words for the gym (Osaka Furitsa Taikukan), but it was still a bit of an ordeal. Finally a police officer pointed down the street and as we started walking we saw sumo wrestlers in their robes outside. The outside of the gym was so colorful, lots of sumo flags and lanterns. We got tickets, not cheap, 5400 yen a seat, and a woman escorts us all the way from the door to the seats. The seats are not as nice as the ones mrwunrfl photographed in Tokyo, they are not padded and are cramped, and I am not sorry that we are only there for the highlights of the late afternoon. But it is spectacular. We had doen some reading on the pageantry, rituals and the sumo moves, but they also gave us a little Eng. Booklet. Son took many pics for school report. The guys are so big and impressive, esp. when they stamp the ground before the match. Binoculars helped a lot, although we were not that far away it is nice to see the moves and looks on their faces.
We left sumo at 6 p.m. and went to Namba Mall close to the gym."
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Jan 8th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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Thanks EMD - what a great response. Did you rent binoculars or bring your own?

Was the baseball game in Osaka pre-season? Was it easy to get tickets?
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Jan 8th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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yes, the game was preseason (Orix Buffaloes and the Hanshin Tigers- the most amazong fans in the world are the Tigers fans). In Feb. the preseason scheudle will get posted at www.japanesebaseball.com and you can see what days there are games at Osaka Dome during your trip. I HIGHLY recommend this- your kids would like it I think. The fans are just NUTS. We had some Tigers fan clothing and paraphenelia from a prior game in Tokyo and it got us quite a reception!

Here is the excerpt from my trip report re going to the game that day:

"We took the rapid local train from Kyoto station to Osaka station, 30 min., then switched to the JR loop line to Taisho; the Dome was an easy 5 min. walk just outside the station to the left. Hanshin Tigers (“our” team) and the newly formed Orix Buffaloes. It was an absolute blast. We got tickets in the outfield fan cheering section for $10 and wore all our Tigers stuff (jacket, plastic bats around the neck) from the Tokyo game, plus I got son a hat and I got a scarf thing to tie around my head and these weird tiger tail earrings. We were the only gaijin there. It was unbelievable- the Tigers fans were so much louder in the Osaka Dome than in Tokyo. Every seat in the fan section was taken. We chanted for the batters, banged our bats, and the guy across the aisle was praying w/prayer beads- these are serious fans. At one point everyone started blowing up these long big 4 ft. colored balloons (we had bought some but didn’t realize the ritual that would be coming) and when the cheerleader motioned, everyone let them go and they made incredible noise and flew everywhere. At the stretch (I think it is 6th inning instead of 7th) the woman in front of us tapped me and pointed up to the big video screen in the Dome and there were Casey and emd!! They put us up on the screen. I looked at myself and thought, “no one will ever believe this, and I look like a fool!” And so we got our 15 seconds of fame in Osaka Dome. The beloved Tigers lost, even though the Buffaloes had barely any fans in their cheering section. We had to leave after the 7th in order to get to sumo."

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Jan 8th, 2007, 12:26 PM
  #5
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And we just walked up to the ticket window at the Dome and told the lady we wanted tickets in the Tiger's fan section and we got them for $10. a great bargain. The fan section is the way to go- they have cheerleaders who lead cheers and chants for each batter that comes up to bat. It is just wild.

Famgarrido, if you decide to go to sumo, I can perhaps help you with the map from the sumo site and give you the map translations I was given by the kind person at japan-guide.com.
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Jan 8th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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oh I see I didn't answer a ?-- We brought our own small pair of binoculars (we had them for the baseball game also).
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Jan 8th, 2007, 04:30 PM
  #7
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oh, you are so lucky! The map on the website showing how to get to the Osaka Municipal Museum is now in ENGLISH (it was only in Japanese when I went). Maybe they read my trip report and realized how hard ti was to find it!

See:
http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/ticket/hon...oho/osaka.html
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