Things to do in Ryogoku
Sumo competitions are held throughout the year but the ones held in January gather particular attention as they are the first of the year. Although you might not be into sumo wrestling, it really is a particularly interesting event and it can teach you a lot about Japanese culture.
Ryogoku Edo Noren is an agglomeration of restaurants, shops and bars with a typically Japanese feel. At the centre of this space is a sumo ring and around that, you will find small stands selling Japanese art or goods. There are many different types of Japanese cuisines to enjoy and also a bar selling sake from a vending machine. This area is definitely a must-visit.
3. Kyu-Yasuda Teien Garden
Kyu-Yasuda Teien Garden is north of the sumo stadium and right beside the Japanese Sword Museum.
This garden used to belong to samurais, as it was their residence. The garden was then given to the public in the 20th Century. It was destroyed by the earthquake and was then rebuilt.
When? Every day from 9 AM to 4:30 PM (Closed from December 29th-January 1st)
How much? Free
This museum has been developed as a homage to Katsushika Hokusai, a world-famous artist who spent 90 years of his life making art in the Sumida Ward area. The museum's goal is to encourage tourism in the area and get more people to find out about this wonderful artist.
The museum has some permanent exhibits, which touch different aspects of Hokusai's life, such as his house and his sketches.
When? Every day from 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
How much? ¥400 (¥320 group fee)
The Edo-Tokyo Museum is about urban Tokyo history which dates back from the 1600s to today. You can see exhibitions, such as ones about Shoguns and princesses. There are often events being held as well.
When? Sunday-Friday: 9:30 AM- 5:30 PM; Saturday: 9:30 AM - 7:30 PM (Closed on Mondays)
How much? General admission is ¥600 (Click on the link below for more info)
Yokozuna Yokocho is a great place to stop by to have a drink or a light meal. There are many restaurants and izakayas to try in these small but bustling streets. Who knows, you might even spot your favourite Sumo wrestler out and about.
Ekō-in Temple in Ryogoku is a temple which belongs to a particular sect of Japanese Buddhism, the Amida sect. Since 1767, it has been the spiritual centre for sumo tournaments.
You can cruise along the Sumida River with a boat departing from Ryogoku. It can take you to Asakusa, Hama Rikyu, Hinode, Odaiba Seaside Park or Toyosu.
There are 1 or 2 boats per hour. It takes 35 minutes and costs ¥980.
Not only does it offer a beautiful view of the city, but it is a rather convenient way of travelling through the city.
Chanko nabe is a hot pot dish made famous for being a quintessential part of sumo cuisine. It is a healthy, protein-rich dish with lots of seasonal vegetables. This dish is served with the intent of increasing the weight of sumo wrestlers so unless you're also an athlete, it probably isn't recommended to eat it on a daily basis too. However, it really is delicious and worth a try!
Some of the best chanko nabes are found around Ryogoku. This dish isn't for the faint-hearted either, with each restaurant serving up volumes of food. You should definitely visit the restaurant on an empty stomach.
10. Japanese Sword Museum
The Japanese Sword Museum is -you guessed it- about Japanese swords. You can learn about Japanese history, culture and Japanese swordsmiths. You will enjoy this museum if you are a history buff, or if you enjoy Japanese art.
When? Every day 9:30 AM - 5 PM (closed on Mondays and New Year holidays)
How much? Adults ¥700