The Ryogoku area is the center of Japan’s sumo world, with the first official stadium for the sport opening here in 1909. Full of training stables, historical spots, and chanko hot pot restaurants where the bulky wrestlers fill their bellies, Ryogoku is home to sumo's culture and history.
Much of this history is preserved and displayed at the arena’s Sumo Museum. Although best visited during the excitement of one of the yearly tournaments, the Sumo Museum is open year-round and free-of-charge, offering an extensive collection of materials showing the sport's rich past and enduring popularity.
The museum’s collection changes six times a year and features items like woodblock prints, historical ranking lists, and the ceremonial cloth aprons worn by famous wrestlers. You can also watch video footage from recent matches to get into the spirit. The museum is small, so afterward you’ll have plenty of time to see the area’s other great museums, like the Edo-Tokyo Museum, Sumida Hokusai Museum, and the Japanese Sword Museum.