My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: April 2, 2018
The compact district of Ryogoku is famous for one thing in particular: sumo. Along with the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo stadium where Tokyo's matches are held three times a year, you can visit a sumo stable to watch the wrestlers train, and try chanko-nabe, the hearty hotpot that gives the wrestlers energy. Within a short distance, the excellent Edo-Tokyo Museum and the new Sumida Hokusai Museum reveal the area's history through dynamic exhibitions.
Just 13 minutes from Tokyo Station with a change at Akihabara, Ryogoku Station is the perfect place to start exploring the area. Just steps away from the arena, you have a good chance of spotting some sumo wrestlers strolling the area in their cotton yukata robes.
Along Kokugikan-dori Street leading to the national sumo stadium, you'll find statues of famous yokozuna-ranked star wrestlers in traditional poses, along with the impressions of their powerful hands. See how big their hands are and take fun pictures mirroring their poses.
The Ryogoku Kokugikan national sumo stadium is right next to the station, distinguished by its large, low, green roof. During tournament seasons, the area is festooned with colored flags denoting the names of competitors. Even if you can't see a match, the stadium is fascinating.
A fascinating look at how Tokyo developed over 400 years, the extensive museum features original artifacts, full-size dioramas and scale models of the city. On weekends, they often hold workshops, events and performances, bringing Tokyo's history to life.
Connected to Ryogoku Station, the Ryogoku Edo Noren complex recreates a traditional Edo-period (1603-1867) street with Japanese restaurants, around a sumo ring. On weekends, there are regular cultural events, including sumo matches where visitors can square up against a former wrestler.
With ukiyo-e woodblock prints like The Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa, Katsushika Hokusai's work became world-famous. He spent most of his life in this area, and you can still see glimpses of his favorite scenes in modern Tokyo. This bold building houses a permanent collection and changing exhibitions, with interactive elements.