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The Kokugikan as seen from JR Ryogoku Station platform.
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Way to Kokugikan. The guarded side gate on the right is for sumo wrestlers.
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Taiko drum tower
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Taiko drum tower
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Sumo wrestler banners
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Sumo wrestler and sumo stable banners
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Kokugikan
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Kokugikan ticket office (right). Ticket prices range from 2,100 yen to 14,300 yen.
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Kokugikan ticket office. Cheap tickets costing 2,100 yen are sold every day of the tournament, but sell out fast by noon or so.
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Gate to enter Kokugikan.
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At the gate, you might see a famous former wrestler (like former Takamiyama from Hawaii, now Stablemaster Azumazeki) taking your ticket.
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Front of Kokugikan. The wide stairs make it quick for many people to exit the building. It is a sleek, modern building with a spacious interior. The roof collects rainwater for use in the toilets.
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After you go through the ticket gate, the front of Kokugikan has two large murals.
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Taiko drum tower
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Two small shrines outside.
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Sumo wrestlers enter through a side entrance. Fans wait for their favorite wrestlers.
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Entrance lobby. At the end of the lobby is a trophy showcase. On the last day of the tournament, the tournament winner will walk through here to his car for a victory parade amid a large crowd.
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Side of lobby. (Passing out free calendar posters during Jan. tourney.)
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Sumo mural in lobby.
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In the entrance hall are life-size cutouts of the top wrestlers.
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Trophy case in lobby. This is the Emperor's Cup awarded to the tournament winner.
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Emperor's Cup. This is what all sumo wrestlers dream about.
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Closeup of Emperor's Cup.
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Nameplates of tournament winners on Emperor's Cup
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Closeup of nameplates of tournament winners on Emperor's Cup.
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Old Nameplates of tournament winners that were on the Emperor's Cup.
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Old Nameplates of tournament winners that were on the Emperor's Cup.
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Closeup of old Nameplates of tournament winners that were on the Emperor's Cup.
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Plaques for the Three Outstanding Prizes (Technique, Outstanding Performance, and Fighting Spirit) awarded by two newspapers.Technique Prize (Gino-sho), Outstanding Performance (for most Yokozuna/Ozeki upsets, Shukun-sho), and Fighting Spirit (Kanto-sho).
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Trophies for the Three Outstanding Prizes (Technique, Outstanding Performance, and Fighting Spirit) from the Japan Sumo Association.Technique Prize (Gino-sho), Outstanding Performance (for most Yokozuna/Ozeki upsets, Shukun-sho), and Fighting Spirit (Kanto-sho).
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The tournament winner receives numerous prizes from various organizations and companies.
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Prize from Miyazaki Prefecture.
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Prize from Fukushima Prefecture.
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Mushrooms from Oita Prefecture.
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Another prize from Fukushima Prefecture.
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Prime Minister's Cup on left, the middle is the President Chirac Award from France, and the glass on the right is a prize from the Czech Republic.President Chirac is a sumo fan. There is also a Czech wrestler in the lower division.
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Prize from the United Arab Emirates.
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In the back on the left is a prize from Mexico and one from Hungary on the right. In the front on the left is a prize from Mongolia, middle is from NHK, and right is from China.
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Sumo Museum. Open only during tournament days. Free admission.The wall on the left show portraits of all the yokozuna in the modern era.
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Sumo service entrance for groups.
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Corridor and souvenir shops.A corridor encircles the arena.
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Sumo figurines.
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Sumo figurines.
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Print Club photo sticker booth.
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Kokugikan Cafe snack bar
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Bios and pictures of all sumo wrestlers in top Makunouchi division.
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The bios and pictures are categorized according to prefecture. All wrestlers who were/are active in the modern era are introduced. Two wrestlers from Shiga Prefecture: Kurama and Misugisato.
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Non-Japanese sumo wrestlers who made it to Makunouchi Division. Four from USA (Hawaii), four from Mongolia, and one from Bulgaria (Kotooshu) as of 2006.
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Bulgaria (Kotooshu)
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Entrance to the dining room for chanko-nabe. It's downstairs in the basement.
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The chanko-nabe menu changes a few times during the tournament. The recipes are from various sumo stables.
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The banquet hall in the basement is used as a dining room during lunch time during tournaments. 大広間
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I usually eat two bowls. Only 250 yen per bowl.
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It is really good! Different flavors are offered during different days of the tournament. Top is shoyu (soy sauce) flavor, and bottom is salt flavor. Miso flavor is also offered.
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Lecture classroom (previously used as a dining room for chanko-nabe during tournaments). 相撲教習所
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Next to the chanko dining room is a sumo ring for practice and deliberation exhibition matches.
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The sign reads "Physical body, Technique, Heart." What you need to succeed in sumo.
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Door to arena.
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Panorama shot of sumo arena during a sumo tournament. There are two levels.
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This is the lower level with zabuton box seats costing over 10,000 yen.
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Box seats. Cramped space for four people.
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Box seat for two.
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Sumo ring and suspended roof (no pillars).
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Shinto-style roof. If the house is full, the "Full House" banners are rolled down above the roof. (Now rolled up.)
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Sumo ring (dohyo). A new sumo ring is constructed for every tournament. See sumo tournament photos here.
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Upper level and VIP booth.
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VIP booth or "Royal Box" where the Emperor and Empress (or Crown Prince and Princess) or head of state watch sumo.
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Upper level seats.
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Upper level and giant sumo portraits of 32 past tournament winners. As of Jan. 2012, there are no portraits of Japanese sumo wrestlers. Only foreigners.
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Giant portrait of Yokozuna AkebonoThese are B/W photographs painted over with oil.
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Giant portrait of Yokozuna Takanohana
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Giant portrait of Yokozuna Musashimaru
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Giant portrait of Yokozuna Asashoryu
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Giant portrait of Baruto
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Giant portrait of Yokozuna Hakuho
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Giant portrait of Kyokutenho
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Giant portrait of Harumafuji
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Giant portrait of Ozeki Kotooshu.
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Sumo scoreboard. The names of all the wrestlers are displayed in the order of the sumo matches (from right to left). The winner is indicated with a red lamp. Names of sumo wrestlers absent from the tournament (due to injury, etc.) are listed on the far le
     
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