On Saturday we had an IES Field Trip type of thing to Asakusa and Sumo Wrestling. Asakusa was interesting, just seeing the huge tourist trap that was once a temple. It was probably the 3rd time I’ve been to Asakusa (where the big Thunder Gate is), but it’s fun to walk down and see the shops, although you never buy anything there except for expensive souvenirs (I bought nothing).

One odd thing was near the smaller temple, there was a wedding. A bunch of us were in the courtyard, waiting for the rest of the group before we moved on to the next location. Next thing I know, I turn back around towards the temple and there was an old guy laying on the ground. Apparently he had fallen (was walking with a cane) and hit his head. I didn’t see that part myself. We were wondering if we should call an ambulance. I really thought we should have. 2 police offers walked up within a few minutes and seemed to have things under control. I never saw an ambulance before we left, so I have no idea what they ended up doing. I did however see them lift him up and move him away from the main entrance of the temple. Maybe it was to give him a better place to lay down? Maybe it was so he didn’t bring bad luck to the wedding in progress in the temple? I really don’t know, but I felt sorry for the old guy. It looked like he was walking around the templegrounds alone…

After that, we had a long hike and then a fun water taxi ride to Ryougoku. The boat ride really was awesome; we got to stand on top of the little boat taxi thing. After that we had sumo food called chanko-nabe. It’s pretty much just a big pot of meat, vegetables, and tofu. You cook it at your table, eat all the stuff, then cook udon noodles with the remaining broth. It was good but there was too much food (I suppose that’s why sumo like it). Also, since you cook it at your table, and there were a bunch of tables in the room cooking also, the room itself was like an oven. Not the way I like to live, let alone eat my meal.

Watched sumo afterwards in the sumo arena. Really a cool place. When you first walk in, it’s like any huge sports stadium, but then you realize that it’s decorated with a bunch of traditional Japanese decor, and instead of a playing field or a court, there is a little pavilion type area with 2 fat guys duking it out. The actual matches are fun to watch, but there is a lot of build-up and ritual before each match. Honestly, after about an hour of being there I started to doze off, but I guess I tend to do that in any sporting event where you actually go and sit in the nosebleed sections.

Overall, a fun day. The lunch and sumo tickets were covered in my IES payments, so no money spent there. Hoorah~