Yesterday, Ebi-kun and I went into Asakusa to meet my friend Gaia who is visiting Japan at the moment. She was my first English student and I lived with her family in Italy, 20 years ago! Anyway, her and her fiancé wanted to see the baby sumo (nakizumo), I have never seen it in real life so I was up for it.
It is held at Senjoji, the big temple in Asakusa, of course it started with the usual amount of pomp and ceremony that you would expect in Japan but it soon got underway. First the babies are introduced and then one of the sumo wrestlers pick up the baby and take it to the ring. Once the bout starts the sumo wrestlers jiggle that baby up and down until one of them cries, the one that cries the loudest first is the champ! This rather odd tradition is about 400 years old and it is believed to bring the child good health (and possibly nightmares for the rest of their lives!).
It was an amusing start to the day, we didn't watch all the bouts instead we went and had a look around the temple then headed off to get some rather late lunch.
We had arranged to meet at noon but I knew Ebi-kun would be hungry by then so we turned up a bit earlier and grabbed a bite to eat, okonimiyaki on a stick! a first for everything.
Gaia and Luca had met some Japanese guys when they were travelling in Turkey so we also met up with them, of course Ebi-kun got pampered by the big boys but it was also handy as they are students so they were on the look out for somewhere cheap to eat.
Obligatory group shot with Japanese v sign pose! It was a fun day, we headed off about 5pm and managed to catch the train just before daddy-ebi (he had to work yesterday) so we met up in town and ate dinner out - double plus, no cooking for me!
Gaia is heading off to do the tourist train, Kyoto, Nara etc. and come back up here next weekend so we are trying to think of something exciting to do with her then....