Have you ever wondered what sumo wrestlers eat? Are you curious about what training grounds for sumo wrestlers look like? Then head over to Kappo Yoshiba and savor eating sumo wrestler’s staple food while appreciating the art of Japanese architecture and traditional sumo performances.
Kappo Yoshiba has a long history in relation to sumo wrestling. The restaurant was named after the 43rd yokozuna (grand champion; 横綱), Yoshibayama (吉葉山) of the Yohibayama Beya (吉葉山部屋), and used to be the place where he trained. Yoshibayama retired in 1960 and changed his name to Miyagino Beya (宮城野部屋). The place became a restaurant in 1983, serving Japanese-style cuisine specializing in chanko nabe and sushi.
The building’s structure, which is made of Japanese cypress, has been preserved with some of the interiors reminiscent of how the place once looked. The actual sumo ring, or dohyo, of the Yoshibayama Beya is the center of attraction where it often witnesses determined sumo wrestlers trying to force each other out of the ring.
There are also several private rooms available to accommodate your needs. Groups of four to 100 can be accommodated in a room. Japanese and Western-style seating is also available. In addition, dining around the dohyo is a must for sumo enthusiasts to get a better view of the live performances. Ringside seats require reservations and extra fees apply.
One of the specialties of Kappo Yoshiba is chanko nabe, a Japanese stew made of various meat and vegetables. It is a high-calorie staple food of sumo wrestlers to help them gain weight. Heaps of servings of chanko nabe is served for group sharing.
Kappo Yoshiba is also known for its high-quality sushi and sashimi delivered straight from Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場). Assorted platters and sets of different kinds of fresh and mouthwatering sushi and sashimi are available to choose from.
The restaurant also serves other Japanese set meals, or teishoku (定食), to suit your taste and preference during lunch time at an affordable price. This includes other popular Japanese cuisines such as tempura, pork shogayaki (豚の生姜焼き), and grilled fish set meals. Other single dishes are grilled red king crab, grilled scallops in miso, fried potatoes, marbled beef cubes, and healthy salads.
A variety of drinks is also available to complete your meal. Aside from soft drinks, the restaurant also serves alcoholic beverages such as sake, shochu (焼酎), wine, and beer.
Various live performances are conducted almost every night to liven up the atmosphere. One of these is Sumo Jinku (相撲甚句), a type of Japanese traditional music that tells the happiness and sorrow of a sumo wrestler’s life. Listen and enjoy this unique song as it is performed by former sumo wrestlers themselves.
Other traditional live performances are the tsugaru jamisen (津軽三味線), a Japanese type of music using a three-stringed plucked instrument, rakugo (落語), which is a popular Japanese comedic storytelling done by only one person, and a grand piano performance.
Business hours are from 11:30am to 2:00pm (last order 1:30pm) and 5:00pm to 10:00pm (last order 9:10pm). It is open daily except for Sundays and public holidays. The restaurant is open for dinner on Sundays and public holidays during sumo tournaments.
Traveling to a country is not just about visiting tourist spots, but also having a taste of its authentic food and seeing traditional performances as part of its culture. In Kappo Yoshiba, not only will you be pleased with the various traditional food it serves and excellent customer service it provides, but also enjoy the sumo atmosphere. Because of the wide selection in their menu, you’ll never run out of something to try to satisfy your appetite. And I bet you’ll surely go back for more!