Try Sumo Wrestler Cuisine at a Chanko Nabe Hotpot Restaurant in Tokyo

ByJason Gatewood
Jan 28, 2020

Try Sumo Wrestler Cuisine at a Chanko Nabe Hotpot Restaurant in Tokyo

Of course, you know about Japan’s national sport, sumo. If not, then here are a few ways to familiarize yourself with this original form of wrestling. You might ask yourself, how do those guys gain all that weight, but still maintain their stamina and flexibility? Despite what you might think, sumo wrestlers are well known for their strict adherence to traditions in their lifestyle and training, so of course, when dieting, they also include a mix of new and old recipes to maintain their strength and health.

This is evident in their food of choice, chankonabe (ちゃんこ鍋), a stew filled with meat, tofu, and veggies designed to help pack on the weight when eaten in large quantities. Usually prepared by the younger members of a sumo training stable, it’s everything, but the kitchen sink in terms of its ingredients. But it’s also a darn good way to stave off winter’s coldness by us regular folk as well as yet another way to put another tick on your Authentic Japanese Food I’ve Eaten checklist.

Kappo Yoshiba

If you want the whole experience and feel of being at the sumo matches along with your dining experience, then look no further than Kappo Yoshiba. The building itself is steeped in history, for it is the home of the Miyagino Sumo Stable, boasting a historic dohyo (土俵) sumo ring in the middle of the dining space. Their menu includes fresh sushi from Toyosu market, and their special Yoshiba Chanko Nabe is full of seafood, fresh meat, and vegetables.

Address: 2-14-5 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3623-4480, FAX 03-3623-4561
Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30 am – 1:30 pm , 5:00 pm – 9:10 pm. Closed Sundays and public holidays, Golden Week, O-Bon holidays, New Year holidays. Open for dinner on Sundays & public holidays during sumo tournaments

Chanko Kirishima

Like many chanko nabe joints, this one was started by a former pro sumo wrestler. One of the top Ozeki grapplers during the early 1990s, Kirishima Kazuhiro went on to coach his own stable, but has since retired from that life and now runs his restaurant full time.

Address: 2-13-7 Ryogoku, Sumida, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3634-0075
Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:30am – 11:00pm Sun & holidays: 11:30am – 10:30pm

Chanko Tomoegata

Consistently rated the best chanko nabe restaurant in Ryogoku (which, as you can tell by now is chanko and sumo heaven), Tomoegata has crafted their recipe over 40 years of continuous operation.

Address: 2-17-6 Ryogoku, Sumida , Tokyo
Phone: 03-3632-5600
Hours: Monday – Friday 17:00 – 22:30(L.O.21:30) Saturday & Sunday & Holiday 16:30 – 22:30(L.O.21:30) Monday – Sunday Lunch: 11:30 – 14:00


Image via “Sumo Stable, Tokyo, Japan” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by MichaelMan

Image via TripAdvisor

Image via chanko, chanko kirishima, ryogoku, tokyo(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by etsuko.nakamura,

Image via Kappo Yoshiba website

About the author

Jason Gatewood editor

Our Tokyo based collaborator is a tech nerd, Japanophile, train nut, and a veritable fountain of information on Japan. His current goal is to watch Evangelion and actually "get it", sing every permutation of "Hotel California" at any karaoke gathering, ride every bullet train line, and sample all varieties of ramen throughout Japan. Catch more of his musings at ·