Sumo a slamming success at Tokyo gala dinner

Entertainment introduced for business event groups visiting Tokyo is proving to be a slamming success with sumo wrestling among the dramatic cultural spectacles.

Sumo matches were the centerpiece of a gala dinner during a recent five-day visit to Tokyo, Hakone and Mount Fuji by an incentive group. The cultural events introduced by Tokyo Convention & Exhibition Bureau and the city’s metropolitan government also proved a hit with 280 delegates attending the four-day OpenStack Summit, organised by a US organisation of software developers and administrators.

The sumo gala dinner took place at the Hano-no-Mai restaurant in a Tokyo neighbourhood where the grapplers train and compete at a nearby stadium. But the event saw incentive participants being welcomed by wrestlers singing traditional songs and performing sumo rituals before the matches.

The OpenStack Summit, with Hewlett Packard as one of the main sponsors and participants, featured a specially devised progra- mme of entertainment at a unique temple venue that included a legendary Noh drama called Atsumori. The action included the Shishi-lion dance, a call- igraphy demonstration, traditional musicians and a narration in English by Chris Glenn, and expert on samurai history and the culture of Japan.

Marc Sheldon, managing director of Australia-based Quaack Services, one of the operational organisers of the cloud software summit, said: “Our intention was to provide the participants with the cultural challenge rather than just entertainment.

“The participants were impressed by the performance such as Atsumori, showing the authentic part of Japan. Personally, I was also impressed. It was absolutely amazing. I had seen it on video, however, it was completely different to see the live performance in the temple grounds,” Sheldon said.

Tokyo’s Special Offer for Corporate Meetings and Incentive Travel is provided for groups of at least 100 visitor nights in Tokyo.

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