Eating Sumo: Which Rikishi Has the Best Lunch?

Photo by the author, pixelation by iPhone 7

The last time I visited Ryokogu Kokugikan, the lunch selections were named according to the various sumo ranks – “Yokozuna Box,” “Ozeki Box,” etc. But today, I went to the hallowed stadium for day 2 of the Hatsu-basho, and found that the bento selections had been named after some of our nearest and dearest superstars.

So, for a bit of fun, let’s run through each of the selections, and then you can vote for the rikishi with the best bento at the bottom (EDITED: all of the poll embeds were breaking so just leave your selection in the comments). All of these bento boxes are the same price, so your choice strictly comes down to the contents, and the descriptions are more or less verbatim as they are presented in English on the menu. If you want to be cheeky, feel free to create a menu for another rikishi’s bento in the comments.


  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Mackerel in miso sauce
  • Chicken nanban
  • Lotus root seafood scissors
  • “Cut the cooked kelp”
  • Pickles marinated with soy sauce
  • Boiled mixed beans
  • Cherry tomato


  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Grilled beef
  • Beef croquette
  • “The spitted cutlet of pork”
  • Potato salad
  • Cherry tomato
  • Japanese style omelette
  • Kinpira burdock root


  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Salty mix of chicken and Japanese leek
  • Mushroom marinade (Marinated mushroom?)
  • Boiled egg
  • “Food boiled and seasoned: Radish, Carrot, Konjac, Shiitake mushroom, Japanese butterbur, Taro”
  • Honey pickled plum
  • Meat ball


  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Sirloin pork cutlet
  • Beefsteak
  • Boiled egg
  • Boiled vegetables: Carrot, Potato, Pumpkin, Broccoli
  • Pork sausage
  • Cherry tomato
  • Boiled mixed beans
  • Pickled vegetables


  • “Dried pickled sour Japanese plum on the rice” (Umeboshi)
  • Deep-fried chicken with Japanese leek sauce
  • Deep-friend Chinese style dumpling
  • Boiled egg
  • Boiled vegetables: Carrot, Potato, Pumpkin, Broccoli
  • Cherry tomato
  • Boiled mixed beans
  • “Stir-fry shrimp in chilli sauce”


35 thoughts on “Eating Sumo: Which Rikishi Has the Best Lunch?

  1. Personally, I’d opt for the Takayasu box, with the Kisenosato box as my second choice.

    Terunofuji special: all five boxes for the price of three. #toosoon ?

    • So back in 2016 there actually was a Terunofuji bento box, which I ate along with some beer, takoyaki and yakitori.

      It remains my favorite, cause he was smart enough to include the best part of the cow – Gyuu-tan!

  2. Having actually eaten the Kakuryu box, I’ll go with that one. As stadium foods go, it was pretty good and the price was great for what you get.

  3. The goeido box looks delish.

    However, what about the Endo box:
    *kalbi beef
    *maguro sashimi
    *fire-grilled shrimp
    *small umeboshi
    *chirashi sushi on top of koshihikari rice with a cup of small green tea (in case you prefer to have ochazuke)
    Comes decorated in a large pink silk bow. And seems like there’s always a long line for this, as it can sell out pretty quickly.

  4. The Takayasu box in a walk — love mackerel and really do not care for chicken. The Kakuryu box if they were sold out of the Takayasu. And the Endo box because I just really want that to happen…

    • Interestingly enough the Takayasu box seemed to be the one sold out in the most places around the stadium

      However whether that’s a reflection of popularity, menu, or simply the fact they made less, I do not know

  5. How about the Harumafuji:

    Dried pickled sour plum on the rice
    Spring (春=HARU) rolls
    Basashi (馬=MA)
    Daifuku (福=FU) mochi stacked in the shape of a rikishi (士=JI)
    A bottle of champagne

    …too soon?


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