A chill gale of change is gusting through the sumo world, all the way from Central Asia. The demise of the Takanohana era does not, of course, mean we will stop eating chanko nabe. However, in honor of the incipient arrival of the Asashoryu dynasty, we felt impelled to set off in search of Shilingol, Tokyo’s first and only authentic Mongolian restaurant.

Getting there is a good deal easier than, say, crossing the Gobi to Huhehot. Even so, it still requires plenty of time, planning and map-reading skills. First you must journey up to Sugamo, on the northernmost reaches of the Yamanote Line, and from there hike through the empty residential back streets of Sengoku. A wooden sign with the name inscribed in Mongolian script lets you know that you have arrived.

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