It’s been a rather hard winter, with some areas up north experiencing heavy snowfalls and other parts with hard-hitting low temperatures. But, as heralded by the ume and cherry blossoms, spring has finally sprung.

And what could be a better symbol of these sunny days coming to Japan than some scantily clad sumo taking advantage of the pleasant warmth.

The Nihon Sumo Kyokai Twitter account posted these playful pics earlier this week during an event held in Hitachiomiya City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Outside the venue a sakura-lined park brought all the wrestlers out to the yard.

▼ “Group Picture: Kaisei, Osuna Arashi, Tochinoshin, Aoiyama, Gagamaru, Tamawashi”

▼ “Group Picture: Gagamaru, Tamawashi, Aoiyama, Tochinoshin, Kaisei, Osuna Arashi”

▼ “Group Picture: Osuna Arashi, Amu Uru, Aoiyama, Tamawashi”

It didn’t take long for the pleasant weather to intoxicate the wrestlers who soon slipped into hijinks. Some of them also pulled off moves I never thought I’d see a sumo do.

▼ “Osuna Arashi chasing Tamawashi.”

▼ “After practice, Kaisei uses cardboard for sledding.”

▼ “Kaisei sledding”

▼ “Tomiei showing off a backflip.”

The practices were also held outdoors where people could watch freely.

▼ “Continuing from yesterday, we continue to show you the spring tour. Yamageiko with Tamawashi and Osuna Arashi.”

▼ “Yamageiko: Tarunofuji and Aoiyama; Osuna Arashi and Tamawashi”

And of course it wouldn’t be a zany day out without trying on some funny hats. This time they were courtesy of some security guards who posed for pictures with the athletes.

▼ “Osuna Arashi borrowing the hat of a security guard while posing for a picture together.”

▼ “Toyohibiki borrowing the hat of a security guard while posing for a picture together.”

One glaring omission from the springtime fun was Chiyomaru, the man dubbed “Japan’s cutest sumo” by the country’s netizens. Nevertheless, it appears a good time was had by all and…um… Sorry, I’m still shocked at seeing a sumo do a backflip.

Source: Twitter – @sumokyokai via My Game News Flash (Japanese)