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8 Hobbies In Japan You’ll Enjoy!

popular hobbies in japan

Eager to know the most popular hobbies in Japan? Read further to know more about what hobbies the Japanese have to keep themselves entertained. 

It’s human nature to have hobbies and hobbies are great when it comes to keeping us occupied and interested in an activity. While some of us may have just one hobby, there are several people who have more than one hobby such as walking, traveling, listening to music, working out, etc.

Since different people can have slightly different hobbies, we were eager to find out if hobbies are the same or different between countries. And that’s why we researched what types of hobbies are common in Japan and how the Japanese people spend their free time. If you’re intrigued to know, check out the popular hobbies in Japan right below!

Popular Hobbies In Japan

Reading Manga Books

Reading is one of the popular hobbies across the world and reading in Japan is considered to be a very noble hobby. 

This is because reading increases our knowledge by enhancing our vocabulary skills and it also helps to broaden our imaginations as well. 

While anyone can read their favorite types of books like story books, novels, comics, etc, manga is one of the most frequently read books in Japan.

The reason behind the obsession with manga is evident because manga as we know originated in Japan and it’d only be a shame if the natives aren’t interested in their own creations. 

The popularity of manga grew even higher when manga was made available in foreign countries hence reading manga is now a popular universal hobby.

There are manga books specifically targeted toward different groups of demographics like age and gender and depending on the manga, the chapters will be released either weekly or monthly in magazines for viewers to read.

Según Statista, a survey that was conducted in high schools in Japan in May 2022 reported that nearly 30% of the students were avid manga readers. 

This data depicts that manga is a popular hobby among the younger generation.

The reasons for manga being adored by teens and young adults are the wide availability of manga books and also the distinct manga genres that grab the attention of the younger generation.

Engaging In Video Games

Video games are a sensation among kids, teens, and even adults. It’s also a tradition that playing video games are one of the favorite hobbies of several people across the world and Japan is no exception.

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In fact, some of the most famous video game consoles such as the Sony Playstation and the Wii Nintendo were all produced by Japanese electronic companies. 

There’s no doubt that video games are loved by millions of people across Japan because the video game market in Japan has experienced high surges in revenues over the past decade and even in recent years. 

Según Newzoo rankings, over 78 million people in Japan were recorded to be video game players which summed the total gaming market revenue in Japan to almost 22 billion USD. 

The most popular video game in Japan by April 2022 is Kirby and The Forgotten Land played on Nintendo Switch. Based on the results displayed on Statista, Kirby and The Forgotten Land game sold over 200,000 units in Japan by April 2022.

People in Japan Love Watching Anime 

Watching anime has become a trending hobby nowadays and countless people have begun to join the ever-growing fandom. Anime is the abbreviation of the English word “animation” that’s used to refer to animation content produced in Japan. 

The earliest anime was recorded to have been released during the early 1920s. However, anime only became widespread in Japan during the late 60s and during the late 80s, it grew popular all across the globe, dominating the entertainment industry in most parts of the world.

The most famous anime series are Pokemon, Naruto, Dragon Ball, Fullmetal Alchemist, etc. 

Anime and manga have a separate fanbase in Japan and they’re usually called Otaku in Japanese. Otaku means a person who’s completely obsessed over anime and manga that they have a very own subculture. 

According to Statista, a survey conducted in 2019 in Japan by the Nippon Research Center reported that almost 33% of the participants were Otakus which means they either regularly watched anime or read manga avidly.

Anime series and movies have been released every year with new plots and captivating characters which is why watching anime in Japan has been a favorite hobby among youngsters.

Exploring All Parts of Japan

Japan might be a small island nation that’s surrounded by sea from all sides but it’s never short of awestruck scenery and gorgeous places to visit. That’s why Japan had nearly 32 million foreign tourists visiting the country in 2019 alone. 

Although the pandemic has put the inbound tourism industry to rest temporarily, the citizens of Japan can’t get enough of their beautiful country. 

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Several people in Japan love to travel to the most popular destinations in the country for multiple reasons such as seasonal festivals, visiting their relatives, spending some leisure time, etc. 

Some of the popular tourist destinations in Japan that are loved by the locals are Mount Fuji, Osaka, Castle, Temple City, Imperial Palace, and Hiroshima Memorial Park.

Even workplaces in Japan have offered paid leave to their employees to travel across Japan as a means of escaping from work stress. 

The concept of traveling across the country has become an encouraging activity among the Japanese people. Hence, each prefecture in Japan hosts events to draw local tourists to boost local tourism revenue.

Walking and Hiking Are Popular Hobbies In Japan

Tokyo is one of the most crowded cities in the whole world and the city is packed with public transportation to help people travel to their destinations in time. 

However, there’s a large proportion of people in Tokyo that prefer to walk or cycle to get away from the congested public transport. 

Besides walking on the streets, there are Japanese people who also love to take short walks on beaches and parks. 

Since Japan has an aging population, you’ll see several elderly people stopping by parks to take short walks. Walking is also one of the healthiest hobbies out there which have countless health benefits. 

We also mentioned how Japan has beautiful tourist attractions and the mountains are one of them. For a small country like Japan, there are nearly 18,000 mountains due to the geographical location of the country. Hence, hiking is another common hobby among the Japanese. 

Young and adventurous people usually love to go on hiking, especially on mountains that are not quite tall. 

Hiking is one of the best and preferred hobbies by the Japanese because it lets people discover exotic sceneries and experience the beauty of nature and wildlife without any disturbances.

The Japanese Love Singing Karaoke and Listening To Music 

Music is another common entertainment content that the Japanese people are fans of. 

Según Soundcharts Blog, in 2018 the music industry in Japan approximately generated a revenue of $7 billion which makes the Japanese music industry the second largest music industry in the world followed by the American music industry.

The statistics alone are sufficient to prove that listening to music is one of the most popular hobbies in Japan. Music is not just listened to and enjoyed by the youngsters but also by elders as well. 

Japanese music orchestrates the beauty of the Japanese culture which makes the music soothing to listen to.

Apart from listening to music, the Japanese also love to sing as well. And when it comes to singing, Karaoke is their go-to activity in festivals and bars. In fact, the word Karaoke is of Japanese origin which means “Empty” and “Orchestra”. 

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Even the Karaoke machine was invented in Japan and is generally used in clubs and bars to organize Karaoke events. Now you know how music-related hobbies are big in Japan.

Partaking In Festivals and Special Events in Japan

Japan is a country that’s not just technologically rich but culturally as well. The Japanese people place great significance on their culture hence cultural festivals are frequently held throughout the year. 

These festivals are filled with people visiting temples, and street vendors selling food and include other fun activities as well. Although this isn’t a common hobby, it’s definitely an activity loved by the Japanese.

Watching Sporting Events Is Preferred By The Japanese

Watching sports in real life or on television is a hobby for most people across the globe. 

Traditionally, the Japanese sport that was frequently viewed by the people was Sumo which is a wrestling match between two people. 

The Japanese love Sumo very much that some spectators also place bets on the players. 

Presently, baseball is a favorite sport among the Japanese thanks to the American influence. The Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is responsible for hosting baseball league matches which are attended by countless people. 

In 2021, the Japanese fan base for baseball was estimated to be over 23 million people. Those who can’t make it to the live sports events watch the matches on TV without fail.

And those are some of the popular hobbies of the Japanese people. Hope you learned something new about Japanese culture today.

Hobbies In Japan: FAQs

What are the main hobbies in Japan?

Some of the main hobbies in Japan are:
Watching anime
Reading manga
Playing video games
Hiking 
Watching sports matches
Listening to music
Singing karaoke

What is the most popular leisure activity in Japan?

The most popular leisure activities in Japan by youngsters are watching anime, reading manga, and playing video games. Since most anime and manga content is targeted toward a younger audience the fanbase for manga and anime is growing exponentially. Another most popular leisure activity in Japan is domestic traveling.

What do the Japanese do for fun?

The Japanese like to do several joyous activities for fun like listening to music, watching sports, singing, playing video games, watching anime, reading manga, etc.

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