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The Most Popular Sports In Japan

The country of the Rising S/un has always been interesting even though it spends much of its history isolated from the Western world. Until the 19th century, Japan did not have that much of sports disciplines but this changed after its major opening in the 19th century! Yes, they do play sports! In this article, we will mention the most popular sports in this country so you could know what they like and what their youngsters like to train. We will not list by the number of sports, but generally the most popular categories of sports that Japanese people like to enjoy!

Japan’s rich cultural heritage and unique traditions have long fascinated people around the world. Alongside their traditional practices, the Japanese have also embraced modern sports with great enthusiasm, making it a popular pastime among the nation’s youth. In recent years, foreign online bookmaker platforms 海外 ブック メーカー have taken note of the country’s passion for sports and have begun offering betting opportunities on various Japanese sports events, from sumo wrestling to baseball.

In this article, we will explore some of the most popular sports in Japan that have captured the attention of both sports enthusiasts and bookmakers alike


Puroresu is a pro wrestling discipline that has been popular since the 1950s when Rikidozan, a Korean-Japanese former sumo-wrestler popularized it and mainstreamed. He became a nation’s hero, as the country had just got out of the war era and they needed someone to lead them through the rough times. Rikidozan made a road for many other successful artists later. There were Giant Baba, Antonia Inoki and Tiger Mask, who became the national heroes due to the sports abilities and capabilities. Unlike the traditional Western-style wrestling, Puroresu requires you to study various martial arts and be an outstanding athlete as this is a highly demanding sport where you cannot win with pure strength!


Even though you don’t know any notable Japanese boxers that made a worldwide success, this sport is highly popular here as it was introduced in 1854 after Tsunekichi Koyanagi challenged Commodore Perry. Since that time, the box became an important sport in Japanese culture and it led to Yujiro Watanabe who is considered to be a father of the Japanese box. He did establish a pro boxing association/club Nippon Kento in 1921 that attracted many young people. As we said, there are no notable Japanese boxes with worldwide success but their country encourages them to fight inside the country, under their own rules that are present only in their league.


Japan has no traditionally recognized sport, but baseball is considered to be the main sport of the nation. They like betting on baseball, which led to opening online betting shops which often have an online casino as the other part of the online entertainment operator. The no deposit bonus offers review 入金不要ボーナス attract them to gamble in baseball-themed slots, but the no-deposit bonus also gives them space in online casino to learn more about baseball. To get back on track – baseball is called yakyu. In 1936, the professional league was developed and it was split into Central and Pacific Leagues. The main difference between the American and Japanese baseball is on the ball size, as well as in the strike zone and playing field, while the season games contain 12 innings and playoff ones contain 15 innings.

Football (Soccer)

Kemari, as it was called in ancient times, was the first shape of modern football and traditional soccer was introduced by the navy lieutenant in 1873. In the 1930s, Japan formed a first professional football team that played at the Berlin Olympic Games and later on several Olympic Games, including FIFA world cup tournaments. At the moment, there are 18 professional football clubs. A lot of European coaches train their teams and make success within their leagues. Some of the most famous Japanese players are Hidetoshi Nakata, Shinji Kagawa and Shunsuke Nakamura.


The first tennis match in Japan was played in 1878 when the Yokohama Yamate Park was built. George A. Leland was the first physical trainer who introduced the physical education and exhausting training that taught the entire nation to play this sport. However, the expensive equipment led to the development of soft tennis (with a softer ball). Ironically, Japan won the first Olympic medal in tennis, which was in 1921. This influenced the creation of The Prince of Tennis manga that had a huge success, with 50 million sold copies! One of the best world tennis players today is Kei Nishikori who entered the tennis world in 2015.

Sumo Wrestling

Sumo wrestling is the first sports association that probably comes to your mind once you mention Japan and this is not far from the truth. It has been around since the ancient Japanese times and it was considered to be a sport since the 1600s. The simple rules make it popular and intense to watch. To win an opponent, you need to get him out of the ring or make him touch the ground. Each year, there are six sumo wrestling tournaments that are watched by many Japanese people and represent a form of a national celebration!


You would think that Golf is played only in the US, right? Well, Japan has a rich culture of golf playing since the very first course was built in 1901. Every western-educated Japanese male/female is obsessed with golf sport and they usually participate in the tournaments. The first popularization of this sport happened in 1940, just before the war. This influenced the middle-class people to start playing as this was only a prestigious sport that only rich Japanese people could afford. Japan now has a huge number of golf courses as there are a lot of younger people interested in this sport and therefore golf became one of the national sports.

Auto Racing

Auto racing is highly popular in Japan as they love adrenaline and fast cars! The earliest mentions of auto racing date back to the 1920s, but everything was taken to the next level in 1936 when the first Speedway was built, with the dedicated racing tracks. Sochiro Honda was one of the first racers, who later founded Honda company and started producing cars. The same thing happened with the founders of Mitsubishi and Nissan, which made everything more popular later on. This popularity contributed to the fact that a Formula One race was held at one of the tracks and today, you can find more than 20 auto racing tracks throughout the country!


Many do not consider poker an official sport, but it is a recreational favorite in Japan and is more prevalent online since the pandemic hit. And online casinos called オ ン ラ イ ン カ ジ ノ in Japanese is referred to as Pachinko, which is described as a type of mechanical game originating in Japan and is used as both a form of recreational arcade game and much more frequently as a gambling device, filling. A Japanese gambling niche comparable to that of the slot machine in Western gambling.