Japan is a land where the Japanese are inspired by the imagination and by what things they are capable of. We gathered 5 Popular Japanese Pastimes to introduce you to what activities they are involved in:

5 Popular Japanese Pastimes cherry blossom


5 Popular Japanese Pastimes calligraphy

Calligraphy is one of the most recognizable “art forms” in Japan, the origins of which are rooted from Chinese character calligraphy. Known as “shodo” or the “way of writing,” Japanese calligraphy starts from “shuji” or lettering practice beginning when Japanese students are still in elementary. Now usually seen on the elderly or those practicing calligraphy as an art form, Japanese calligraphy as a tradition of writing script is increasingly popular in Western countries, and is closely linked to Zen and Chinese ink painting or suiboku.


5 Popular Japanese Pastimes origami

The Japanese pastime of folding paper: origami, from the words “ori” meaning folding and “kami” meaning paper, has been practiced traditionally in Japan since the Edo period during which foldings filled some ceremonial functions.

Technically, origami folders start with a square sheet of paper which they fold – anywhere from simple to intricate folds – to create a finished paper sculpture. In Japan, freedom in the technique of folding has been seen: they cut the paper or start with nonsquare sheets, and the like. Their most famous origami figure is the paper crane. Anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes is believed in ancient Japanese legend to be promised a gift from the Gods.


5 Popular Japanese Pastimes karaoke

Singing out your favorite tunes to an interactive system apparently originated from Japan with Daisuke Inoue’s invention of a tape recorder-like machine that played recorded songs for 100-yen each. The karaoke fever was a hit, and was installed in hotel rooms and restaurants.

Many karaoke buildings are easily found in Japan’s cities, and singers can choose to sing among their group or on stage.


5 Popular Japanese Pastimes kyudo archery

Many Japanese play sports or do a sporty activity in their leisure time. They can manage to squeeze in some time to get active, and following all kinds of sports is a very popular Japanese pastime, with them being more and more involved in supporting Western sports other than homegrown activities like sumo wrestling or archery or “kyudo.”

Sumo wrestling makes Japan famous. The massive figures of the sumotoris battle it out in the ring while kyudo is the martial art of archery that has spread farther now from its origins among Japan’s samurai class.

Reading Manga

5 Popular Japanese Pastimes reading manga

Japanese love to read manga beginning from their youth: something evident when they decide to dress up like the characters in these series. You can see Japanese youth attired like their favorite manga characters in the streets of Tokyo. Costume play or cosplay is a trend that had swept the world from the streets of Japan, a Harajuku fashion that’s inspired by the imaginary worlds from manga and animation.

It’s clear that the Japanese are fond of literature, though their fascination for manga and anything cute and fanciful forms one of their main pastimes that can really make them feel connected to the stories of life in and out of Japan.

Next time you are in Japan, do not forget to try these 5 Popular Japanese Pastimes to understand more about the Japanese and what they like,

5 Popular Japanese Pastimes eating

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