The 7 Most Popular Sports in Japan and How Long They Have Been Played

Japan is a stunning country. There are many things to explore in this serene and well-kept area. Japan and its people are also big fans of a wide variety of sports. Japan has produced several famous people, including Shohei Ohtani.

Japan enjoys seven different sports. In the end, their favorite sports are these ones. The seven most popular sports in Japan have a lengthy history and have seen a lot of memorable events over the years. We intend to investigate them.

1. Basketball

Some excellent basketball players from Japan have succeeded in the NBA, such as Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura.

Basketball has been a positive experience for Japan. Approximately 8.3 million people watched basketball, according to Statista. Since 1936, the men’s national team has competed. Success hasn’t been all that terrific, though. They have not won the FIBA Asia Cup since their victories in 1965 and 1971. Additionally, Japan has never taken home a medal at the Olympics. Nonetheless, the sport is still quite popular in Japan and keeps growing.

2. Boxing

With multiple prize fights drawing at least 17 million people, the Japanese boxing industry has evolved throughout the years.

Boxing matches were not formally held among the Japanese populace until 1877. In addition, they had little knowledge of sports until 1854, when an American sailor began competing against other soldiers. Japanese boxing is well-liked in its own nation, while receiving little attention from the US. It is still one of the most well-liked sports in Japan.

3. Golf

Through their support of Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, Japanese people continue to demonstrate their passion for the game of golf.

People are huge golf fans. The Japanese play it nonstop throughout the day. In actuality, a one-hour break is typically taken by players on a course between nines. Although most people identify golf with the US and the UK, it is becoming more popular in Japan as well. The most well-known and gifted Japanese boxer is Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, who was ranked as the second-best boxer in the world by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

4. Tennis

Tennis matches will be attended by Japanese fans, who are beginning to take an interest in the game.

It is said that Yamate Park in Yokohama is where the first tennis courts were built in 1878. Since then, tennis has gradually risen to the top of the Japanese sports popularity list. In the majority of Japanese schools nowadays, tennis is taught. Over the previous year, the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championship attracted an average of almost 18 million spectators. In the end, it continues to be one of Japan’s most well-liked sports.

5. Soccer/football

Japanese people have participated in football since the Japan Football Association was founded in 1921.

Have you followed the 2022 Men’s World Cup? If so, you might have observed that Germany was stunned in the first round by the Japanese Men’s National Team, shocking the entire globe. And that was just the start. Then, in order to advance to the Round of 16, they eliminated Spain.

Even though they succumbed to Croatia in the penalty kick stage of the World Cup, their run revitalized a nation that adores sport. Around 36 million people watched Japan vs. Croatia in the Group Stage match, according to FIFA. Football has been a popular sport in Japan since 1921. They have more reasons to adore it now.

6. Sumo Wrestling

Spectators enjoy sumo wrestling because they want to see who will prevail in the power match.

It is true that sumo wrestling is closely associated with Japanese culture. According to Japanese history, it is the oldest sport that the Japanese have participated in or witnessed, having existed since the 700s. Because the Ryogoku Kokugikan hosts yearly competitions, it is still one of the most popular sports in Japan today. Even though it went through a downturn a few decades ago, it has since rebounded and is currently one of the nation’s most beloved sports.

7. Baseball

Shohei Ohtani’s talent has been well received by Japanese fans, and despite the sport’s 1872 origins, its popularity has only grown.

You witnessed Ohtani and all he did last season if you watched any Major League Baseball at all. Ohtani had a batting average of.304 at the end of the season, 44 home runs, and 95 RBIs. In addition, before to sustaining an injury that ended his season, he was 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA through 23 starts. In the baseball world, Ohtani has elevated Japan’s profile. In addition, he is the most hyped athlete in the game right now, particularly with his offseason 10-year contract signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In Japan, baseball has become the most popular sport, and Ohtani plays a big part in that.