What sports are famous in Japan
Sports in Japan
We Germans are very enthusiastic about sports, especially when it comes to football. The national sport in Japan, however, is baseball and the Japanese are very diligent in supporting their teams! I'd covered baseball before because I was at a Fukuoka Hawks baseball game. I think back to this experience very fondly, because in the stadium you can feel a great team spirit, not at all aggressive, but simply supportive, friendly and happy.
In addition to baseball, the Japanese are also football and rugby fans! There is a separate football and rugby league (unfortunately rugby is not so well known or popular with us). There is also a national team in both sports and they are competing in the World Cup. In Japan, German football clubs are also known, Dortmund for example, because Kagawa plays there, who is also very well known in Japan.
Sport is definitely a part of life in Japan, especially since many sports are also offered at school. After class, the students go to various clubs and practice sports such as baseball, volleyball, soccer or archery. There are really an incredible number of things on offer, including rhythmic gymnastics and kendo, for example.
Riding is a rather unusual sport in Japan. In general, I've only seen a horse there once, and only from a distance. When I told them that I was riding, everyone was always amazed and enthusiastic. Although there was a riding stable in Fukuoka, I never visited it because it was quite far away.
There are of course also typical Japanese sports, such as the Kendo mentioned above. This is a modernized type of heavy fighting that was originally learned by the samurai. In kendo, the athletes wear dark blue clothing and protective armor, as well as a helmet (similar to fencing). The "sword" is either made of wood or bamboo. In this sport, the main thing is to learn the right steps and the right technique and also to consolidate your character. The inner attitude is very important in kendo, because only in this way and not with pure physical strength will the opponent be brought to his knees.
Another extremely popular and typically Japanese sport is sumo, the wrestling match. Sumo is an ancient sport and has been practiced in Japan for centuries. The aim here is to push the opponent out of the ring or to get him to touch the ground with a part of the body other than his feet. Here, too, there are various techniques, some of which come from judo. Sumo wrestlers are very tall, heavy men and very famous in Japan. When I was in Fukuoka, there was a sumo championship taking place there and you could often see wrestlers running around town. Of course, they are immediately noticeable among the small, skinny Japanese.
Judo, a martial art that is very popular around the world, is also very old and traditional. Judo dates back to 710 and is still practiced today. There are students and masters in this sport who can achieve different belts. I personally find this sport very exciting because it has a lot to do with honor and tradition. Some belts cannot be achieved by learning fighting techniques, but are awarded based on special achievements.
Doing sports in Japan
So when you're in Japan, you naturally want to exercise a bit or maybe continue the sport that you already did at home. There are gyms for those who are just looking for a bit of exercise. These can actually be found everywhere, in some there is also a pool for swimming laps. However, membership there is probably a bit more expensive than with us. But you can be sure to find a relatively cheap one if you look around a little.
If you want to play tennis in Japan, you should look around the surrounding parks. In Fukuoka, for example, you can play tennis in the large 'Ohori Koen' park, as there are several courts there. You pick up the key and pay for a few hours. It's a lot of fun in summer, even when it's very hot! If you can't find any outdoor courts, you should look around for indoor halls.
For all versatile athletes there are sports centers where you can try out a wide variety of sports. In Fukuoka this center was called 'Round 1' and there you could try table tennis, basketball, darts, baseball and many other things. The great thing about this is that you pay once (if I remember correctly it was around 15 euros for two hours) and then walk around there and try everything. Really a great thing and if you were tired or tired you could rest and order a drink. Something like this is very worthwhile if you are enthusiastic about sports and have some stamina.
When I think about it, I tried a lot of new sports in Japan. For example, I had never played tennis before, and I was also surfing. That was also a very popular thing in Fukuoka. The city is by the sea and so there are some beaches that remind you a little bit of Miami. There are surf shops there where you can rent boards. But in addition to surfing, you can also go jet skiing or banana boats. As far as water sports are concerned, there is really a full program there.
I also did Zumba in Japan, a newfangled sport that involves dancing. I have to say it was very funny, I was there with a Japanese friend and of course we had no idea about the dance steps. But the Zumba philosophy is: 'Just join in!' And that was really very funny. The best way to find Zumba classes is on the Internet, or at least that's how we found it. The course took place once a week in the evening in a small dance studio.
Overall, I would describe the Japanese as a very sporty nation. You can actually do anything when you're in a big city. Sports from the west are also practiced and are very popular. So there are actually no limits to the athlete's heart. Just riding, as I said, is rather a rare sport but I think if you look around you can also find horses in Japan!
Tags: life, sport
category: General, Julie's travel blog
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