Skip to main content

Japan boasts a rich and diverse athletic landscape that offers something for everyone to enjoy. From traditional sports like sumo and judo to Western imports such as soccer and baseball, there are numerous opportunities to experience Japan’s unique sporting culture. Let’s take a journey through Japan’s athletic landscape.


Soccer is a very popular sport in Japan, and its fan base is growing by the day. The strong national team is also an indication of how the sport has grown. The J-League is the county’s top professional soccer league, with 20 teams competing in two divisions. Additionally, the national team has qualified for the FIFA World Cup six times and reached the knockout stage two times.

You can tell the sport is popular among betting fans. Most sportsbooks in the area report a surge in the number of soccer betting fans. If you’re interested in sports betting from the region, consider using the 1xbet プロモコードオファー to enhance your betting experience. You’ll also get access to other betting markets.

British instructors introduced soccer in Japan at the Japanese Naval Academy in 1873. After that, the sport’s popularity grew in schools across the country. The national soccer association was established in 1921. However, the sport remained a sleeper for years because the country did not have a professional league. They only had the Japan Soccer League, whose players were mostly ordinary employees of their team’s sponsor.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that soccer really took off in Japan. The first professional league, the J League, was formed in 1992 and started in May 1993. Recently, Japan emerged in the international soccer scene. For instance, in the 1998 World Cup, Japan’s national soccer team represented Asia in France. Later, they co-hosted the 2002 World Cup.


Sumo is Japan’s national sport, with a history that stretches back millennia. The sport remains true to its rituals with elaborate pre-bout ceremonies and stringent rules that govern the wrestlers’ behavior and attire.

Things to do in Tokyo for free 13 Sumo practices

Credits: Hiroaki Maeda

Professional sumo tournaments occur six times each year for 15 days each. The events occur in January, May, and September at Rygoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. Additionally, the March events are held in Osaka, the July events in Nagoya, and the December tournaments are held in Fukuoka. The tournaments attract massive audiences both locally and tourists.

However, it is not the most popular sport in Japan, as it comes third behind baseball and football. The sport’s popularity has been on the decline thanks to its archaic and formal nature as well as the recent struggles of home-born wrestlers. Moreover, there are few opportunities to see a sumo fight taking place.


Baseball enjoys a lengthy and storied history in Japan. No wonder it is one of the most loved sports in the country! It is another sport British instructors introduced at the Japanese Naval Academy in 1873. Like soccer, baseball’s popularity grew in schools across the country.

Fans show up in droves to cheer their favorite pro teams as they catch the intense, biannual national high school tournaments. The Japanese baseball season runs from March through October. However, loyalty and local pride mean players are not traded around as in Major League Baseball (MLB).

Ichiro Suzuki remains a baseball legend in Japan with his virtually unbeatable MLB record of 262 hits a season. He is still idolized in Japan despite not having played in Japan for over two decades.

Nippon Professional Baseball Organization (NPB) is Japan’s equivalent to MLB and is the premier level of baseball in the country. However, the National High School Baseball Championship is arguably bigger! The sport’s popularity in the country has also seen a rise in baseball tourism, where fans from around the world travel to enjoy the sport’s unique atmosphere.

+ posts