Popular Japanese pastimes

The Japanese are famous for their serious and hard working style, but they also do their best in recreational activities. After work, even though there is only a little time for recreation, they can still participate in many interesting activities.

Mar 13, 2023 - 07:42
Mar 11, 2023 - 17:25
Popular Japanese pastimes

1. Sing karaoke
Karaoke カラオケ is singing along with the lyrics displayed on the screen with background music coming from the computer. This pastime originated in Japan and has now become popular all over the world.

If in old-fashioned bars, guests will sing in front of everyone, in modern karaoke bars, there are many small and private rooms (also known as karaoke boxes) for you to sing with a group of friends or family.

Karaoke bars can be found all over Japan, but the most popular are still in big cities like Tokyo or Osaka. Karaoke bars are usually located near the train station.

Another difference: the cost in Japan varies not only by the hour but also by the number of guests. The difference in singing fees at off-peak hours and peak hours is huge. Off-peak hours are before 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, and peak hours are evenings, weekends, and public holidays. If you go with a large group of people and want to sing for about 3 hours or more, you can consider buying an optional singing package to get more benefits.
You are not required but should book in advance if you want to sing karaoke during peak hours. If you use the theater room beyond the reservation time, you will be charged extra, depending on how busy the restaurant is.

2. Take pictures of purikura
Purikura stands for Purinto Kurabu - the Japanese pronunciation of the English word "print club". The first purikura photo booth was born in 1995 so people could take pictures of themselves in cute style. For just a few hundred yen, close friends, couples or families can get together in the boot, take pictures and print them on small sheets of paper to keep as a souvenir. It's not just a photo shoot but a memorable moment with loved ones. Many girls even own an album containing only pictures of purikura.

What makes purikura different from ordinary photos is the fun and unique way of designing and decorating photos. You can make your eyes big, glittery with long curled eyelashes; Add flowers, text or heart delight to your photo. All of these features will make you more likable (or weird =) in the photo. This is why purikura is extremely popular in Japan, especially among schoolgirls.

3. Play pachinko
Pachinko is a form of entertainment by gambling on machines that is allowed and very popular in Japan. Pachinko shops are located all over Japan. The colors of these shops are often colorful and prominent, so they are easy to recognize. It is also common to see a lot of people queuing in front of the pachinko shop before the shop opens in the morning and these players stay until late at night.

When playing pachinko, players do not need to calculate too much, but mainly wait for the results, so when they win, they feel relieved and extremely happy.

4. Read manga manga
Japanese manga began to develop in the mid-20th century and to this day, manga has played a large role in the Japanese economy thanks to the revenue it brings. Not only in Japan but many people all over the world, regardless of age and gender, are entertained by reading manga. The subject matter of manga is very diverse: from history to futuristic sci-fi novels, from school-age feelings to profound issues in life.

In general, manga is classified into 4 types for different target groups: boys, girls, young adults, and adults. Comics can be found at bookstores, bookstores, and convenience stores throughout Japan. If we get on the train, it is easy to see images of people reading manga on it.

5. Go to an izakaya
Izakaya 居酒屋 is a combination of a pub and a restaurant, a place where one can go to eat and drink which is very popular in Japan. Izakaya began to grow during the rapid modernization of the Meiji Restoration, but it was not until the 1980s that it became really popular. Today's Izakaya is a place where you can eat and drink and chat slowly. The atmosphere in izakaya is so casual and relaxed that going here has become one of the most popular pastimes in Japan.

Most drinking sessions at izakaya will start with beer as this is a hugely popular drink in Japan. In addition to beer, sake, shochu, whiskey and other cocktails are also very popular. Wine is less popular because it doesn't go well with Japanese dishes. For those of you who don't like the taste of alcohol, you can try drinking umeshu - a type of wine with the sweet aroma of Japanese apricots.

When going to izakaya, most people still go in groups to share with each other, instead of going alone. Therefore, the atmosphere here is very lively and bustling, not suitable for a quiet and romantic dinner. Seating is usually designed in a Western style with low tables on tatami mats. Some izakaya also have private rooms. Smoking is generally allowed. Some izakaya set time limits for guests during peak hours.

6. Go onsen and spa
Go onsen
Since ancient times, hot springs have been used by the Japanese as an extremely effective healing and relaxation therapy. Samurai warriors used to come here after each battle, to soak in the hot springs and let the water heal their wounds.

In the natural hot spring source has a very diverse mineral content, which can very well treat a number of health problems such as constipation, abdominal pain, muscle aches, rheumatism, blood pressure or skin inflammation. allergy. Especially for those who do office work, often have to sit in one place for a long time or who are involved in sports and have to regularly exercise vigorously, soaking in hot springs is very good for bones and joints. can cure shoulder pain, joint pain, muscle tension and other diseases With a special "onsen treatment" method, bathers will be able to use specialized baths to restore health and drink hot mineral water to increase efficiency, accelerate wound recovery.

As a country famous for its abundance of hot springs, Japanese people can easily access onsen bathing sites from all over the country. Forms of onsen are also increasingly diverse. In addition to onsen areas going back and forth during the day, there are also onsen resorts to stay in, very suitable as a destination after a long week of hard work, entertainment for the whole family or office.

Relax at the spa
Besides onsen hot springs, Japanese people especially women love going to spas to relax after a hard working day. This is not only a beauty treatment but also an effective way to relieve stress and fatigue.

Among the popular treatments of Japanese spas, the traditional Shiatsu massage and reflexology techniques are well known and popular. By using the power of the fingertips to act on acupuncture points, arouse energy from the body to help circulate blood and help promote metabolism, strong impact on muscle groups. , helps to remove toxins and make the body light and refreshing, making the skin healthy, firm and bright. In addition, Japanese women also go to the spa after tiring work to take care of their beauty, skin or choose any treatment they like to relax.

7. Bowling
After stressful working hours, the Japanese also look to another recreational sport that offers a combination of social interaction and muscle movement, which is bowling. In bowling, each player rolls a heavy ball forward on a flat runway to knock over bottles (called ki) at the end of the track so that they empty all the ki with the least number of throws. It can be seen that bowling is one of the popular entertainment options here.

8. Watch sumo competition
In Japan, one of the most popular traditional sports is sumo wrestling. Sumo was originally a royal entertainment to entertain the elite since the 8th century. For the Japanese today, Sumo is considered a national martial art. Therefore, this sport is highly honored by the Japanese and the number of people who choose to go to the sumo competition outside of working hours every year is also very large.

9. Enjoy baseball
Baseball (in Japanese, 野球 - yakyuu) is a wildly popular sport in Japan. Those of you who have ever read sports manga, especially famous author Adachi Mitsuru's series such as H2 and Touch, certainly cannot forget the image of high school teenagers competing hard on the field to achieve their goals. championship at Koshien Stadium. Even in a survey about the dream career of Japanese children, the profession of "baseball player" was in the top 5 most popular jobs among children.

10. Visit museums and aquariums

  • For lovers of traditional art, the ideal choice is to visit Kofukuji National Treasure Museum (Nara), Tokyo National Art Center, Miho Museum (Koka) or Otsuka Art Museum (Naruto)
  • If you are interested in contemporary art, visit the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa), and the Chichu Art Museum (Naoshima Island).
  • Those interested in studying ancient history or war should not miss the Edo-Tokyo Museum, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum or the Okinawa Peace Memorial Museum. In a country of advanced science and technology like Japan, museums that preserve and honor scientific researches and inventions are also very popular; These include the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, the National Science Museum, and the Railway Museum.
  • In addition, you can also visit special museums such as Ghibli Museum, Instant Noodles Museum, Sapporo Beer Museum or even… Toto Toilet Museum in Kitakyushu.

Besides the museum, the Japanese also love to visit the aquarium to relax. As an archipelago, Japan has a history and culture associated with the sea. Therefore, the aquarium is built in large quantities and of extremely good quality. Many aquariums have modern equipment with huge fish tanks and a large number of sea creatures. Visiting the aquarium does not take too much time, and helps to relax after a stressful working day, so it has become one of the most popular hobbies in Japan.

Injavi 編集部 "InJavi" is a website that provides information for foreigners to enjoy life and visit in Japan more smoothly. This website is easy to use even for first-timers to Japan and those who are not very good at Japanese, and supports multiple languages. 「InJavi」は、外国人が日本の生活や観光をよりスムーズに楽しむための情報を提供するウェブサイトです。 初めて日本を訪れる方や日本語が苦手な方でも使いやすい、多言語対応サイトです。