Top 5 best sports in Japan -- Oct 22
Japan has a rich sporting culture characterized by both traditional and modern games.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to enjoy the intricate martial arts or baseball, you’ll get it all in the country.

However, the Japanese rich sporting culture is often masked by its outstanding technology and infrastructural advancements. A majority of people associate it with innovations as opposed to sports.

This is not to say that the country’s sports culture is non-existent! This article highlights some of the best sporting activities you can enjoy in Japan.

A Brief History of Sports in Japan

The history of sports in Japan can be classified into:

• Pre-Edo Period

• Kamakura Period

• Edo Period

• Post-Meiji Restoration Period

In the Pre-Edo period (before the 16th century), Japan had sumo sporting activities that were associated with the Shinto faith. It is believed that Sumo wrestling and other sports were conducted as an offering to honor Kami spirits.

The Kamakura period marked the beginning of Martial Arts in the region. Some of the popular activities associated with this period include the Kyudo, Kyujutsu, and Yabusame. These sports were common among the Samurais. Additionally, Sumo Wrestling was introduced and it became popular in different areas, including Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka.

During the Edo period, sporting became common in Japan. Gamers adopted gambling but it was abolished by the Japanese government. Recently, casinos have been allowed to operate while following strict rules and regulations. Consequently, online casino sites such as have started offering online casino games for Japanese people.

The Great After-Meiji Restoration

During this period, Japan started embracing Western Sports such as football, cricket, baseball, rugby, and ice skating. The activities were introduced in schools as a form of mental discipline.

By the late 1920s, these sports had become popular and Japanese nationals started undertaking them for recreation.

Similarly, Japanese sporting activities have spread globally. Since the 1964 Olympics Games, Judo has been an official event in all Olympic Games. Other sporting activities associated with the region include Keirin Racing and Motorsports.

Is Gambling Legal in Japan?

Most gambling activities in Japan are banned by the Penal Code of Japan. However, a lot of lobbying has been undertaken to legalize casino gambling to boost tourism.

Consequently, a few casinos have been allowed to operate under strict guidelines and supervision of government officials.

Top 5 Top Sports in Japan – A Comprehensive Guide

Japan's sporting culture has grown significantly over time. It has numerous gaming activities –both traditional and Western. Here’s a list of the top 5 of the best games in the region:

1. Baseball

This game has gained a lot of fans in Japan. It was introduced in the country in 1872 and has since grown to have Central and the Pacific League. Teams from the leagues face off in the Japan Series, regularly held in October.

Unlike the American Baseball, the Japanese one has a relatively small ball and games are limited to 12 innings (and 15 innings for playoffs).

2. Sumo

The game started with the Shinto ritual characterized by a human wrestling a god. It has since grown to become a popular game in the region with at least 6 tournaments held across the country every year.

3. Tennis

This game was first introduced in Japan in the 19th century after several courts were constructed for use by tourists. Since then, it has become an important part of Japanese sporting culture. The country has several Olympic gold medals in the sport.

4. Soccer

While Japan had a traditional sport called "kick ball", professional soccer only came into existence in the late 1920s. In 1930, Japan formed its first national soccer team.

This team participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and scored 3-2 to win against Sweden. Later in 1992, the country formed its first professional football league comprising of 9 teams. The league has grown to more than 18 soccer clubs (both women and men).

5. Puroresu

This is a pro -wrestling sport that was introduced in 1951. It has become a popular sport in Japan producing pro wrestlers such as Tiger Mask, Rikidozan, and Giant Baba.

The Bottom Line

Japan’s sporting culture is highly diverse. There are numerous gaming activities that you can enjoy in the country. Some of the key sports include Sumo, Baseball, Tennis, Soccer, and Puroresu.

However, gambling was highly prohibited in the country until recently when a few casinos were allowed to operate. Even then, they must comply with strict guidelines developed by the Japanese government.

Overall, Japan has a rich sporting culture. This article offers all the information that you need about sports in Japan.

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