Most Popular Sport In Japan – Baseball? Juice? Or maybe rugby? Japan is certainly a nation that loves sports! Let’s take a look at your favorite subjects.
Japan has a rich sporting history, but before we look at the most popular sports, here are some interesting facts about this island located in the Pacific Northwest.
Most Popular Sport In Japan
This sport has grown over the years to become the most popular sport in the country. In fact, many Japanese fans are surprised to learn that Americans also consider it a national sport.
Most Popular Sports In Japan
But did you know that there are some differences between Japanese and American baseball? The Japanese ball is smaller, as are the playing field and the hitting zone. The Japanese league also limits games during the regular season to 12 innings and 15 for the playoffs.
Baseball was introduced to Japan in 1872, but it was 64 years before a fully professional league was created in 1936. This league evolved into the Nippon Professional Baseball league and consists of 12 teams.
The current champions are the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. In addition to the professional league, Japan also has vibrant minority, semi-professional and collegiate leagues that compete at a very high level. They might as well have a fan base of around 27 million!
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There aren’t many countries where football doesn’t feature in the top five. It is considered the most popular sport in the world and is practiced by billions of people across the planet. So it’s no surprise that Japan is also a football-mad nation.
The men’s team first participated in the World Cup in 1998 and has participated in every World Cup since then. They will also tell you that they reached the round of 16 on three occasions. The Women’s Soccer Team has also impressed on the world stage. It won the competition in 2011 and returned to the final four years later, where it lost to the United States.
On the home front, they also have a strong organization, the Japan Professional Football Leagues, also known as the J Leagues. There are three leagues, J League, J League 2 and J League 3. The first division consists of 20 teams and the current champions are Kawasaki Frontale. These days, the high level of football in Japan means you’ll find many Japanese stars playing abroad. Including the likes of Eiji Kawashima (Belgium), Akihiro Ienaga (Spain), Yuto Nagatomo (Italy) and Shinji Okazaki, just to name a few.
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If you talk about Japanese sports, you have to mention sumo! This is their national sport and it has been fought against for centuries. The first professional tournaments began in Tokyo in 1684. The sport is still the country’s exclusive recreational pastime, although the professional side is now very popular.
A sumo competition is pretty simple! Two great fighters are fighting. The objective is to push each other out of the ring or force the opponent to touch the ground with any part of the body except the feet. Games are fast-paced and generally short-lived, rarely lasting more than seconds. Every year there are six major tournaments across the country, each lasting 15 days. The most successful wrestlers enjoy great fame and adoration from an enthusiastic nation. But the life of a sumo wrestler is considered to be very difficult. They live in stables of up to 15 fighters where they eat, sleep and train. The way of life is very regimented and disciplined. To prove the point, I’ll leave you with this surprising fact. Yokozuna is the highest rank in sumo, and to date only 72 competitors have achieved this status since it was first bestowed in the late 1700s!
In an ever-changing landscape, you might be surprised to find that Rugby Union has carved its way into the Japanese sporting mainstream. It was already growing steadily, but became increasingly popular after Japan’s massive victory against two-time world champions South Africa (32-34) in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Japan Baseball By Matt Krenz
! This is possibly the biggest comeback in the history of this competition. After this impressive victory, they hosted the 2019 Rugby World Cup, where the country encouraged them in the quarter finals. But it was here that South Africa took revenge as they won easily with a score of 3-26. Even so, it was a very successful competition for the host nation. In the domestic world, the ‘Top League’ is the highest level of professional Rugby Union in the country. The competition was created in 2003 and has helped bring the sport to many fans and new players alike. The league consists of 16 teams and the current champions are the Kobelco Steelers.
The truth is that, after the four already mentioned, there are few sports that can boast of occupying this place. Some might disagree, but I went for basketball! It has always been popular in Japan, but a growing following of young fans has added to the popularity.
This growth was aided by the rise of highly popular players such as Yuta Tabuse and Takuya Kawamura. Some will know that Kawamura played in the NBA for a short period of time. This elevated him to the rank of the highest-profile Japanese player of all time. The B League is Japan’s top men’s basketball league. Formed in 2016 as a result of the merger between the National Basketball League and the Japan Basketball Association. The League consists of 47 teams in three divisions and the current Champions of League B are Alvark Tokyo. They love their sport in the Land of the Rising Sun!
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The thing with Japanese sports is that it’s a passionate fan experience. Rarely do you see empty stadiums in the country. People want to get involved and they often do. Whether you’re visiting the country or staying longer, there’s always a sporting event in Japan waiting for you. This is certainly one of the best ways to meet people while doing something they love.
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Baseball is the most popular sport in Japan. It was imported into the US country. Since then, it has grown by leaps and bounds, becoming a national spectacle. Baseball was first introduced to Japan in 1872 by American expatriate Horace Wilson. However, the first official baseball game was held in the country in the early 1920s.
Baseball is more than just a sport in Japan. Each clash is a carnival, characterized by an electric stadium atmosphere and passionate fans. From the heartwarming mascots, colorful rally balloons and the world famous beer girls, who run up and down the stadium filling your glass, the stadium experience is breathtaking.Baseball Fan Base in Japan
Every franchise that participates in the Nippon Pro League also has a loyal fan base and you can bet they come to every game. In 2019, for example, Japanese baseball attracted up to 26,536,962 fans in the 858 professional games played that year. This roughly translates
Most Popular Sports In Japan And Where And When To Enjoy
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