What is the most popular sports in Japan?

Which sports do you like and play?

Basically, I like playing all kinds of sports, especially tennis, golf and swimming. I played soccer in elementary school and have played tennis since junior high until now.

I found interesting survey about sports in Japan, which is conducted by Central Research Services Inc. 

(The interviewees are more than 20 years old and the number of interviewee is 1,212.)

You can learn popular sports in Japan in Japanese language in this post.

Most of sports come from foreign country is shown in Katakana. This is point to know.

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What is the most interesting sports?

According to the survey, this is the top 10 of  “the most interesting sports”.

Total Rank Sports


(only man)


(only woman)




 1  3



 2  4



 4  2

 Figure skate


 –  1



 3  10



 5  9



 –  5



 6  8



 7  7



 –  6




Motor sports






(Ekiden is a long-distance relay race. )

Sample size may be small and interviewees are above 20 years old, but sports which have professional league, popular athletes and match on TV rank in high position.  Different preference between man and woman is also interesting. Man loves combat sports more than woman, on the other hand, woman loves beautiful sports like figure skate more. Tennis’s rank boosts because of popular athlete, Kei Nishikori. He is selected as the most favorite sports athlete this year.

Other interesting points are baseball keeps No.1 rank for 19 years in a row because there are more live program on TV, Rugby, which we will have World Cup in Japan, is out of ranking, Sumo, we call it national sports, is not so popular.


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