Check out our list with some of the most popular traditional Japanese hobbies you can try at home to feed your curiosity & wanderlust.

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Popular Traditional Japanese Hobbies Everyone Should Try

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There are some truly amazing Japanese hobbies that everyone should try. Most of the hobbies on our list are centuries old and have been making people’s lives better in a multitude of ways. Explore Japanese hobbies that will make you move, help you relax and recharge, or fill your stomach with delicious treats. You’ll surely find a Japanese hobby that will soon become one of your favorite pastime activities.

RELATED: Best Souvenirs From Japan – Gift Ideas From Japan

On our list, you will find some of the most popular pleasure activities Japanese people enjoy like origami, kendo, kintsugi, and more. We also collected the best places and ways to help you start enjoying these traditional Japanese hobbies at home. Thankfully most Japanese hobbies are also budget-friendly so you can get started even if you’re on a tight budget. In some cases, you can get started for free.

These hobbies can help you with improving both your physical and mental health and can be practiced by adults and kids alike. For example, origami is one of the most useful and fun hobbies that the whole family can enjoy together from age 3 to 100. Some of these Japanese hobbies will even help you spend some time outside in nature and will make you think more deeply and act more thoughtfully.

No matter if you’re looking for a new hobby that will help you achieve more meaningful goals. Or if you’re simply looking for a fun and interesting hobby that will feed your curiosity, you’ll find here a new exciting hobby you can get started with today from the comfort of your own home.

14| Kendo – Japanese Martial Art

kendo - traditional japnese hobbies and sports

Kendo is one of the most popular Japanese hobbies in modern times. There are over one and a half million active kendo players in Japan. It is a descendant of swordsmanship, but a much less violent version of course. If you enjoy learning about martial arts and would love to advance physically and mentally, Kendo is a great activity for you.

Opponents face each other in protective equipment and have to hit the counterpart with an accurate and clear strike. The shinai, a bamboo sword is a beautiful piece. For those who want to learn discipline, Kendo is definitely a good fit. Mastering the arts could take years, so you are in for a magnificent journey.

You can start practicing basic kendo principles at home but you’d get the most out of this amazing sport if you sign up for classes and train with other people. Or you can buy your own kendo armor or try to find a class where you can borrow everything you’ll need.

Learn more about Kendo:


13| Kintsugi ( AKA kintsukuroi) – Japanese Artform

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Kintsugi will not only be the most beautiful but also one of the most useful hobbies you’ll ever pick up that’s also good for your mental health. We love Kintsugi because it teaches about values people really need in this century. Kintsugi is one of the most mental-health-friendly hobbies that will help you deal with stress, help you put negative things into a new and positive perspective as well as embrace and appreciate imperfections.

How many times have you thrown away items because they were slightly damaged? Today’s society is so used to just buying new instead of fixing what’s broken. Kintsugi teaches a valuable lesson to everyone; broken pieces can be placed back together and the result might even be more beautiful than it originally was.

Additionally, if you enjoy challenges and saving broken items fills you with satisfaction, you just found your new favorite hobby. It is also one of the most relaxing traditional Japanese hobbies. You can easily get started with this beautiful hobby at home. To get started with Kintsugi you’ll only need a Kintsugi repair kit for beginners which you can easily buy on Amazon. And of course, some broken items you wish to fix.

Read more about Kintsugi:


12| Furoshiki – Traditional Japanese Hobbies

 

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Dating back to the eighth century, Furoshiki has a long and beautiful history. Many think Furoshiki is simply gift wrapping, but actually, it is much more than that. Naturally, if you want to surprise someone, a tastefully wrapped gift definitely goes a long way. However, the colorful cloths are suitable for everyday transportation and packaging as well.

Depending on the size, you can wrap nearly anything you would want to take with you. For example, preparing a nice picnic couldn’t be easier than with Furoshiki cloths. Mastering the art is not too difficult, but certainly very useful. If you enjoy painting and creating new patterns, you can start making your own Furoshiki cloth.

Read more about Furoshiki:


11| Bonsai

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The Japanese dwarf trees are probably among the most well-known traditional Japanese hobbies you can think of. In most countries, it is considered to be a lavish hobby that will impress everyone. Beyond that everyone loves the appearance of the tiny trees that look just like the giants on paintings. No matter how you decorate at home or in your office, a Bonsai tree will definitely be a good fit.

It isn’t just how great they look, it takes time, patience, and attention to keep those beauties in good shape. You can order a Bonsai tree today and begin your journey with these remarkable plants. They will definitely thank your hard work. Get started with the art of Bonsai at home you just need a Bonsai tree starter kit, a live bonsai tree or you can use Bonsai tree seeds and start growing your very own Bonsai.

If you want to learn how to create stunning Bonsai trees you can buy this easy-to-follow Bonsai tree guide that will make your journey much easier and more enjoyable.

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Read more about Bonsai:


10| Learn The Japanese Language

Learning a new language is always a superb hobby. By doing so you are doing yourself a huge favor. We aren’t just talking about exploring a new culture, but it also keeps your brain fit. Studies show that learning a language is among the best exercises one can do to improve memory and overall improve neuroplasticity.

You are going to find it on every list of how to improve your neuroplasticity. Furthermore, Japanese is an incredibly beautiful and complex language, therefore if you enjoy the challenge, you are in for a fantastic treat. Japanese culture is very popular around the world, so it is definitely a good conversation starter. Also, in case you are planning to visit Japan, locals are going to adore you if you can engage in a conversation in Japanese.

Get started at home and take online Japanese lessons for beginners.


9| Learn Anime Drawing

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In case you are a huge fan of anime and Japanese culture, you are going to love drawing anime. If you are looking for the most common Japanese hobbies, anime is definitely on top. Even if you are not an anime enthusiast, you are still very likely to enjoy drawing cute, fun, or dark anime characters.

Drawing is another great exercise that can help your brain remain young. You can find dozens of amazing drawing courses that will help you learn how to draw anime on Skillshare. Thanks to the huge variety, you are definitely going to find something that corresponds with you.

Would you prefer to start drawing on paper or digitally? You have plenty of options, so grab a pen or pencil and start a new Japanese hobby today.

RELATED: Easy Online Anime Drawing Courses For Beginners


8| Learn To Play Shogi

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Shogi is definitely among the most popular Japanese hobbies and if you like chess, you are going to love this abstract board game too. It has been around since the 15th century and it is just as exciting as fun. Especially if you find a worthy opponent. There is a good chance that walking around in parks you are going to find locals playing and always looking for new challenges. You are definitely going to make friends quickly with your Shogi knowledge in Japan.

In addition to all the social and mental benefits, Shogi boards are also beautiful. We are sure you are going to want one at home on display at all times. If you’d love to try Japanese board games then Shogi is a good place to start.

You can buy Shogi sets on Amazon and beautiful handmade Shogi sets on Etsy.

Learn how to play Shogi:


7| Learn The Art of Matcha Making

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When in Japan, you ought to try matcha tea and if you have the chance also visit a tea ceremony. Nothing is more soothing and captivating than making matcha. If you have trouble with relaxing, concentrating, and generally switching off, this is your new go-to activity.

You don’t have to love tea, enough if someone else in the family does. This beautiful ritual is one of the most beautiful traditional hobbies in Japan and one that replenishes the soul as well as your body. Just think of it as an active meditation while also making delicious matcha tea.

If you want to learn how to make matcha tea at home in the traditional Japanese way you’ll need a Japanese matcha set you can buy original ones on Amazon and stunning handmade sets on Etsy.

You can get started for free by learning more about matcha making and about how to enjoy matcha thanks to SkillShare’s online course.

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6| Tsumami Kanzashi

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What is Tsumami Kanzashi? If you have seen intricate artworks or traditional Japanese celebrations, you have definitely seen them. Kanzashi collectively refers to traditional Japanese hair ornaments and Tsumami Kanzashi are flower ornaments. These lovely accessories play an important part at special events, such as weddings. Geisha and even sumo wrestlers wear a form of these beauties.

Its traditions go back as far as about ten thousand years at some point in history they were even used as deadly weapons. While creating it is not an easy task, but certainly is a great hobby. Making your own, personalized Tsunami Kanzashi is a truly amazing experience.

You can buy beautiful Kanzashi on Amazon and handmade ones on Etsy you can also learn how to make them on your own if you get a DIY Tsunami Kanzashi kit.

Learn how to make Kanzashi:


5| Mizuhiki

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Japanese arts and crafts lovers are going to be delighted as there is another unique way to create while relaxing. Mizuhiki is a quite interesting form of art that surely is going to blow your mind. Mastering Mizuhiki is not an easy task, but the reward is guaranteed.

Mizuhiki is in fact a rice cord you have to make yourself and then paint to your desired colors or buy them ready-made online. Once the cord is done, you can start creating your own little sculptures or even jewelry. Traditionally they were created for special occasions, but they also served as gifts to loved ones.

You can surprise yourself or someone you love with these beautiful pieces. With one of the most captivating traditional Japanese hobbies, you can create something special while also relaxing and improving your concentration.

You can get started at home, you just need Mizuhiki paper strings which you can buy on Amazon. However, you can always buy beautiful handmade pieces on Etsy.

Learn more about Mizuhiki:


4| Learn How To Cook Japanese Food

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Cooking is undoubtedly among the most common Japanese hobbies. Food has always served as a strong connection between cultures and thanks to the internet we can learn to cook anything we are in the mood for. You can find great Japanese cookbooks on Amazon, Japanese online cooking courses, and tips from locals to make finger-licking traditional Japanese home-cooked meals and authentic Japanese meals on Skillshare and you can get started for free. Japanese cuisine is deservedly among the most beloved ones around the world.

Good news! Now vegans can enjoy the best of Japan as there are a number of great recipes that will taste just like the original but completely vegan. Do you enjoy Japanese sweets? We recommend taking a mochi-making course or a Japanese baking course on Skillshare too.

In case you like to learn from the best you can check out Niki Nakayama’s Masterclass. She’s a Japanese-American chef and owner of the Michelin-starred n/naka restaurant. You can learn from her how to become a pro at making beautiful and delicious modern Japanese dishes.

Thanks to these amazing courses you’ll be able to make your favorite Japanese dishes and of course even the most popular anime food recipes.


3| Ikebana – The Art of Flower Arranging

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One of the many reasons why Japanese culture is so beloved is the fact that just how simple yet beautiful most of their designs are. Take a peek into the magical art of flower arranging, which would often suggest a lot of colors and overwhelming crowds in the arrangement. But not in Japan. This meditative traditional Japanese hobby is going to teach you that sometimes less is more and that harmony can come from any plant or flower.

We love how simple, yet relaxingly pretty most arrangements are. If you would like to decorate your home, but remain calm, there is no better hobby for you.

You can get started for free on SkillShare where you can take beginner-level courses and learn more about the art of Ikebana.

Or you can also order online every tool, and a full Ikebana kit on Amazon to help you get started at home easily.

However, if you would like to buy handmade Ikebana arrangements to decorate your home you can do that too thanks to Etsy.

Read more about Ikebana:


2| Shodo  –  Japanese Calligraphy

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If you had already decided to begin learning Japanese, then Shodo is not going to be too difficult for you. Alright, that’s only true if you already mastered the traditional writing, which might not be due for a couple of years.

Anyway, even if you haven’t even started writing in Japanese, Shodo is a great way to connect with Japanese culture and also relax. Calligraphy is between art and history and a little bit of science. You are certainly going to feel accomplished once you managed to paint a few traditional Japanese characters.

Get started by taking a Japanese calligraphy course for beginners on Skillshare. You can also get started for free thanks to their free trial period. Or you can also order every tool you need on Amazon so you’ll have your own Japanese calligraphy set.

If you want to hang a custom handmade Shodo artwork on your wall head to Etsy.

Read more about Shodo:


1| Origami

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Origami might be one of the most famous traditional Japanese hobbies without a doubt. Everyone heard about the art of paper folding. Those who think they are not craftsy, do not worry, there are absolute beginner courses on Skillshare, so you can pick up the basics in no time and eventually turn into an origami pro. You don’t have an idea of how magical this art is until you created your first crane or hummingbird.

Once you become confident, your imagination is the only limit. You can make decorations for home, animals for your loved ones and of course, useful items such as fans or book covers.

You can also buy Origami kits for adults and kids, sheets on Amazon, and Etsy. On Etsy, you can even buy beautiful handmade origami artwork to decorate your home. It’s a really fun hobby for adults and kids as well so even the whole family can enjoy it together.

Read more about Origami:

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