Sports for students | Popular sports for High School student, Guided by Japanese webmaster !

This page is about

  • Popular Sports for students in Japan
  • Number of players in each sports
  • Brief comments by webmaster

This page is to help the people :

  • Who like Japan !
  • Who are interested in Japanese culture
  • Who want to enjoy life in Japan

Hello, world ! This is shinta_in_japan.

Today’s topic is Sports in high school age.
What kind of sports did you do in high school age ?

In Japanese high school, students can participate in sports club, which is placed in each school. According to government office, Japan Sports Agency, approximately 40% of high school students participate in sports club.

In this article, I would like to introduce popular sports in high school, with 5 minutes of reading. There are around 3.2 millions of high school students in Japan in total. The information is based on statistics by All Japan Athletics Federation in 2018.

Have fun !


SHINTA+ / Japanese blog writer, born and raised in Japan, visited more than 20 countries, introducing Japanese culture to the world, with both domestic & international experiences.

No.1 – 5 for Girls

Volleyball 58,531
Basketball 57,733
Badminton 56,350
Track & Field 39,650
Tennis 35,071

The most popular sports among girls in high school students is Volleyball. The number of players is more than 58 thousand. No.2 is Basketball. Volleyball and Basketball are two major sports long time.

Badminton is getting popular year by year, especially after getting gold medal in Olympic Games by Japanese players. Top 3 has players more than 50 thousand.


Volleyball & Basketball are very popular among girls in high school !

No.1 – 5 for Boys

Football 165,351
Baseball 153,184
Basketball 91,454
Track & Field 68,733
Badminton 63,581

Football and Baseball have more than 150 thousand of players among Japanese high school students. These two sports have professional leagues, which is one of the reasons supported by students.

Basketball is in 3rd place long time. As professional league is established recent years, expected increasing of players. The players of badminton is increasing with same reasons as girls.


Football & Baseball are very popular among boys in high school !

No.6 – 10 for Girls

Soft Tennis 34,564
Kyu-Do (Japanese Archery)32,106
Table Tennis 22,680
Softball 20,631

Soft Tennis is Japanese original sports. Ball is more soft than normal Tennis. There are almost same number of players as Tennis in Japanese high school.

Kyu-Do and Ken-Do are very traditional sports in Japan. Kyu-Do is Japanese archery, playing with traditional wear, Hakama. Ken-Do is kind of martial arts, with using ‘Shinai’ Bamboo sword.


Students enjoy various sports in high school life !

No. 6 – 10 for Boys

Tennis 59,696
Table Tennis 53,430
Soft Tennis 47,698
Volleyball 46,223
Kyu-Do (Japanese Archery)31,581

Tennis and Soft Tennis are also popular among boys in Japanese high school. Table Tennis is also popular, stable number of players long time. Tennis relative sports are listed in this area.

Kyu-Do is also supported by boys. 10th largest number of players. However, in 10 years ago, it was Ken-Do. The order of players are changed in recent years. Players of Kyu-Do is increasing.


Tennis is popular sports for high school students !



How was the content today ?

You can see popular sports in this article. However this order is always changeable. When I was in high school, Baseball was with largest number of players and I also played Baseball. Now, it became 2nd largest.

I hope that information in this article could assist you to have communication with your Japanese friends. Some of friends might have experience to play listed sports.


In the end, thank you for reading and see you again !