Popular after school activities amongst Kids in Japan

Organized kids’ activities are very popular in Japan; in some case, few months old babies would join one due to get ready to pass an entrance procedure for famous nurseries! There are so many activity choices from variety of categories: academics, sports, art and music. Japanese people love “ranking” thus there is a ranking for the popular activities for kids. So, let’s take a look!

popular activities for under 6

The most popular activity is swimming. The reason behind would be that swimming is a technique which need to be taught by someone. Japanese mandatory education includes swimming lessons for all children every summer and its common for schools to have their own swimming pools. Despite that, parents are paying for extra tuitions for swimming. Japan is an island, thus swimming could be an important life saving skill to have. Also, due to recent crazily hot and humid weather in Japan, swimming would be more than welcoming activities for sure.

The second place is differ between boys and girls. English lessons seems to be popular for boys and music lessons are more favorable for girls. The third place is the opposite. This is interesting because many studies shows that girls learn a language more effectively than boys.

The rest of places are filled with traditional activities such as martial arts and calligraphy as well as cram schools. The most popular sport is football/ soccer amongst both genders.


popular activities for primary school kids

Unsurprisingly, the ranking for the age group 7 to 12 would not be so different from the younger age group. Swimming is the top and followed by English and Piano lessons.  Moreover, martial arts, calligraphy, cram schools and football/ soccer; they are placed in the similar positions. Dance and abacus lessons are newly placed in the top 10.

Recently, programing lessons are increasing their popularity. This is not only for Japanese kids but its global. Relating activities such as science workshops are equally trendy. Lego clubs are evolving to Lego Robotics clubs; some of them are competing in world championships.

The usual one would be (wall) climbing. This promotes healthy lifestyle so it is understandable.


Most of those activities cost parents some sorts of fees. Prices are depending on an area, levels and facilities. Some are government run activities; they would be reasonably priced. But there are many activities that are ran by private sectors. More advance a child becomes, more fee to pay and more time to commit. It is sensible to think about family finance when signing up for an activity. A commitment would be another point to take it under consideration. Some Japanese children are under pressure from early age, attending cram schools until late at night or attending practices everyday after school. It is wonderful for children to have something that they want to persevere with; but it is also important to them to be happy so good communication might be a key to have a healthy and balanced life.


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