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Japanese culture

Learn about Japanese culture from this Japanese language blog by the JOI's professional Japanese teachers.

Posted by on in Japanese culture

Japanese children's hobbies

In Japanese education, children are often enrolled in various learning schools and children's hobby classes by parents that hope the skills they learn can give them a boost in life.

There are many schools and community center classes that offer lessons to children. And although the number of children in Japan is decreasing, these schools are still very popular businesses and cultural learning centers in the cities and countryside.

In this blog for Japanese learners, Kaori Ishibashi, a Japanese teacher at JOI reviews the top-ranked lessons taken by students in elementary school and below in Japan.

Ishibashi sensei reads the blog herself, so you can hear her fluent Japanese and study how to speak Japanese while also improving listening skills.

Popular Lessons




みなさんは小さいころ、どんな習い事をしていましたか。 日本の子どもたちもいろいろな習い事をしています。 日本の子どもたちの習い事ランキングを調べてみました。









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Popular Lessons

What kind of lessons did you take when you were a kid? Japanese children learn a lot of different lessons. I researched the top ranking lessons that Japanese children take.

The number one lesson was swimming. You can start this from very young and it helps to build a strong body.

The number two ranked is piano lessons. It used to be a standard lesson for girls, but now the numbers of boys learning this are not as few recently.

The third-ranked is English conversation. A few years ago in Japan, they started English studies in Elementary schools. And there are many parents that think it is better to start learning it earlier.

The fourth-ranked is gymnastics. I think this could be due to the (difference in) environment compared to the past, since the number of children who energetically play outside has decreased. And the time spent indoors playing games has increased on the one hand, and there are probably many parents that want their children to exercise their bodies more.

The fifth-ranked is cram schools. It seems that the number of children who go to cram schools from an early age has increased in order to prepare for examinations.

As for new types of lessons, there has been some attention on programming lessons recently. From 2020 this is planned to become mandatory in Japanese elementary schools.

What do you think? What is the situation in your country? Either way, having children continue to enjoy studying lessons is the most important thing.



丈夫(じょうぶ)な strong

体(からだ)づくりphysical culture; bodybuilding

かつてbefore, once





せい fault, due to

一方(いっぽう)だ keep on

学習塾(がくしゅうじゅく)cram school, private tuition

受験対策(じゅけんたいさく)prepare (oneself) for an examination



注目(ちゅうもく) されるattract attention

必修化(ひっしゅうか)compulsory, mandatory

いずれにしてもanyhow, either way


Hajimemashite, my name is Kaori Ishibashi.
I live in Ibaraki city, in Osaka prefecture, with my husband, son and daughter. Ibaraki city is in between Osaka and Kyoto and is in a very convenient location. Before I was married, I went to Canada and Spain as an exchange student. So I too love to study languages.
Since my children are still so young, I cannot readily go abroad, so I am really glad of the opportunity to communicate with people from various countries through JOI. Let's study Japanese together.

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