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Japanese Words for Sports and Physical Activities

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Learning a language encompasses many aspects, including the vocabulary related to hobbies and daily activities. Sports and physical activities are common topics of conversation, and knowing related terms in Japanese can be incredibly useful. Here is a list of Japanese words for sports and physical activities, along with their definitions and example sentences.

スポーツ (Supōtsu)
This is a loanword from English, and it means “sports” in general. It can refer to any physical activity that involves competition or skill.

休日にはよく友達とスポーツをします。
(I often play sports with my friends on holidays.)

サッカー (Sakkā)
Another loanword, this time for “soccer” or what is known as “football” outside of the United States.

兄は毎週末、サッカーをしています。
(My older brother plays soccer every weekend.)

野球 (Yakyū)
This is the term for “baseball,” a sport that is immensely popular in Japan.

日本では、夏に高校野球がとても人気があります。
(In Japan, high school baseball is very popular in the summer.)

バスケットボール (Basukettobōru)
The word for “basketball,” commonly abbreviated as バスケ (Basuke).

彼女はバスケットボールのチームに入っています。
(She’s on a basketball team.)

水泳 (Suiei)
This word means “swimming.” It encompasses all types of swimming activities.

毎朝、水泳で一日を始めます。
(I start every day with swimming in the morning.)

テニス (Tenisu)
“Tenisu” is how the Japanese say “tennis.”

弟はテニスが上手で、よく大会で優勝します。
(My younger brother is good at tennis and often wins in tournaments.)

ランニング (Ranningu)
Derived from English, this word means “running,” as both a leisure activity and a sport.

ランニングは健康に良いと聞いて、始めました。
(I heard that running is good for health, so I started doing it.)

ジョギング (Jogingu)
Closely related to running, “jogging” specifies a slower or more leisurely pace.

毎朝、公園でジョギングをするのが日課です。
(My daily routine is to go jogging in the park every morning.)

ゴルフ (Gorufu)
This is the Japanese term for “golf.”

父は週末になると、いつもゴルフに行きます。
(My father always goes to play golf on weekends.)

登山 (Tozan)
The Japanese word for “mountain climbing” or “hiking.”

日本には登山に適した美しい山がたくさんあります。
(There are many beautiful mountains suitable for mountain climbing in Japan.)

相撲 (Sumō)
Sumo is a traditional Japanese sport involving wrestlers who try to force each other out of a circular ring.

日本に来たら是非相撲を見てみるべきです。
(If you come to Japan, you should definitely see sumo.)

バドミントン (Badominton)
This is the word for “badminton,” a racquet sport played using a shuttlecock.

彼はバドミントンで全国的に有名です。
(He is nationally famous for badminton.)

体操 (Taisō)
“Exercise” or “gymnastics” in Japanese. It covers both general exercise routines and competitive gymnastics.

毎朝、ラジオ体操に参加しています。
(I participate in radio exercises every morning.)

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