72 Common Hobbies in Japanese and How to Talk About Them 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Are you a sports enthusiast, a creative crafty soul or someone with a wide range of interests?

Whatever you’re into, this blog post will help you learn how to talk about hobbies in Japanese. 

From essential sentence structures to key vocabulary, this blog post will teach you how to talk about all your creative pursuits. 

Contents

How to Talk About Hobbies in Japanese

The Japanese word for “hobby” is 趣味  (shumi). Here’s everything you need to know about how to talk about your hobbies:

Sentence structures for discussing hobbies

In Japanese, you can express your hobbies using two primary sentence structures:

趣味は + [Hobby] です。 (Shumi wa [Hobby] desu.) — [Hobby] is my hobby.

This structure directly connects the word 趣味 (shumi) to the specific hobby using the particle は (wa).

[Hobby] をするのが趣味です。 ([Hobby] o suru no ga shumi desu.) — I enjoy doing [hobby]. 

This structure emphasizes the action of doing the hobby by using the verb-noun form をする (o suru), followed by the particle のが (no ga), which links the action to the noun 趣味 (shumi).

Using こと and の to discuss hobbies

In Japanese, both こと (koto) and の (no) are commonly used to discuss hobbies, but they are employed in slightly different contexts.

こと is often used to express abstract actions or activities. It transforms a verb into a noun, indicating that the activity described by the verb is a general concept or idea. Here are some examples: 

音楽を聴くことが好きです。 (Ongaku o kiku koto ga suki desu.) — I like listening to music.

読書することが趣味です。 (Dokusho suru koto ga shumi desu.) — Reading is my hobby.

When discussing hobbies, の links the noun representing the activity with the rest of the sentence. It’s particularly useful when the hobby is a concrete noun. Here’s how to use it: 

野球の観戦が趣味です。 (Yakyū no kansen ga shumi desu.) — Watching baseball is my hobby.

料理の本を読むのが好きです。 (Ryōri no hon o yomu no ga suki desu.) — I like reading cookbooks.

As a general rule, こと is applied to verbs while の is used for nouns.

How to talk about more than one hobby

To talk about multiple hobbies, you can simply list them using the conjunction “と” (to), meaning “and.” For example:

趣味は読書とサッカーとピアノです。 (Shumi wa dokusho to sakkā to piano desu.) — My hobbies are reading, soccer and playing the piano.

You can also use the たり (tari) form to express a list of activities or hobbies. Here’s how you can apply this structure to your sentence:

趣味は本を読んだり、走ったり、音楽を聞いたりすることです。 (Shumi wa hon o yondari, hashitta ri, ongaku o kiitari suru koto desu.) — My hobbies include things like reading books, running and listening to music.

This form provides a sense of variety, indicating that these activities are just a few examples of the speaker’s hobbies. 

How to ask about someone else’s hobbies

To inquire about someone else’s hobbies, you can use the following phrases:

趣味は何ですか? (Shumi wa nan desu ka?) — What is your hobby?

暇な時は何をするの? (Hima na toki wa nani o suru no?) — What do you do in your free time?

何か趣味はありますか? (Nani ka shumi wa arimasu ka?) — Do you have any hobbies?

Vocabulary for Discussing Hobbies 

Finally, here are some useful vocabulary words related to discussing hobbies:

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Common Hobbies in Japanese

Now that you understand how to talk about hobbies in Japanese, all you need is the vocabulary for the things you do in your free time. Here are some popular hobbies and how to say them in Japanese. 

Sports and Outdoor Hobbies

EnglishJapaneseRomaji
Archery 弓道 Kyūdō
Astronomy 天文学 Tenmongaku
Backpacking バックパッキング Bakkupakkingu
Basketball バスケットボール Basuketto Bōru
Birdwatching バードウォッチング Bādowatchingu
Bowling ボウリング Bōringu
Camping キャンプ Kyanpu
Cave exploration 洞窟探検 Dōkutsu Tanken
Fencing フェンシング Fenshingu
Fishing 釣り Tsuri
Foodball フットボール Futtobōru
Golf ゴルフ Gorufu
Hiking ハイキング Haikingu
Horseback riding 乗馬 Jōba
Ice skating アイススケート Aisu Sukēto
Martial arts 武道 Budō
Meditation 瞑想 Meisō
Parkour パルクール Parukūru
Rock climbing ロッククライミング Rokkukuraimingu
Rollerblading ローラーブレーディング Rōrāburēdingu
SCUBA diving スキューバダイビング Sukyūba Daibingu
Sightseeing 観光 Kankō
Skateboarding スケートボード Sukētobōdo
Snorkeling シュノーケリング Shunōkeringu
Soccer サッカー Sakkā
Swimming 水泳 Suiei
Tennis テニス Tenisu
Traveling 旅行 Ryokō
Urban exploration 探検 Tanken
Volleyball バレーボール Barēbōru
Walking 散歩 Sanpo
Weightlifting ウエイトリフティング Ueitorifutingu
Yoga ヨガ Yoga

Creative and Crafty Hobbies

EnglishJapaneseRomaji
Acting 演技 Engi
Blogging ブログ Burogu
Calligraphy 書道 Shodō
Candle making キャンドル作り Kyandoru zukuri
Crocheting かぎ針編み Kagibariami
Dancing ダンス Dansu
Drawing 描画 Byoga
Film-making 映画製作 Eiga Seisaku
Karaoke カラオケ Karaoke
Knitting 編み物 Amimono
Metalworking 金属加工 Kinzoku Kakō
Mode building 模型の構築 Mokei no Kochiku
Origami 折り紙 Origami
Painting 絵画 Kaiga
Photography 写真撮影 Shashin Satsuei
Podcasting ポッドキャスト Podokyasuto
Pottery making 陶芸 Tōgei
Puzzle solving 謎解き Nazotoki
Sculpting 彫刻 Chōkoku
Sewing 縫製 Hōsei
Singing 歌唱 Kashō
Soap making 石鹸作り Sekken Tsukuri
Theater 演劇 Engeki
Playing musical instruments 楽器演奏 Gakki Ensō
Woodworking 木工 Mokkō
Writing 執筆 Shippitsu

Other Hobbies

EnglishJapaneseRomaji
Beer brewing ビール醸造 Bīru Jōzō
Board gaming ボードゲーム Bōdo Gēmu
Cosplay コスプレ Kosupure
Reading 読書 Dokusho
E-sports Eスポーツ Ī Supōtsu
Juggling ジャグリング Jaguringu
Volunteering ボランティア Borantia
Collecting (coins, stamps,etc.) 収集 Shūshū
Cooking 料理 Ryōri
Historical reenactments 歴史の再現 Rekishi no Saigen
Baking ベーキング Bēkingu
Video gaming ビデオゲーム Bideo Gēmu
Model railroading 鉄道模型 Tetsudō Mokei

 

Whether your idea of a nice pastime is heading out into the great wild outdoors or hunkering down in your crafts corner, you now know how to talk about all your hobbies in Japanese. 

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