How to Talk About Your Interests and Hobbies in Japanese

If you’re interested in learning Japanese, you probably want to be able to have conversations about your hobbies and interests with native speakers to make friends. For example, you might consider yourself an “otaku”. This refers to people who are obsessed with anime, manga, and other aspects of Japanese pop culture. It’s not uncommon to see entire stores dedicated to anime merchandise or cosplay events where people dress up as their favorite characters.

Besides that, Japan is also known for its traditional arts and crafts, like bonsai, origami, ikebana, and traditional tea ceremonies. So whether you’re interested in exploring the world of otaku culture or just love to jog, there are a few key phrases and vocabulary words you’ll need to know in order to express yourself effectively. Here are some tips on how to talk about your hobbies and interests in Japanese!

Essential Vocabulary for Hobbies and Interests

Now that we have a basic understanding of Japanese conversation, let’s dive into vocabulary and phrases specifically related to hobbies and interests. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast, an artist, or just enjoy spending time outdoors, there is a lot of Japanese vocabulary to help you express your interests and passions.

Head here to view 25 infographics on common hobbies and interest vocabulary in Japanese!

Common Hobbies in Japanese

Japan offers a wide variety of hobbies that cater to all interests. Here are some of the most common hobbies in Japan:

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
スポーツsupootsusports
旅行ryokoutravel
ゲームgeemugaming
読書dokushoreading
料理ryouricooking
写真shashinphotography
映画を見るeiga movie
ダンスdansudancing
ジョギングjogingujogging
サイクリングsaikuringucycling
ボードゲームboodo geemuboard games
カラオケkaraokekaraoke
スケートsukeetoskating

Whether you’re a fan of extreme sports or prefer a more leisurely pace, Japan has something for everyone.

sports hobbies in japanese

Sports and Physical Activities

Japan offers a variety of outdoor activities that are perfect for those who enjoy staying active. From hiking in the mountains to swimming in the ocean in Kamakura or Okinawa, there’s no shortage of opportunities to get your heart pumping. If you’re into sports and physical activities, here are some essential vocabulary words:

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
野球YakyuuBaseball
サッカーSakkaaSoccer
テニスTenisuTennis
バスケットボールBasuketto booruBasketball
バレーボールBarebooruVolleyball
スノーボードSunooboodoSnowboarding
スキーSukiiSkiing
ヨガYogaYoga
水泳SuieiSwimming
マラソンMarasonMarathon
ハイキングhaikingu
Hiking
釣りtsurifishing

Artistic and Creative Pursuits

Japan has a rich artistic heritage, and its language reflects this. Whether you’re a painter, musician, or writer, you’ll find plenty of vocabulary to help you express yourself. For those who enjoy artistic and creative hobbies, here are some vocabulary words to know:

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
絵画KaigaPainting
陶芸TougeiPottery
造形ZoukeiSculpting
写真ShashinPhotography
裁縫SaihouSewing
デザインDezainDesign
手芸ShugeiHandicrafts
書くkakuwriting
イラストIrasutoIllustration

Indoor and Outdoor Activities

Lastly, here are some vocabulary words for a variety of indoor and outdoor activities:

  • Cooking – 料理する (ryouri suru)
  • Gardening – ガーデニング (gaadeningu)
  • Video games – ゲームをする (geemu wo suru)
  • Movies – 映画 (eiga)

Head here to download a free kanji practice worksheet for your hobby!

Forming Sentences to Describe Your Interests and Hobbies in Japanese

With all this vocabulary under your belt, it’s time to start putting together sentences to talk about your interests! Talking about your hobbies and interests is a great way to connect with others and share your passions.

To introduce your hobbies and interests in Japanese, you can use the following phrases:

私は___が好きです。
Watashi wa ___ ga suki desu.
I like ___.

私は___に興味があります。
Watashi wa ___ ni kyoumi ga arimasu.
I am interested in ___.

Please keep in mind that in order to use the sentence structure provided above, it’s necessary to use a noun. If you want to express an action or verb, you should add の or こと after the verb to turn it into a noun. For example:

私は映画を見るのが好きです。
Watashi wa eiga o miru no ga suki desu.
I like watching movies.

If it’s obvious who the subject is, you can omit it in the sentence. In this case, you can just say, “Eiga o miru koto ga suki desu.”

When you are talking about another person, you can also use the same Japanese sentence structure.

彼女は絵を描くのが好きです.
Kanojo wa e o kaku no ga suki desu.

It’s also helpful to be able to express how often you do a certain hobby, or for how long. Here are some examples:

週に2回サッカーをします.
shuu ni nikai sakkaa o shimasu
I play soccer twice a week.

彼女はギターを始めて5年です。
kanojo wa gitaa o hajimete go nen desu.
She has been playing the guitar for five years

金曜日の夜は映画を見ます
kinyoubi no yoru wa eiga wo mimasu
We watch movies every Friday night

If you’re particularly skilled or experienced in a certain hobby, you might want to be able to talk about that as well. Here are some phrases to help:

子供の頃から野球をやっています.
kodomo no koro kara yakyuu wo yatte imasu.
I’ve been playing baseball since I was a kid.

彼女は去年絵画コンクールで優勝しました
kanojo wa kyonen kaiga konkuru de yuushou shimashita
She won a painting competition last year

Describing Your Interests and Hobbies in Japanese

To describe your hobbies and interests in more detail, you can use adjectives and adverbs. Here are some examples:

  • 楽しい (Tanoshii) – fun
  • 面白い (Omoshiroi) – interesting
  • 難しい (Muzukashii) – difficult
  • 簡単な (Kantan na) – easy
  • 時間がかかる (Jikan ga kakaru) – time-consuming
  • お金がかかる (Okane ga kakaru) – expensive

For example, if you want to describe that playing soccer is fun, you can say:

サッカーをするのは楽しいです。
Sakkaa o suru no wa tanoshii desu.
Playing soccer is fun.

Asking About Others’ Interests and Hobbies in Japanese

Of course, conversations are a two-way street. Here are some helpful phrases for asking about others’ hobbies and interests:

How do Ask “What is Your Hobby?” in Japanese

The most basic way to ask about someone’s hobby is:

あなたの趣味は何ですか?
Anata no shumi wa nan desuka?

This phrase is a great icebreaker and can lead to some interesting conversations. You never know what kind of hobbies people might have!

Inquiring About Specific Interests

If you want to ask about a specific hobby, you can use phrases like:

スポーツが好きですか?
Supootsu ga suki desuka?
Do you like playing sports?

最近、どこか面白いところに旅行しましたか?
Saikin dokoka omoshiroi tokoro ni ryokou shimashitaka?
Have you traveled anywhere interesting recently?

どんな映画が好きですか?
Donna eiga ga suki desuka?
What kind of movies do you like?

Asking about specific interests can show that you’re genuinely interested in getting to know the person. It can also give you some insight into their personality and what they enjoy doing in their free time.

Responding to Others’ Hobbies and Interests

When someone asks about your hobbies and interests, it’s polite to reciprocate by asking about theirs in return. Here are some phrases to use:

あなたは? 趣味はありますか?
Anata wa? Shuumi wa arimasu ka?
What about you? Do you have any hobbies?

One thing to note is that it’s better to use the person’s name and attach a suffix like san, kun, or chan, instead of using あなた. If you use “anata” with someone who you know, it can sound rude and disrespectful. For example, if your friend’s name is Tanaka (田中), you can say:

田中さんは?
Tanaka-san wa?
What about you, Tanaka?

When you respond to someone’s question about your hobbies and interests, be sure to give them some details. This can help keep the conversation going and make it more interesting for both of you. Here’s an example of a conversation between two friends who are talking about hobbies in Japanese:

友達1:最近、何か趣味とかある?
Tomodachi 1: Saikin, nanika shumi toka aru?
Friend 1: Do you have any hobbies or interests lately?

友達2:ああ、特にないけど、昔からゲームが好きだよ。
Tomodachi 2: Aa, tokuni nai kedo, mukashi kara geemu ga suki da yo.
Friend 2: Not particularly, but I’ve always liked playing video games.

友達1:私もゲームが好き!最近はどんなゲームをしてる?
Tomodachi 1: Watashi mo geemu ga suki! Saikin wa donna geemu wo shiteru?
Friend 1: I also like video games! What kind of games have you been playing lately?

友達2:ああ、最近はファイナルファンタジー7リメイクをしているんだ。すごく面白いよ。
Tomodachi 2: Aa, saikin wa Fainaru Fantajī 7 Rimeiku wo shite irun da. Sugoku omoshiroi yo.
Friend 2: Oh, lately I’ve been playing the Final Fantasy 7 remake. It’s really interesting.

友達1:私もそのゲームをやってみたいなあ。最近は、ジョギングをすることも多いんだ。身体を鍛えるためにね。
Tomodachi 1: Watashi mo sono geemu wo yatte mitai naa. Saikin wa, jogingu wo suru koto mo ooi nda. Karada wo kitaeru tame ni ne.
Friend 1: I want to try that game too. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of jogging. To keep my body in shape.

友達2:ジョギングいいね。私もフットサルをしているよ。週に2回ぐらい。
Tomodachi 2: Jogingu ii ne. Watashi mo futtosaru wo shite iru yo. Shuu ni nikai gurai.
Friend 2: Jogging sounds great. I also play futsal twice a week.

友達1:フットサル!面白そうだね。私もやってみたいなあ。
Tomodachi 1: Futtsaru! Omoshirosou da ne. Watashi mo yatte mitai naa.
Friend 1: Futsal! That sounds interesting. I want to try it too.

友達2:ぜひ一緒にやりましょう!
Tomodachi 2: Zehi issho ni yarimashou!
Friend 2: Let’s do it together sometime!

Conclusion

With these phrases and vocabulary words in your arsenal, you should feel much more confident talking about your hobbies and interests in Japanese. Good luck!

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How do ask "What is your hobby?" in Japanese?

The most basic way to ask about someone’s hobby is:

あなたの趣味は何ですか?
Anata no shumi wa nan desuka?

How do I say "hobby" in Japanese?

“Hobby” in Japanese is 趣味 (shumi).

How do I talk about my hobbies in Japanese?

You can start by saying “Watashi no shumi wa _____ desu” and fill in the blank with your hobby. For example, “Watashi no shumi wa supootsu desu” means “My hobby is sports.”


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