Japan’s love of golfing is known around the world, so it’s no surprise that there are more golf courses in Japan than in all of Asia. In fact, Japan has the second highest number of golf courses in the world after the United States.
Japan fell in love with golf after it came to the country in the early 20th century. Appealing to the very Japanese sensibility of reflection and communion with nature, it’s easy to see how the sport became so embedded in Japanese culture.
Playing golf in Japan, you’ll observe the game is the same as if played anywhere around the world. However, the experience is sprinkled with hints of Japanese culture at each turn – whether it’s the hospitable staff, the Japanese food in between the front and back nine, or the soothing bath house experience afterwards.
Japan has a great deal of prestigious formal golf courses, all with illustrious histories. Many open their doors to visitors in addition to their loyal members, with numerous unique courses that celebrate the stunning local scenery and geographical features unique to Japan.
Prominent courses include the Kawana Hotel’s Fuji course in Ito City, Shizuoka, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is famed for its challenging nature ideal for golfing pros. The Jun Classic Country Club in Nakagawa, Tochigi prefecture, comes equipped with stunning traditional “ryokan” inn-style accommodation and a meditative course ideal for a mental challenge. Or, for the iconic Japanese experience why not tee off at the Fuji Classic at Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi prefecture, where you can play golf whilst gazing upon Fuji-san itself.
Golfing in Japan is a pleasant experience, perfect for catching a break from sightseeing to enjoy some light exercise. If you can’t make it to any of these courses, many of Japan’s main cities have impressive indoor golfing courses or driving ranges – truly Japanese!