There was a time when skateboarding meant American or European sport. But over time, skateboarding has spread around the world. Asia is no exception, especially in Japan.
Japan’s success in the last Tokyo Olympics shows how much they have improved. Here we will talk about various issues related to skateboarding in Japan.
Is Skateboarding Popular in Japan?
Did you hear about the game ‘sukeetoboodingu’? It is the Japanese localization of Skateboarding. At a time, skateboarding was seen as notorious in Japan.
Local people called skaters ‘bad people’. Now that time has changed, skateboarding is quite popular now in Japan.
After the success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, skateboarding got new attention among people of all ages in Japan. Young Japanese people love skating.
If you visit a skatepark in Japan, you will find children and people of all ages skating there. Japanese people especially the young generation love this game very much.
Why Do Some Japanese People Hate Skateboarding?
Japanese people don’t like noises and violence. You will find so many people walking in Tokyo so calmly. So when young people practice skating on road, it gives a bad impression on the people.
Even, people scare this game sometimes because it seems so dangerous to them.
When Japanese young skaters skate in a local area with a lot of friends they make so many sounds and noises. So, many people feel disturbed and they hate the boys. But now most of the skaters are so polite.
You will find more restrictions besides children’s parks, malls, stations, and gathering areas. But it doesn’t mean that all of them hate skateboarding. It’s restricted because these areas are not for skating, you have so many specific places for skating.
Is Skateboarding Allowed in Japan?
It is illegal to skateboard on roads and public places for safety. So, skaters ride on skateparks or riverside paths or in any scheduled spots.
Skating anywhere isn’t allowed in Japan it doesn’t mean that the game isn’t allowed. You have to skate in the skatepark, indoors, or a full free area.
So many people don’t like this game because it is a dangerous game. When skaters skate in the road or public spots, it gives people the impression that skateboarding is noisy and scary.
You will find some people who don’t like skateboarding but the game is allowed.
History of Skateboarding in Japan
In 1970 Japan’s first skateboarders played as a sport. At that time, there was no specific place for them to skate. Skaters practiced skating on the street. The Japanese Skateboard Association was founded in 1982, and they helped to spread this game gradually.
In 1990 the sport went global. At that time, a film was made by Americans. The film showed top American skaters practicing their talents in cities across Europe, America, Australia, and Japan.
When the skaters went to Tokyo, they captured footage of local Japanese riders, and this film boosted the city’s international reputation and made the sport more popular in Japan.
After that, Japanese children started buying skating materials, and finally, skating got its popularity in Japan, and still it is.
In the Tokyo Olympic 2020, Japanese skaters achieved three gold medals. This success encouraged Japanese children and gave this sport more popularity. And now It is a mainstream game in Japan.
Skateboarding Laws in Japan
Japan Traffic Law, Section 76, Article 4, Comment 3 says that:
“It is highly prohibited to participate in activities such as playing with balls, skating, or anything similar to these activities, on highly-trafficked roads.”
According to this law, people can’t use a frequently used road for skating. But it’s ok if you skate on an empty street. In Japan you will get many skate parks for skating, it is the best option for a skater in Japan.
Why is Japan so Good at Skateboarding?
The main reason is Japanese skateparks are highly facilitated. There is a larger place for skating in parks, and the terrain/obstacles built here are so different and challenging. You will never be a good skater if you don’t practice this type of terrain.
The mentoring and support network that Japanese skaters built helped them produce some of the best skaters in the world. As a result, the young people make groups and skate together.
Now skating has become a culture in Japan. So the young people formed based on their culture. From children to adults all kinds of people love skating.
Who is the Best Skater in Japan?
The most famous Japanese skater is Yuzuru Hanyu. He has medaled for two-time Olympic champion (2014 and 17), two-time World champion (2014 and 17), four-time Grand Prix Final medalist, one-time Four continent champion, one-time World Junior champion(2010) Japanese national champion for five-time. He have also five the World Championship medals
He is the only male single skater with Jan Hoffmann, who wins seven world championship medals. Hanyu is the first in Asia who win multiple World Championship in skating.
Haynu is the first Asian single skater gold medalist. He is also the first single skater who achieved a Super Slam and medal in his senior and junior career. Hanyu has broken world records nineteen times.
Hanyu has been rewarded many accolades for his achievements. In 2018 he was awarded the People’s Honor Award as the first figure skater.
He was also awarded the Medal of Honour, Laureus World Sports Award, and Azusa Ono Memorial Award. He has five world records in skating.
Top Japanese Skateboarders
- Midori Ito: She is a former Japanese female skater. She won the world championship 1989 and gained a silver medal in the 1992 Olympics. In Olympic free skating, she is the first woman to land seven triple jumps in an Olympic. He did this at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. She was awarded the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame (2003).
- Shizuka Arakawa: Shuzuka Arakawa is the first Japanese skater who wins a gold medal in Olympics. In the 2006 Winter Olympics, she was the only Japanese medalist. He retired after her Olympic win and started working in ice shows and exhibitions.
She also works for Japanese television. Shizuka awarded JOC sports award (2005), Miyagi “Citizens Award of Honor” (2006), Class of 2018 inductee award, and Purple Ribbon Award.
- Mao Asada: This famous former Japanese skater was born on 25 September 1990. She is the silver medalist of the 2010 Olympics. She is also a three-time world champion, three-time four continents champion, and four-time champion in Grand Prix Final.
She is also the 2005 World Junior champion, and six times he won the Japanese national champion medal. In the 2014 World championship, she made a world record. It was broken in 2016.
- Yuko Kavaguti: Yuko is a famous pair skater. Her partner’s name was Alexander Smirnov, who represented Russia, and she represented Japan. They began the partnership in 2006. They won the European championship two times, the World bronze medal two times, and the Russian national title for three-time.
These pair are the first pair in skateboarding history who have completed two quadruple throw jumps in one program and landed a quadruple throw loop.
- Miki Ando: At the age of 8, Miki started skating. Miki won the World Junior championship in 2004. She is a three-time champion in the Japanese National Championship. She is the champion of the 2007 and 2011 World Championship. She is also the 2011 Four Continent champion.
Japan Skateboarding Team
- Tokyo Olympic Team-2020
In this Olympics, skateboarding made its debut. Japanese skaters proved that Japan is one of the best skateboarding countries in the world. Japanese skateboarding team won three gold medals, one silver, and one bronze in this Olympics.
- Japanese Skateboarding team-2021 World Championship
This year Japan has become the champion in both men and women category.
- Japanese female skateboarding team in 2018 and 2019 World Park Skateboarding
The Japanese Women Team was the back-to-back champion in these two World Park Skateboarding Championships. The silver medalist was also s Japanese skater in these tournaments.
Skateboarding in Tokyo
If you want to skate in Tokyo, you should go to the skate parks. You will find the biggest and best skateparks here. But if you’re going to skate in the street or a local area, you will find some difficulties.
You will find “no skateboarding” signs everywhere in Tokyo. If you skate in the street, police will stop you. So it is better to go to a skatepark for skating. You will find people often skating in the parks.
Japanese people are very friendly. If you want to skate on the street, you should meet local people and choose a night session for skating. You will find them pretty open to foreigners.
There you find a lot of skate shops. You can take help from them with information. Once you say hello you will find them very friendly with foreigners. Even many people in Tokyo can speak English very well. You will find them very friendly with foreigners.
Best Skateparks in Tokyo:
- Trinity B3 Park & Shop
- Raizin SKY Garden by H.L.N.A
- Murasaki Park Tokyo
- Tobuki Sports Park
- Jonan Seaside Park
Where Can You Skate in Japan?
According to the Tokyo-based organizations, there are 243 skateparks across Japan. Therefore, skateparks will be the best choice for skateboarding in Japan.
When you are looking for a street and an open place for skating in Japan, you have to be conscious. You have to find a full free road or a place because skating in public isn’t allowed in Japan.
Skateparks in Japan
The number of Skateparks is increasing fastly in Japan. There you will get top-level facilities. People of all ages from children to adults skate in these skateparks. If you want any instructor or a trainer you will find it here.
The people here are very friendly here. If you are finding friends, skateparks are a great place for you here in Japan. If you are in any city in Japan and finding a skatepark don’t worry, there’s probably a skatepark close by.
Is it Illegal to Street Skate in Japan?
The answer is yes. If you skate on the street, the Japanese cop will ask you to stop skating on the street. But if there have no other problem, they won’t arrest you. On the road which is not frequently used, you can skate on this road.
According to Japanese law, skating in the street is illegal. But now, skating gets very popular in Japan, and people accept the game.
As a foreigner, if you want to skate in the street you have to make a friendship with local skaters. Local skaters skate on the road at night. So you can skate at night on the street.
If you think it is illegal because people don’t like this game it’s wrong. The cities in Japan are so populated and the land is so expensive. So if you skate on a road or in public it can be dangerous. It is hard to find a free place here.
Especially in Tokyo, the people you find here are always in a hurry. The roads are also busier, the pathway full of passerby. So it is normal that they won’t allow skating on a public road or in a place.
Note: Check out the Skateboarding In Ireland if you want to know about Skateboard of Ireland
So if you want to go on a trip to Japan or skateboarding in Japan as a newbie, here are some great opportunities for you.
Here you are going to find some awesome skating partners and new challenging skating experiences in the modern amenities skatepark. I am sure you are going to achieve great appreciation from here.