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Health & Sports Day In Japan

October 13, 2008

Health & Sports Day In Japan

Each year on the second Monday of October, the Japanese celebrate Health & Sports day, Taiiku no hi in Japanese, with a national holiday.  Established in 1966, this holiday celebrates the anniversary of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony and encourages residents to enjoy sports and cultivate a healthy mind and body.

Schools and communities sponsor local sports days to celebrate Taiiku no hi and to  encourage children to live an active lifestyle while having some fun with their friends and classmates.

The benefits of a healthy mind and body are not limited to children or one day of the year.  Visitors and residents of Tokyo can participate in the spirit of Taiiku no hi year-round at a variety of venues throughout the city.

How do you celebrate Taiiku no hi?  Here are some suggestions:

Keep  Active in Tokyo

Walk or jog around the bird sanctuary at Kasai Rinkai Koen Park.

Visit Kagurazaka and wind your way through the alleys that were once home to many of the city’s most famous geisha houses.

Stroll through the Imperial Palace East Garden or one of the other beautiful parks & gardens in Tokyo.

Rent a bike in Tokyo or join the monthly hike sponsored by Friends of the Earth, Japan.

Broaden Your Mind in Tokyo

Visit the Mitsuo Aida Museum in Tokyo International Forum to see some beautiful calligraphy and read some inspiring poetry.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Photography Museum offer insights into the history of photography in Japan along with special exhibits covering both contemporary and historical images.

In the spirit of Taiiku no hi make some time to visit the Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum where you will learn about the history of sport in Japan.  The museum has an impressive collection of Olympic Memorabilia and offers exhibits outlining the history of the Olympic Games.

Also on a sporting theme, the Baseball Hall of Fame offers insight into the history of the game in Japan through exhibits on past Olympic and World Baseball Classic teams.  Learn about famous Japanese players of the past and view current team uniforms displayed in a unique locker room setting.

Image Credit:  Flickr, 運動会 Sports day