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Why do Japanese walk a lot?


Japan is known for its efficient transportation system, but it’s also a country where people love to walk. Walking is an integral part of Japanese culture, and it’s not uncommon to see people walking to work or school, even if it means covering long distances. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the Japanese love for walking.

Health Benefits

Walking is considered a low-impact exercise that has numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and aiding in weight management. The Japanese have long recognized these benefits and have made walking an integral part of their daily lives.

Japanese Snack Box


Japan’s infrastructure is designed to encourage walking. The streets are pedestrian-friendly, and sidewalks are well-maintained. Additionally, many cities have parks and green spaces that provide a pleasant walking experience.

Commute Culture

The Japanese commute culture involves walking. Many people walk to the train station or bus stop every day. They also tend to walk during their lunch break or after work.

Traditional Customs

Walking is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. Traditional customs like shuudan-sanpou (group walking) and o-henro-san (pilgrimage) encourage walking as a form of physical and mental exercise.

Environmental Consciousness

The Japanese are highly conscious of their impact on the environment. Walking is an eco-friendly mode of transportation that doesn’t emit any carbon emissions. Many people choose to walk instead of using a car or public transportation.


Japan is known for being one of the safest countries in the world. This safety extends to walking as well. People feel safe walking at any time of day or night, which makes it an attractive option for many.

Cultural Experience

Walking allows people to experience Japan’s unique culture up close. They can explore local neighborhoods, visit historical sites, and interact with locals.


Walking is also a great way to socialize. It’s common for friends or colleagues to go for a walk together during their lunch break or after work.

Technology Detox

In a highly connected world where technology dominates our lives, walking provides an opportunity to unplug and disconnect from our devices. It’s a chance to clear our minds and reduce stress.

Community Building

Walking promotes community building by bringing people together. Many neighborhoods have walking groups or clubs that organize regular walks and events.


The Japanese love for walking stems from a combination of cultural, social, environmental, and health-related factors. Walking is deeply ingrained in their daily lives and is an essential part of their overall well-being. As we strive for healthier lifestyles, we can take inspiration from the Japanese and incorporate more walking into our daily routines.

Is walking common in Japan?

Absolutely! Japan is a society that places a strong emphasis on walking. Our tours typically require us to walk between five and seven miles (equivalent to 10,000-15,000 steps) every day. In addition to walking, we also encounter a lot of standing, inclines, and stairs.

How much does average Japanese walk?

In the United States, people typically take about 5,117 steps each day, which equates to roughly 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers. In Japan, people tend to walk more, taking around 7,168 steps a day or roughly 3.5 miles or 6 kilometers. This data is as of August 3rd, 2022.

How much do Japanese people walk every day?

The Japanese have made walking a part of their daily routine, as shown by the results of a National Health and Nutrition Survey. Men in Japan walk an average of 6,846 steps per day, while women walk an average of 5,867 steps per day. The number of steps taken by individuals between the ages of 20 and 59 varies only slightly.

Do Japanese people exercise a lot?

The Japanese population tends to have longer and healthier lifespans without relying heavily on formal exercise. However, a popular exercise routine called rajio taiso (radio calisthenics) is enjoyed by tens of millions of people, including children and some company employees who perform it together as a group.

How do Japanese stay so slim?

The way of eating in Japan is distinct from other cultures. The Japanese consume their meals more frequently but in smaller portions, and they use healthy cooking methods such as grilling, steaming, or baking. These habits help to prevent heart problems and promote weight loss.

Why don t Japanese eat while walking?

In Japanese culture, it is considered impolite to engage in physical activities while eating as it suggests a lack of appreciation for the food. This belief has its origins in World War II when food was scarce and treated as a precious commodity rather than something to be consumed casually.

Walking Tourism

In recent years, walking tourism has become increasingly popular in Japan. Many tourists come to Japan to explore the country’s scenic walking trails, such as the Nakasendo Trail or the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. These trails offer a unique way to experience Japan’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Walking Meditation

Walking can also be a form of meditation. In Japan, walking meditation is known as kinhin and is often practiced in conjunction with Zen meditation. It involves walking slowly and mindfully, focusing on each step and breath. This practice can be beneficial for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

Walking for Education

In Japan, some schools have implemented walking programs as part of their curriculum. Students are encouraged to walk to school or participate in regular walks during the day. These programs promote physical activity and also provide educational opportunities, such as learning about local history or nature.

Walking for Charity

Charity walks are also common in Japan. Many organizations organize walks to raise funds for various causes, such as disaster relief or medical research. These events bring people together for a common cause and promote physical activity while making a positive impact on society.


Overall, walking is an essential part of Japanese culture that promotes physical, mental, and social well-being. Whether it’s for health benefits, environmental consciousness, cultural experiences, or community building, walking offers numerous benefits that we can all take advantage of. So next time you have the opportunity to walk instead of taking the car or public transportation, give it a try and see how it makes you feel!

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