Rock Climbing and Bouldering

Kumamoto’s bouldering and climbing scene is generally small, physically as well as population-wise. If you’re used to sports climbing or top-roping in the gym, know that in general in Japan that is much rarer and climbers tend to boulder indoors. In cities like Fukuoka, Osaka, and Tokyo, that may be different!

Do you want to know Japanese climbing lingo? Places to climb in Kyushu (specifics for Fukuoka and Kagoshima)? Where to buy climbing gear? Then you’ve come to the right place!

A brief introduction – climbing in Japan is generally most accessible through bouldering gyms. These tend to have climbing time in 1 hour, 2 hour, and full-day blocks and range from 500-2500yen per visit depending on the length of time one chooses as well as their membership system. Shoes and chalk can almost always be rented. There is accessible outdoor climbing in rural Kumamoto, as well as across Kyushu as mentioned in the linked pages above. If interested, a great way to get involved in the local climbing scene is to join a gym and find like-minded people.

In Kumamoto City, there are several bouldering gyms and systems around the city. See a list below (bold means they’ve been visited by local JETs):

Other areas of Kumamoto:

You can buy gear, shoes, and other climbing paraphernalia at The Ranch as well as Gamma Wall. Parabellum sells assorted miscellaneous items like chalk and tape. Outdoor chains like mont•bell and secondhand stores like 2nd Street are great options for gear and clothes as well, though secondhand shops often require a nice dose of luck!

If people have any other gyms they regularly go to or questions about climbing in general, feel free to contact us!

Kickboxing/Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)


Muy Thai photo by Justin Ng on Unsplash

Kumamoto has a small but active fight scene. With the popularity of the UFC growing, so to are the mixed martial arts gyms around the city. There are usually around 5-10 fighting events held each year in Kumamoto alone. The majority for Kyushu are held in Fukuoka. If you are keen to try them out, there are many that can offer diet classes, fitness classes and beginner to pro level courses. It’s recommended that if you want to get the most out of your gym and instructor you should aim towards the beginner to pro courses and fighting in the ring at some stage. Amateur class allows you headgear, shin guards and bigger sized gloves than the pro classes. Even if that’s not your personal goal, it would mean that you are not pushed into the corner during the training sessions. One more tip would be to grab a friend and head down to partake in one of the free sessions before deciding to join.

Depending on where you live in Kumamoto, there should be a gym close by. Even if there are no gyms, you will find some groups meet at a local school gym to train. Ask your teachers and they should know someone to point in you in the right direction.

KumAJET recommends Greg Rammit’s gym, SK Active, and is based in Toshima, which is between the Kumamoto Interchange and Park Dome/KK Wing. Fees are ¥8000 a month and classes are from Monday to Friday 7-10pm. There are free weights, tires, treadmill, bench press and a squat rack to use. The coach lets you know where the key is, so you basically have a personal gym available 24 hours.
If you are not looking for a striking discipline then there is also Jiu Jitsu as an option. Many of the MMA schools are grounded in Jiu Jitsu. A good option is the Newaza Naka Kyushu group that practices twice a week near Suizenji. It is a free class on Tuesday and Friday evenings and you can practice no Gi which is closer towards MMA.
Striking gyms in Kumamoto: Seigo Dojo near Kumamoto Station. Kamikaze in Minami Kumamoto. Gym Perfect in Yatsushiro. Elephas near the Round One amusement center. M3 near Tokai University and SK Active in Toshima.
Feel free to message if you have any questions.



The awesome Rugby team from 2017!

Kumamoto has a small and passionate rugby scene. Games are played from September until February. Unfortunately with the decline in playing numbers, the amount of games have been reduced. Some schools have a rugby team and most universities have one.
Depending on your playing ability, there are three leagues to choose from.

The first is a top league team called ‘Sundays’ that plays other teams from around Kyushu for a chance to see who progresses to the All Japan Tournament. If you were to join this team, you should expect to travel to Okinawa depending on their game schedule.

The second is the Kumamoto League and is played amongst four teams. If you are an ALT you can play for the ‘Teachers’ team. The skill level is not very high, but very fast.

The third is the Challenge League and consists of five teams. This would be perfect if you have always been interested in playing rugby, but were unsure of your ability or size.

Games are 30 minutes a half and played at KK Wing or Yatsushiro, depending on the schedule. There is a 7’s tournament at the end of March and various teams enter different mini competitions around Kyushu.

For more, visit!