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Club Activities ("Circles") in Japan

Extracurricular activities enrich the four years you'll spend in university, and you're sure to make some incredible memories during the irreplaceable time you spend there. In university, these activities are typically divided into "clubs" and "circles." Put simply, circles have fewer rules, come in greater varieties, and their members get together to enjoy themselves when they like. Club activities are official groups recognized by the school, and they place much more importance on producing results. Both circles and club activities are offered in athletic and cultural disciplines.

Athletic Circles

Athletic circles include everything from the more typical sports of baseball or tennis to those you may have less experience with, like golf or shooting. Athletic circlees are perfect for students who are hoping to keep enjoying the sports they've been playing since they were younger, or for those who've been waiting for the chance to start that sport they've always had an interest in!

Tennis Club

Baseball Club

Cycling Club

Soccer Club

Judo Club

Softball Club

Table Tennis Club

Dance Club

Track & Field Club

etc. ...

Featured Circles

Kobe Gakuin University Women's Long-Distance Relay Race (Ekiden) Club

The Women's Long-Distance Relay Race (Ekiden) Club actively participates not only in long-distance relay races (known as "ekiden"), or track events, but also in the Kobe Marathon, Osaka International Women's Marathon and more. The club is at the national level, and participates in the National University Women's Long-Distance Relay Race Championships and the National University Women's Selection Long-Distance Relay Race. The club is also active is volunteering and giving back to the community via participation in posture and balance classes in Kobe City and Hyogo Prefecture, and in instructing middle and high school students in running practice sessions, and more.
A photo of the long-distance relay race club practicing.
A photo of the long-distance relay race club practicing.
A photo of university students eating around a dining table.

Featured Circles


Our table tennis club meets once a week, for both basic and applied practice, which we also combine with practice using machines and large balls. We also participate in championships like the Kobe City League. Our members are close-knit, regardless of grade level, and we try to make practice fun. We also do our best to have practice on days when it's easiest for all of us to get together, according to everyone's schedules, so it's easy to participate in the club while studying or having a part-time job. We welcome not only experienced table tennis players, but first-timers, too!
A photo of a ping pong ball and paddles atop a ping pong (table tennis) table.
A photo of smiling university students holding ping pong (table tennis) paddles.
A ping pong (table tennis) table.

Cultural Circles

Compared to athletic circles, cultural circles are generally much easier to participate in casually. Cultural circles are attractive for those looking to make friends in a less intense club activity environment.

Choir Club

Theater Club

Tea Ceremony Club

Calligraphy Club

Student Radio Club

Movie Research Group

Concert Band Club

Go Research Group

Cooking Research Group

Shogi Research Group

Manga Research Group

Literature Research Group

etc. ...

Featured Circles

Kobe International University Japanese Culture Circle

The Japanese Culture Circle currently has a membership of 50 people, and about half of those members are international students. Our main activities are calligraphy, tea ceremony, ikebana (flower arrangement) and the study of other traditional Japanese culture, all while actively interacting with the international student body. Our on-school activities include calligraphy performances on stage during the Tanabata Festival or the school's Shinkoku Festival, food stalls at Christmas services, and appearances at local events like the Kobe Minato Festival or HAPPINESS Concert.
A photo of a calligraphy performance during the Tanabata Festival, as seen from the audience.
A photo of university students putting on a performance on stage, holding fans and wearing traditional ethnic clothing.
A photo of students from many different countries gathered arond a painting laid on the floor.

Featured Circles

University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences RYUKA International Student Club

The RYUKA International Student Club has a membership of about 200 Japanese and international students, and puts on a large number of international exchange events throughout the year. In previous years, in June, the international students put on a "World Festival," our October Halloween event brought participants from the community around the university. We participated in the school festival in November, and twice a year we organize an international exchange bus tour to study Japanese culture, interact with local high school students, and strive to improve our communication skills through other events.
A group photo of several dozen university students gathered in front of the entrance to Yodel Forest.
A photo of university students dressed in traditional ethnic clothing dancing on stage.
A photo of a non-Japanese person selling food at a food stand, as seen from the line of people waiting to be served.