11 Indoor Japanese Games to Try Out During Coronavirus 2021

by Erika Shinomoto
Top Indoor Games From Japan (1)

Looking for indoor Japanese games to try out during coronavirus? Well, check out some fun and easy indoor games from Japan with children that are fun to play and a great way of passing time.

Kids have been home for months, all because of Corona Virus – a global epidemic that has brought a stop to the world and all its activities. With isolation being the new norm, the routine of children has been disrupted. 

Which are the best indoor Japanese games?

  • Kalurenbo (hide and seek)
  • Darumasa Ga Koronda (Red light, Green light)
  • Origami
  • Shiritori (vocabulary game)
  • Janken (Rock, paper, scissors)
  • Ayatori (Cat’s Cradle)
  • Origami fortune teller
  • Cards
  • Mahjong
  • Monopoly
  • Puzzle Game

There are no extracurricular activities, no visits to the malls or game centers, and no playdates with friends. Lack of all these activities can mean boredom and frustration for kids. This can also cause restlessness. 

So, before the worst happens, I have brought to you the perfect solution. I have brought to you the best indoor Japanese games to try out during the coronavirus. 

You can also play these Japanese games to learn Japanese and have fun alongside.

These indoor games are perfect not just during the pandemic, but for when you are feeling bored and lazy. 

So, are you ready to get your hands on the best indoor Japanese games?

Indoor Japanese Games to Try Out During Coronavirus

Kakurenbo (Hide and Seek)

Japanese games to learn Japanese,
Source: Shutterstock

This is one of the most popular games that we are all well aware of. This is probably one of the most played indoor Japanese games that is famous  across the globe. 

Hide and seek used to be my favorite game as a child, and I still enjoy it immensely so leave your Japanese mobile games and come to play this.

Also, this is one of the games that do not require you to be outdoors. You can have just as much fun playing it inside your house, making it a perfect game to play with your children during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Japan has its own version of Hide and Seek, and it is known as Kakurenbo. This game requires a sing-song back and forth between the ones who are hiding and the one who is seeking the others. 

Playing Guidelines:

The seeker counts till ten with their eyes covered while all the other players hide. After the count of ten, the seeker asks, “Are you ready?”. The others can reply both in the affirmative and negative. 

So, if they are ready, they can say “I am ready” and if they are not, they can also ask for more time to hide. Once everyone is ready, the seeker starts searching for them. When the seeker finds someone, he/she has to be the next seeker.

Darumasa Ga Koronda (Red Light, Green Light)

This is a popular game in Japan that involves the daruma doll. It is a round and red figurine with the face of a bearded man painted on the front. 

This is a fun game to play with your kids inside the house. You only need a long hallway so as to have enough space to play it. Darumasan Ga is one of the popular indoor Japanese games.

Playing Guidelines:

It is quite easy to play this game. One person becomes the Daruma and stands at one end of the hallway. All the other players stand at the opposite end of the hallway. 

The person who is Daruma in the game turns around with their back to the others and says, “Darumasan Ga Koronda”. 

All the other players have to run towards the Daruma while he is speaking. 

The Daruma turns around on the last syllable to look at the others. When this happens, all other players need to freeze in place. 

If the Daruma sees someone moving, that person is sent back to the start point. The purpose of this game is to reach Daruma and tag him. 

Origami

This is a classic game that is fun and enjoyable. It also keeps you busy for hours. There are endless possibilities that you can explore with origami. It also keeps your imagination alive. 

In Japan, Origami was first brought by Buddhist monks in the 6th century. 

The paper was brought from China. Back then, origami was used for religious purposes and other ceremonies. 

However, today, origami is a hobby that is enjoyed by children and adults alike. 

Japan indoor games

Origami that you should try out:

  • Origami animals of different sizes using different colours and patterns of origami paper
  • Origami paper balls that you can inflate and play football with
  • Picture frames
  • Paper boxes to store all your little items
  • Pirate hats that you can make using old newspapers

Shiritori

japanese board games,
Source: Shutterstock

This is a vocabulary game that is very popular amongst all Japanese kids. This is a great way to sharpen your children’s brains. It is perfect for those indoor days. 

Also, it is a great game to pass the time on a long road journey. This is one of the popular Japanese games that can be played anywhere.

Playing Guidelines:

It is quite easy to play this vocabulary game. The game requires a minimum of two players. The players take turns in saying the words. 

When one player says a word, the other has to say another word that starts with the kana of the previous word. 

For instance, if the first word is ringo, the next player has to say a word that starts with ri, such as gorira. And this is how the game proceeds.

How does the game end?

In the Japanese alphabet, there are no words that start with the sound ‘n’. So, if in the game, somebody says ‘lion’, which ends with ‘n’, the game ends right there and they would lose the game.

Janken (Rock, Paper, Scissors)


popular japanese games
Source: Pexels

Rock, Paper, Scissors is a game that is played universally by both children and adults. This is a game that is used to settle down disagreements or for picking out people. 

Japan has its own version of this game that is known as Janken and is really one of the most amazing indoor japanese games . 

Unlike the English version, this Japanese version can have several parts to it. There may also be more phrases other than Rock, Paper, Scissors that you need to learn. 

The basic phrase that you need to learn for this game is “Janken Pon”.

Playing Guidelines:

The players first unanimously chant the phrase “saisho wa guu”, or “fists first”. This is said while showing their fists. 

Then, the players say “Janken Pon”, and on “Pon”, the players show either rock, or paper, or scissors. Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock. 

Ayatori (Cat’s Cradle)


popular japanese games,
Source: Shutterstock

This is yet another fun game to indulge in with your children when you are isolated in your home. This is a game that allows you to make different shapes using a circle of string. 

This is one of the oldest ways to keep yourself entertained. However, it is not as easy as you may think it is. There is definitely a lot of learning that you need to do before you become an expert in Ayatori. 

Once you have mastered all the basics, you can have endless fun with your family. This game is also great at teaching patience to your children.

 It also enhances their perception because you have to make sure that the strings do not get tangled. It is also one of the most played indoor japanese games.

To play this game, you need at least one string that is about 140 – 160 centimeters along. The ends need to be tied to form a circle. 

Playing Guidelines:

If you are playing this game alone, you can start by making basic shapes, such as witch’s broom, the Eiffel Tower, a star, and Jacob’s Ladder.  

Variation to the game:

You need to master playing Ayatori alone before you can attempt to play it with two people. For two people playing together, it becomes more of a competition. 

The first player takes the string and creates a shape out of it. Once the first player is done, the second player takes the same string and makes a new shape out of it. 

This continues until somebody makes a mistake and the string tangles. When that happens, the player who made the mistake loses.

 Origami Fortune Teller

Japanese games,
Source: Shutterstock

It is quite easy to make an Origami Fortune Teller. You only need a square piece of paper. Take a corner and fold it to the other to create a triangle.

Once you have made this crease, do the same with the other two corners. Then again fold each of the corners to make a smaller square. 

Then, flip the paper and fold each of the corners in the middle again.

 Doing this creates tiny pockets that are perfect for your index finger and thumb. 

Write a color name on each of the top flaps. The standard colors are yellow, red, blue, and green. On the eight triangles, write down numbers from 1 to 8. 

Finally, write down four or eight fortunes on the inside of the origami. This is one of the most popular indoor japanese games also known as Tip Tip Top in English.

Playing Guidelines:

The person who becomes the fortune teller keeps their index fingers and thumbs inside the flaps of the origami square. The other person has to choose a color. 

The fortune-teller then spells out the color chosen by the other person. While spelling out the name, the fortune-teller opens the origami one way and then the other way. 

Once the last letter is said, the other person has to choose one number that is inside the origami. 

Again, the fortune-teller counts the number and opens the origami alternatively. This happens twice and then the person chooses the final number. 

This final number will tell you your fortune.

Cards

Japanese games to learn Japanese

This is a beautiful deck of cards that feature beautiful designs and can be played as japanese card games. 

This deck is also known as the “flower” cards. It is quite colorful, so your kids will love it. It’s really fun to play as it’s one of the best indoor japanese games.

Mahjong


japanese card games

Mahjong is a classic game that is enjoyed by people of all age. This Mahjong set is made using scratch-resistant melamine tiles. 

Mahjong is one of the most fascinating indoor japanese games.

The tiles are marked with bright engraving to prevent rubbing off. This is quite an enjoyable indoor game that will definitely be enjoyed by your kids. It also creates a great bonding experience. 

Monopoly

indoor Japanese games

This Monopoly game can let you enjoy fun family nights. This game can help you pass your time without even realizing it. 

This is also a great way to teach your kids and is really popular as one of the best indoor Japanese games.

GIGAMIC Katamino Puzzle Game


japanese games

This is a puzzle game for one player. If you are unable to give time to your children but do not want them to get busy with their gadgets, this is a great alternative. 

This is a great puzzle game that is extremely interesting. Your little ones will definitely love this Japanese board game as it is one of the best indoor Japanese games.

Indoor Japanese Games: Summary

Indoor Japanese Games to Try Out During CoronavirusMinimum AgeNo. Players Required
Darumasan Ga Koronda3 years and upAt Least 3 players
Japanese Washi Origami Paper5 years and upAt Least 1 or more players
Japanese Flower Deck of Cards4 years and up At least 2 players
Mahjong14 years and up4 players
Monopoly8 years and up3-5 players
GIGAMIC Katamino Puzzle Game6 years and up1-4 players

Which is the best indoor Japanese game?

I’ve played many indoor Japanese games since I was a kid and I feel Darumasa Go Koronda is the best out of all for its authenticity, simple rules and fun to play.

Darumasa Go Koronda is a game in Japan that involves the daruma doll. This indoor Japanese game consists of a round and red figurine with the face of a bearded man painted on the front. Darumasa Go needs at least 3 players and is for 3 years and above. The daruma doll is available for sale on Amazon.

Games for All!

These were some of the best ways in which you can spend your time during this pandemic. 

You can try out these indoor Japanese games and activities to help pass your time while you are staying indoors during the time of coronavirus.

Hope this article helped you choose various indoor Japanese games to play when you’re at home!

Also Read: 

  1. Best Japanese books to learn Japanese
  2. Best places to buy Japanese toys online
  3. Best Japanese children’s book in English

Kotobuki Darumasa Ga Koronda

Check out the indoor Japanese games you can play while staying at home during tough times like the COVID pandemic. All these games are super fun and easy to play. Do check out the Kotobuki Darumasa Ga Koronda (Red Light, Green Light) game which is the best out of all. Read further to know more!

Product SKU: HTTH04850980

Product Brand: Kotobuki

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 18.75

Price Valid Until: 2021

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
5

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