Can you spend your free time the way you want?

If you can say yes, congratulations! In a recent R25 magazine review of 398 Japanese males in the age range of 25-35 I was happy to find that only 2.8% said they did not enjoy their free time. While this might seem not surprising, I need to point out that I face from time to time the comment that Japanese do not know what to do in their free time and are quite often bored. Consequently I was curious about the actual results. Personally I was surprised that solely 10.8% responded that they truly enjoy their free time. The biggest share of 65.1% is able to enjoy somewhat their free time. I am wondering why there is such a big gap of the response of enjoying free time very much to solely somewhat. Potentially the difference could be based on a difference of expectations or then the wording of the question.
So let’s have a look what could be missing? Looking at the top 5 wishes for those men, who seem not so happy during their free time:

1. Having time to focus on a hobby
2. Spending relaxing time
3. Time to study something new
4. Time alone
5. Having a girlfriend

Then compared with the expectations of those men who are already somewhat happy in their free time, shows that there is not much of a difference:

1. Spending relaxing time
2. Having time to focus on a hobby
3. Time alone
4. Having a girlfriend
5. Eating something delicious

So what is my point you might ponder: Even though the image of Japanese salarymen as being bored and having a joyless life exist, actually the reality is different. So next time when you encounter a Japanese man looking bored, in reality he is enjoying time alone.

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)

One thought on “Can you spend your free time the way you want?

  1. Hi Sibylle,

    I’m Andrew Dunkle and I currently serve as the senior editor of We are contacting you with regard to your blog, which the editorial staff at GO! Overseas has selected as one of the top travel related blogs in Japan. As recognition of your outstanding writing skills we are delighted to include your blog in a select list of websites representing . We select only the most exceptional blogs that meet our exacting standards and we hope you feel a sense of pride that you have been recognized for your efforts. You may view this list on our website here:

    You are welcome to display one of the image badges we have created specifically for blogs we feature in Japan. This is an easy way to let your readers know that you have been recognized as an outstanding blogger. You may contact us to receive a badge via email.

    Thank you for all the high quality content you have contributed to the global online community. We look forward to continuing to follow your experiences abroad in Japan. If you have questions about GO! Overseas please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Warm regards,
    Andrew Dunkle

    Andrew Dunkle
    Senior Editor

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