Photo By: Bu2ngpac1
Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Chiba
Population
5,926,349

Outdoor Survival Games

Cosplay for you sporty chaps.

On a sunny day, you creep through the bamboo stalks, as insects’ buzz pierces the silence. Suddenly, a figure covered in leaves pops out of a bush and fires in your direction. Welcome to outdoor “survival games,” yet another one of Japan’s strange subcultures that’s totally worth exploring.

Survival, what?

Survival games (called air-soft in other countries) is a sport where two teams of players fight with toy guns that shoot plastic BBs.

Photo by: SEALs Gallery Outdoor survival games allow for plenty of groundwork.

The game can be best explained as an elaborate version of “capture the flag,” but players in Japan seem to take it pretty seriously. Especially in an outdoor field, the games can feel more authentic. And the cosplay can get quite real with SWAT officer gear, bulletproof vests and even guns resembling M4 assault rifles and Tommy guns.

Japan has a lot of survival game venues, including indoor and outdoor fields all over the country. Yet not many travelers know about the ones outside Tokyo, as many of the outdoor fields can be difficult to get to. Still, if you have some Japanese skill or have done air-soft before and are looking for a more intense survival game experience, outdoor fields are the way to go.

For those looking for a more beginner-friendly experience check out some indoor venues.

How To Play

You can either rent the field (called kashikiri in Japanese) or participate in the “free” games (called teireikai in Japanese).

The cost of renting a field depends on the number of players, and how much of the field you want to rent. If you rent the field, only your group will play. The easy option, and the best for small groups, is to join the free games, which allow you to be put on a team with other people.

Photo by: Victoria Vlisides SEALs in Chiba City.

Outdoor fields are much larger (you could easily fit a soccer field inside) and there is a greater variety of obstacles and scenery. One easily accessible spot is SEALs in Chiba City, which can be accessed from Tokyo by train. The SEALs venue is separated into distinct parts with heavy jungle, light jungle and light urban areas that lead you from crawling through bushes to hiding behind bamboo thickets.

Whatever venue you choose, survival games can make for a great change of pace from the standard temple sightseeing tour.

Check out more sports tourism in Japan.

Topics: , ,

Things To Know

Fees

Base cost is ¥3,500 at SEALs, and depending on the venue, this is pretty typical. Rentals are ¥3,000 for a full set which is a gun, clothes, and mask (BBs are extra).

Before you go

Most days entrance is restricted to those 18 years and older. SEALs requires a reservation. The venue also offers free Wi-Fi. English support: SEALs Staff is open to foreign visitors, even those who are first-timers. However, they have very limited English so having at least one person with Japanese ability in your group is highly recommended.

How To Get There

Address

264-0007, Japan

By train

From the JR Chiba station simply ride the Chiba monorail towards Chishirodai for 22 minutes and get off at the Chishirodaikita station. Walk 10 minutes north east, and you’ll arrive.

Address: 264-0007 Chiba Prefecture, Chiba, 若葉区小倉町1336

Where To Stay

Hotel Aria(Adult Only)
  • Chuo-ku, Yukou 3-8 Chiba-Shi, Chiba 260-0007
  • 8.8/10
  • 4.1 km
Powered by Booking.com
Hotel Toiro
  • Chuo-ku Yuko 3-5-10 Chiba-Shi, Chiba 260-0007
  • 7/10
  • 4.1 km
Powered by Booking.com
Hotel MYTH (Adult Only)
  • Chuo-ku Yuko 3-1-5 Chiba-Shi, Chiba 260-0007
  • 8.1/10
  • 4.4 km
Powered by Booking.com
Grand Park Hotel Panex Chiba
  • Wakaba-ku Tonodai-cho 123-4 Chiba-Shi, Chiba 264-0036
  • 7.4/10
  • 4.6 km
Powered by Booking.com