Common / useful expressionsGrammarVlog in JapaneseVocab

Talking about hobbies *Fully in Japanese with English subs*

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Talking about hobbies in Japanese + こと and の explained!
Today let’s learn how to talk about hobbies in Japanese!

★ Vocab 語彙 ごい goi  ★

趣味 しゅみ shumi = hobby

My hobby is <noun>.
= しゅみは <noun> です。

shumi wa <noun> desu.

Tips that textbooks don’t tell  ✔ :
*You wouldn’t put わたしの (watashi no =my) in front of しゅみ (shumi =hobby)
unless you really need to specify that you are talking about YOUR hobby.*

*You can omit です if you are being casual.*

趣味は何? (inf.)
shumi wa nani

趣味は何ですか? (form.)
shumi wa nan desu ka
= What is your hobby?


shumi wa suiei desu
= My hobby is swimming.

shumi wa karate desu
= My hobby is karate.

shumi wa gorufu desu
= My hobby is golf.

shumi wa tsuri desu
= My hobby is fishing.

Other common ones are :
ダンス = dance
ヨガ = yoga
テニス = tennis
ハイキング = hiking
山登り (yama nobori) = mountain climbing
コスプレ = cosplay

But the nouns that you can put there are limited and
usually end up sounding too formal, so we usually put a verb.

When putting a verb (only in plain form, never masu form),
don’t forget to put こと (koto)  after the verb.


shumi wa oyogu koto desu
= My hobby is swimming.

* 水泳 (suiei) is a noun for “swimming”, but it can sound formal
so using a verb – およぐこと can sound better if you don’t want to sound too formal.*


shumi wa nihon-go wo benkyou-suru koto desu
= My hobby is learning Japanese.


shumi wa eiga wo miru koto desu
= My hobby is watching movies.

*Some people say ” 映画鑑賞 (eiga-kanshou)” instead.
鑑賞 (kanshou) means appreciation of arts.
shumi wa eiga-kanshou desu
*But again it can sound too formal.*


shumi wa ryouri wo suru koto desu
= My hobby is cooking.

*You could say
shumi wa ryouri desu  *


shumi wa okashi wo tsukuru koto desu
= My hobby is making sweets.

*Some people say
お菓子作り (okashi-dzukuri) = making sweets (as a noun)
shumi wa okashi dzukuri desu *


shumi wa hon wo yomu koto desu
= My hobby is reading books.

*You could say
shumi wa dokusho (=reading books as a noun) desu
But again it sounds more formal than ほんをよむこと. *


shumi wa e wo kaku koto desu
= My hobby is drawing pictures.

shumi wa karaoke de utau koto desu
= My hobby is singing in Karaoke.

shumi wa ongaku wo kiku koto desu
= My hobby is listening to music.

shumi wa gitaa wo hiku koto
= My hobby is playing guitar.


So what does this こと mean?
This こと (koto) is hard to translate, but it means “event” or “matter“.
But you can simply remember that
a plain form verb + こと is basically  <verb>ing in English.

There is a particle ” の (no) ” that does a similar job.
You might know this の as a possesive particle.
For example, わたし (= I) + の is : my / mine.

But if you put this の after an adjective :
しろい  = white one 
かわいい = cute one
A: どれが好き? (dore ga suki) = Which one do you like?
B: ちいさい!(chiisai no) = The small one!

And if you put this の after a verb, の is helping a verb turn into a NOUN.
ねる  = sleeping
neru no ga suki
= I like sleeping.

You cannot put a verb without の in front of  particles が , は and  を.
shukudai wo suru NO wo wasureta
= I forgot to do my homework.

nihon-go wo benkyou suru NO wa tanoshii desu
= Learning Japanese is fun.
The differences between こと VS :

So こと can be translated like <verb>ING like の,
but の cannot be with です.
shumi wa sakkaa wo suru koto desu
= My hobby is playing football.

BUT not するです。 – this is WRONG.

However, if you want to put a verb in front of a particle,
using こと can make it too formal and unnatural.
gaishoku wo suru NO ga suki desu
= I like eating out.

You could say :
gaishoku wo suru koto ga suki desu
– But it’s a bit unnatural. Like a textbook speech.


Be careful, の at the end of a sentence is just adding a nuance of
giving an explaination, seeking for an explaintion or inviting to a conversation.
nande waratte(i)ru NO?
= Why are you laughing?

ashita wa doko ni iku NO?
= Where are you going tomorrow? ( I want your explaination.)

ねえ、聞いて!彼氏ができた! (Girls’ speech)
nee, kiite! kareshi ga dekita NO!
= Hey, listen! I got a boyfriend! (inviting to a conversation. I want you to ask me questions.)
* In affirmative sentences (not questions), guys use んだ instead of の. *
彼女ができたんだ! (both girls’ and guys’ speech)
kanojo ga dekita N DA!
= I got a girlfriend!
* Put んです instead of の or んだ for formal speech.*



By the way
to find a hobby” in Japanese is
shumi wo mitsukeru

shumi wo mitsuketa hou ga ii desu yo
= You should find a hobby.

You can also say
shumi wo tsukuru
= lit. to make a hobby


趣味がある? (inf.)
shumi ga aru
趣味がありますか? (form.)
shumi ga arimasu ka?
= Do you have a hobby?


minna wa shumi ga aru? kikasete ne
= Do you guys have hobbies? Let me hear!

Translator / Linguist / Japanese Teacher / Happy World Traveler/ manga, anime, comedy lover. Speaks Japanese, English, Russian and German.


  1. 素晴らしいレッスンですね!趣味について教えてくれてありがとう、みさ先生!


  2. おお、すみません!


    1. コメントありがとうございます^_^ 「趣味は筋トレです。」だけでも大丈夫ですよ! 筋トレは名詞 (noun) ですから^^

  3. How do you list multiple hobbies? Would it just be:
    Or would I need to connect it with と or something else?

    1. いい質問ですね!Good question!
      Your sentence is fine, but yes, you can connect こと with と because こと is a noun.
      So you get: 趣味は読むこと、はしること、音楽を聞くことです。
      However more native way to connect these are :
      We’re using たり form (you can make this form from TE form.
      We use this TARI form to list several actions / verbs like TE-form but the action doesn’t have to occur in a row.
      Today I’ll hang out with my friends and learn Japanese (and so on).

  4. 私の趣味は日本語を勉強したり、読んだり、ビデオゲムしたりことです。

    1. Great!! Just one tiny mistake – put する between the last したり and こと :)
      So ….ゲームしたりすることです。

  5. 私の趣味は泳ぐことと書道おすることです。
    My hobbies are swimming and writing calligraphy.
    I‘d like to use this sentence to introduce my self, but not sure what I wrote.
    Is that right? Thank you so much.

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