For many gamers, Japan is more than just The Land of the Rising Sun. It’s both a land and a culture that has been explored in some memorable games. From Samurai and Shogun to gardens and traveling, Japan is a game designer’s (and illustrator’s) paradise.
Here is a sampling of games that set in Japan:
Balance growing a bamboo garden with feeding a very hungry panda.
Superheroes and their sidekicks battle villains in this cooperative game.
Compete to become the next Great Spirit of the forest.
Compete to build the largest city in the region by collecting income and building landmarks.
Collect leaves in the competitive game set in an otherwise tranquil Japanese garden.
Build colorful pagodas, floor by floor, while gaining the spirituality necessary to win the Prince’s favor.
Take a relaxing walk to Kyoto, stopping along the way to enjoy food, souvenirs, and friends.
Build the best railway across Japan using deck-building, making sure to watch out for pollution.
A tile-laying game where players compete to create the best version of Mount Fuji.
Draft cards to create the most beautiful Japanese garden.
Play as Shogun, sending troops out to oppose the enemy forces.
A dice-free, fantasy war game set in Feudal Japan by designer Eric Lang.
Reiner Knizia’s game of currying favor of samurai, peasants, and priests.
Conquer Japan’s island provinces by using ten possible actions better than your opponents.
Play as a merchant working to create the best business in the harbor of Yokohama as it opens for export to other countries.
Win the favor of geishas in this two-player card game.
Reenact a series of clan clashes from Japan’s Sengoku era.
While three clans vie for dominance in 12th century Japan, players train, raid houses, and exert influence as one of the ninja seeking to become the invisible sword of the ruling family