Games Featuring Japan

Japan has fascinated the West since it first opened its borders. The traditions, the history, the natural beauty all make for memorable games.

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:



Build the best railway across Japan using deck-building, making sure to watch out for pollution.



Reiner Knizia’s game of currying favor of samurai, peasants, and priests.



Play as a merchant working to create the best business in the harbor of Yokohama as it opens for export to other countries.



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

About the author

Tom Franklin

By day, I'm a mild-mannered IT Manager with a slight attitude. By night I play guitar & celtic bouzouki, board games, and watch British TV. I love abstracts, co-ops, worker placement and tile-laying games. Basically, any deep game with lots of interesting choices. 

You can find my middle grade book, The Pterrible Pteranodon, at your favorite online bookstore.

And despite being a DM, I have an inherent dislike of six-sided dice.

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