Japan

Japan is a country of surprises, formality, exemplary manners, reliable cars, sumo wrestling and sushi. The Japanese people are also proud of their four seasons, which can be quite extreme in terms of weather conditions. This is why many Japanese courses have dual greens, one for summer and one for winter.

Japan consists of four main islands, Hokkaido in the north, Honshu, the main island, Shikoku and southernmost Kyushu. Additionally, there are many smaller islands, notably Okinawa.

There are more golf courses in Japan than the rest of Asia put together. With nearly 2,500 courses (and many more driving ranges), the Japanese are serious golf lovers and they have built some of the world’s finest courses. The entire tapestry and the full legacy of Japanese golf courses is hard to unravel, but thanks to our contributors from the Land of the Rising Sun, we are able to showcase a selection of the finest courses in the country.

We updated Japan's rankings in September 2016. Full details are here: Top 30 Golf Courses of Japan 2017

Top 100 Golf Courses - Japan

Hirono

1st Japan Ranking

Hirono Golf Club has played host to all the major Japanese championships and, although it measures a mere 6,925 yards from the back tees, it’s a supreme test of golf.

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Description: Hirono Golf Club has played host to all the major Japanese championships and, although it measures a mere 6,925 yards from the back tees, it’s a supreme test of golf. Rating: 5.6666666666667 out of 6

Kawana (Fuji)

2nd Japan Ranking

There are two courses on the Izu Peninsula at the Kawana Resort and the Fuji course is universally considered to be the best.

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Description: There are two courses on the Izu Peninsula at the Kawana Resort and the Fuji course is universally considered to be the best. Rating: 5.4 out of 6

Tokyo

3rd Japan Ranking

You’ll need an invite to play here at Tokyo Golf Club but if you are lucky enough to receive one, take it immediately. This is a world-class golf course that is mature way beyond its years.

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Description: You’ll need an invite to play here at Tokyo Golf Club but if you are lucky enough to receive one, take it immediately. This is a world-class golf course that is mature way beyond its years. Rating: 4.5 out of 6

Naruo

4th Japan Ranking

Naruo shares all the traditional aspects of Japan’s older golf clubs. The continuity in tradition here is maintained by the 700 members whose average age is 71.

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Description: Naruo shares all the traditional aspects of Japan’s older golf clubs. The continuity in tradition here is maintained by the 700 members whose average age is 71. Rating: 5.3333333333333 out of 6

Ono

5th Japan Ranking

Influenced by Charles Alison, Osamu Ueda designed the course at Ono Golf Club in 1961 and it’s often regarded as the sister course to the fabled Hirono Golf Club. Host to the Japan Open in 1969, Ono is a testy track.

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Yokohama (West)

6th Japan Ranking

Yokohama Country Club was founded in 1960 and over the following six years architect Takeo Aiyama designed and built both the East and West 18-hole layouts.

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Description: Yokohama Country Club was founded in 1960 and over the following six years architect Takeo Aiyama designed and built both the East and West 18-hole layouts. Rating: 6 out of 6

Kasumigaseki (East)

7th Japan Ranking

The East course at Kasumigaseki Country Club employs the traditional Japanese dual green system, one for the winter and one for the summer, which takes a bit of getting used if you’re not familiar with this feature.

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Description: The East course at Kasumigaseki Country Club employs the traditional Japanese dual green system, one for the winter and one for the summer, which takes a bit of getting used if you’re not familiar with this feature. Rating: 5 out of 6

Osaka

8th Japan Ranking

Osamu Ueda originally designed the course at Osaka Golf Club back in 1937 and it’s routed across high ground where panoramic views of Osaka Bay will be enjoyed from the rolling fairways.

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Abiko

9th Japan Ranking

Yoshiro Hayashi won the Japan Open Golf Championship here at Abiko Golf club way back in 1950, but the club hosted the Japan Women's Open Golf Championship as recently as 2009.

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Koga

10th Japan Ranking

Koga Golf Club hosted the 62nd Japan Open, won by Australian Craig Parry with a score of two over par for the competition.

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