These club members work hard on their musical skills. (Tokyo Metropolitan Government)
One of the fun things about going to middle school is joining and participating in a club. Clubs generally revolve around a sport or cultural activity; their activities are largely organized by the students themselves.
There are clubs for such sports as baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, tennis, table tennis, badminton, and volleyball. Clubs for cultural activities include those for the visual arts, flower arrangement, tea ceremony, brass band, and drama.
Almost all students join one club or another; clubs usually meet after school, though some sports clubs require students to gather on weekends to participate in tournaments or have games with teams from neighboring schools.
Cultural clubs hold exhibitions, performances, and concerts during the school's cultural festival, usually held in the fall.
As soon as a new school year starts, clubs begin advertising for new members. They put up posters around the school and try to persuade nonmembers to join. For students who have just entered the school, the wide range of choices can be bewildering. So a few days after the entrance ceremony, a gathering is held where the activities and aims of the various clubs are explained.
In middle school, seventh graders gather in the school gym and listen to eighth and ninth graders explain what the club does. Those in sports clubs may talk about a recent game or describe what practices are like.