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How to start playing airsoft

One question that comes up a lot is, "How do I start playing airsoft?" This is where we do our best to give you all the information you need. If you have any specific questions about airsoft, you are welcome to join our group and the community, or just send us a message.


  1. Airsoft in Japan

  2. English Support

  3. Common Rules

    • Manners & Etiquette

    • Airsoft Safety

  4. Find a field to play airsoft

  5. What to Bring to First Airsoft Game

    • What to Rent to Play Airsoft

  6. Necessities to play airsoft

    • Goggles & Face Protection

    • Airsoft gun

    • Other safety gear

  7. Gameplay

  8. Airsoft Communities

AOJ Team members at SGF BATTLE

Airsoft in Japan

Airsoft guns are typically called ‘airgun’ (エアガン) in Japan, and airsoft games are called ‘survival game’ (サバイバルゲーム) or ‘sabage’ (サバゲー). Since airsoft is becoming more popular, there are many TV personalities and influencers playing the sport on their show or social media. This naturally piques the interest of aspiring players who want to get started in airsoft but may not know how to go about it. This is where we want to guide you in the right direction from our experience.

Airsoft in Japan

English Support

Sadly, very few airsoft fields offer English support. Some places may not even let you play if you do not speak Japanese adequately enough to understand the rules, safety guidelines or other important information. Thus, it is best if you speak basic Japanese or go with a Japanese speaker who can help you.

​However, if you join one of our games, there will be bilingual support and our leaders will translate anything you do not understand.

English Support

Common Rules of Airsoft

All airsoft fields will have a set of rules to ensure smooth gameplay, safety and security. Every player is expected to obey these rules. Failure to do so repeatedly will end with you being removed and banned from the field.


Manners & Etiquette

Although there may be minor differences in rules from field to field, these are the most common:​

  • Minimum age limit is 18 years old (some fields may accept those under 18 if a guardian signs a waiver. Check with the field).

  • All weapons must comply with Japanese firearm laws.

  • Outdoor fields only allow 0.20g-0.28g biodegradable BBs.

  • Indoor fields only allow 0.20g BBs and semi-auto fire only.

  • No freeze calls.

  • Do not swear or verbally abuse other players.

  • Call your hits and do not cheat.

  • Do not shoot through small gaps in cover (typically smaller than your fist).

  • Do not ‘blind fire’ (shooting without aiming down the weapon sights).

Airsoft Safety

  • Always wear eye protection at the shooting range or in the field.

  • Before leaving the shooting range or field, remove the gun magazine and fire into the bucket or bin by the entrance to ensure there are no BBs in the chamber. Then set the weapon’s fire selector to ‘safe’.

  • Do not aim any airsoft weapon at any player in the safety area.

  • Do not put any magazines or BBs in the weapon in the safety area.

Find a Field to Play Airsoft

There are many field options in Japan to play airsoft, primarily around the Tokyo area, with most airsoft fields being in Chiba.

We have compiled a list of popular airsoft fields from our collective experience. There are more fields out there so it is worth noting that if you search online for ‘survival game field’ in Japanese (サバイバルゲームフィールド) you will be able to find them on Google and Google Maps.

Our list of fields can be found here.


What to bring to your first airsoft game

For your first game it is better to rent equipment, but there are also some things you can bring from home to cut some of the costs.

If you have them at home, try to bring with you

  • Gloves: something thin enough to be able to hold a gun and pull a trigger. Thick winter gloves won't be any good.

  • Hat or cap: to protect forehead from being hit.

  • Thin scarf or similar: to protect your neck.

  • Suitable clothing for the field: if you want to blend in, greens that match the foliage are ideal.

  • Hiking/Trekking shoes/boots: outdoor fields usually have rough terrain, so sturdy supportive footwear is best.

  • Drinks: you will be running around a lot, so staying hydrated is important and will be cheaper to bring it than buy at the field.

  • Snacks: fields often have snacks, but they tend to cost more than at a convenience store.

  • Spare clothes: if you do not rent clothing, bringing spares is a good idea as you will get dirty and sweaty.

  • Body wipes: if you get sweaty, they will refresh you.


What to rent to play airsoft

To play airsoft you will need an AEG (automatic electric gun) and a pair of goggles. These can be rented at fields for ¥1,500-¥3,000 for the day. Fields do have other rental options too, such as BDU (battle dress uniform), batteries, extra magazines, etc. These items are typically listed in the fees section of most fields’ websites and are usually always readily available. Some fields will even have multiple options for each rental item.


Necessities to Play Airsoft in Japan

While renting equipment such as goggles, a mask, or BDU and an airsoft rifle is good for your first game, it works out more cost-effective to buy them if you play multiple times. ​For example, if you play airsoft more than three times, it would be cheaper to buy a set of goggles (and a mask). If you play more than ten times, it would be cheaper to buy your own AEG rifle. Buying your own will mean you can choose exactly what type of safety gear and airsoft gun you want.

Airsoft Goggles

You MUST wear suitable eye protection (airsoft-orientated goggles) to play airsoft in Japan.

There are many types of goggles and face protection available and the best place to get them would be at an airsoft supply store. If you do buy them online, we strongly recommend checking reviews to ensure they are suitable or buy a brand that is known to airsofters.

Some goggles will be more like shooting glasses, while others will be a full-seal type. It is worth noting that if you wear glasses, there are still plenty of goggles that are suitable to wear over them. You can even get goggles with prescription inserts.

Airsoft Goggles

Airsoft gun

When it comes to buying and airsoft gun, there are several types to choose from:

  • Handgun / Pistol

  • SMG (Submachine Gun)

  • Assault Rifle

  • LMG (Light Machine Gun)

  • Shotgun

  • Sniper Rifle / DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle)

As well as different energy sources:

  • Battery: primarily for rifles, but there is also a range of electric handguns.

  • Gas: mainly for handguns, but there’s a growing selection of gas rifles and shotguns.

  • Spring (known as ‘air-cocking’): typically for shotguns, sniper rifles and budget handguns.

Tokyo Marui M4 Rifle
Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa Gold Match

Whichever type you choose, we strongly recommend a Tokyo Marui brand, as they are proven to be very reliable, resilient and well-made airsoft guns. ​Just take into consideration that some fields may limit weapon types and firing modes. Indoor fields do not allow fully automatic fire, so if the airsoft gun does not have a semi-auto firing mode, they will not let you use it. Handguns are not really suitable for large fields due to their limited range and accuracy, etc.

Other Safety Gear

A 6mm BB may not seem like much, but it is enough to break a tooth if you get unlucky. This is why we also recommend a mesh face guard for airsoft players. ​Getting shot with a BB does sting and in the right place, can cause pain and bruising. Other safety gear may include a scarf or neck gaiter, elbow and knee pads, gloves or even headwear.  When you visit fields, you will notice that many players wear full safety gear, not only because it fits a theme, but because it offers protection.

Airsoft Mesh Mask


CALL YOUR HITS! This is the most important advice for any airsofter. Being called a zombie in a game when you do not call your hits can lead to being told to leave. About 95% of airsofters will honestly call their hits, with the remaining 5% being considered cheaters and made to feel unwelcome.

​Airsoft is considered a sport due to the fast-paced gameplay. Outdoor fields will usually have rough terrain, large open spaces and players will run through the field. At indoor fields, usually running is not permitted and gameplay is more focused on CQB (close-quarter battle).

​Usually when you are hit in airsoft you shout "HIT!" and either return to the spawn point or safety area, depending on the game mode.

​Airsoft can be a good exercise, but also an expensive hobby to get started. If you are new to airsoft or even an experienced player and are in the Tokyo area, feel free to register at one of our games. We are very beginner-friendly and will help all players to feel welcome.


Airsoft Communities

While there are many Japanese communities, there are few English-language or bilingual communities. Communities are designed to organise events, play together as a group or just a social network of people you can chat with. We have highlighted some websites and communities we recommend for airsoft events, meetups, places to chat as well as recommended influencers we have worked with.

Check this page for more information on communities and content creators in Japan.

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