Top Countries Where Archery is the Most Popular

Have you ever wondered why archery is more popular in some countries than others?

Archery has been an essential part of our evolution in every corner of the globe. We can safely say there are some countries in the world that have a long historical attachment to archery. Most of the best modern archers come from countries that used to utilize the bow and arrow for their survival. This means that it makes perfect sense that the cultural value of the bow and arrow carried over to allow the transition from warfare to competition.

I think that the best way to approach this article is to take all of those factors into account, but we are also going to consider which countries have the largest number of archery events per year. This is not to say that other countries are not worth considering, but I am only going to be mentioning the top options.

The top countries for archery

a teenage archer shooting a bow and arrow in a side view
Along list of countries comes to mind in the modern world of archery, It’s safe to say that their history with this particular weapon isn’t always a factor to consider. Egypt gets all the credited for the first implementation of the bow and arrow as a tool for hunting and for protection, but Egypt is no longer considered a dominant force in modern archery. I am only including countries that have a relevant archery scene in modern times.  

South Korea

a Korean archer aiming a yellow-black bow and arrow to the camera

The history of archery shows us the most notorious countries in regards to historical events. Korea is one of the first countries in history to start using archery. More about the history of archery and what part Korea took you can read in my article The History of Archery. In addition to history, we have to include South Korea as the leading country in terms of modern archery. Some of the top archers in the entire world are from Korea. They seem to have a very strong attachment to competitive archery. You are probably never going to find a better place to learn to use the bow and arrow.

Kids learn how to shoot from a very young age and schools include a minimum of two hours of archery training per day. That explains why so many Koreans go on to become Olympic archers. Their practice habits are borderline obsessive and this is the best way to excel in anything in life. This kind of discipline is very important for success and I really like that about Korean culture.

Korea holds some of the best tournaments in the world and even celebrities are involved with a star-packed tournament that Koreans hold twice a year. This country is ideal for archery all-year round. I can’t think of any other country that tops Korea for the ultimate archery experience, I would say that this is definitely the ultimate destination to choose.

Here you can find two parts of a great ‘Korean traditional archery’ book that can give you all the information you need:

United States

a professional archer women with sunglasses is shooting a bow and arrow

We know that the US has no ancient archery history to talk about, but archery is very popular for both sport and hunting purposes. They also have one of the largest lists of yearly events for archery. They have regional events, national tournaments and they have state tournaments. Given that it has so many states, this is another location that is perfect for archery regardless of the season.    

The US has been able to win gold medals for archery in the Olympics and they have placed quite high in the worldwide ranks. They are not on the top ten ranked countries for archery, but they are in the top 20. The reason why the US is such a great country for archery is the many events held yearly. You are more likely to see top-level events during the summer, but there are small events in every city that you can find every month of the year.

Check out a cool USA archery sticker I recently bought on Amazon.


Japanese archers are standing in a line and shooting a bow and arrow

It’s safe to say that Japan has some of the most historically rich backgrounds when it comes to archery. They even created a martial art based entirely on archery. They called it Kyudo and it continues to be a very popular martial art. More about Kyudo and where you can learn it, you can find in my article about Best Academies for Archery. There is no question that these are very good reasons to consider Japan for archery. There is always a reason that eclipses the rest. The 400-year-old competition held at the Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto is the cherry on top.

Back in the early days of the vent, they had some amazing events that turned this competition into something that resembles a marathon for archers. For example, they had this event called The Kyakui, and you had to hit the most targets with 100 arrows, but they had one called the Seni, and you had to shoot 100 arrows and hit one target as many times as possible.   

The greatest test of endurance comes for their 12-hour event. Some people managed to shoot over 10 thousand arrows during those 12 hours. You need to shot at least 15 to 16 arrows per minute to reach those numbers. I can’t even think of any other event that was as extreme as this one. Only the greatest archers would complete the arduous challenges with a high level of accuracy. It must have been quite a sight.  

The modern version of the tournament does not focus on that endurance level, but it’s still an amazing event that any archer should experience at least once. Plenty of great events and amazing demonstrations are always a treat. This tournament takes place every January in Kyoto. You will get to see some of Japans best archers. There are also archers from every corner of the globe that visit Kyoto for the tournament.     


an archer aiming a bow and arrow from a side view

This is another country strongly rooted in archery and worth learning about. France has taken home an amazing number of gold, silver and bronze medals over the years. Their strong cultural bond with archery is the reason why they hold so many local tournaments. I would definitely consider this one of the best destinations for any archer. A country that values its history is always worth visiting.

There is one particular tournament that is extremely important in France. It’s held in Nimes in January every year and the very best archers from around the globe travel to France for this one. Many claims that this is the best indoor archery competition in the world. Regardless of it being the best or not, it’s definitely an amazing event for any archery competitor or enthusiast to attend.   

Any archer that manages to place high at Nimes can consider themselves a truly skilled archer at top levels.

I found an aowsome T-shirt with the traditional france archery logo. check it out on Amazon


an archer is ready to aim his bow and behind him there is a camera man and another teammate archer

I would say that the history that merges archery with this country is more than enough to pay a visit. There is so much history with Roman archery, that a traveler could spend weeks just visiting locations and learning about the many archery-related accomplishments of the Roman army. It’s important to consider that this level of history has always been a powerful fuel for archery in Italy.

There is a great event held in Rimini Italy. The fourth and fifth weekends of February are usually going to be the dates for this Indoor tournament. This one is very important because a large number of skilled archers and Olympic archers attend this tournament. This means you get to share an amazing experience with the best of the best.

The best archery events

When it comes to events, it’s not possible to say which country is ideal. The reason for this is that both the Olympics and the World Archery championships always take place in different countries. This is the reason why the focus was on the popularity of archery in the countries mentioned. If you want to participate in the best events, either you have to become an Olympic archer, or you can sign up for the Word Championship archery events.

There are other events in every country mentioned here. This makes it important to consider the location of the tournaments near your area. The events I mentioned for each country are only a few of the many that are available. It would take a whole book to give you a description of every local tournament held in those countries, but I mentioned the ones that the world knows for their epic attendance levels. Those that truly bring the best of the best archers.  

With that said, it seems like January and February are the best months for archery events worldwide. If you are looking to travel for archery, you should consider January to be an ideal month for this purpose. You can check full travel packages that are usually going to be available for these events.

Final Thoughts

The world of archery is fascinating without a doubt. This is one of the reasons why many countries keep their archery tradition alive. I believe that the countries I mentioned in this article are definitely the most active locations for archers to visit. I have personally been to some of the areas I mentioned, but some are still in my bucket list. Going to Kyoto is definitely the one that I am looking forward to making happen. I would love shooting those 1000 arrows!

I hope that this list is useful for those looking to travel and experience archery from different perspectives.