Playing computer games and listening to music are among the most popular pastimes for teenagers (see High School Students' Leisure and Hobbies). In contrast, the most popular pastimes for older people are gardening, home woodworking carpentry.* A Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications survey** found that the average annual amount of money spent on gardening was 10,790 yen, and those in their 60s spent the most on gardening at around 13,000 yen. Gardening-related spending was lowest in major urban centers as Tokyo and Osaka.
Use of the English term "gardening" has helped to popularize this activity among a wider range of age groups. The same survey by the Statistics Bureau found that in 1996, gardening-related expenditures accounted for 11.1% of all recreational spending, an increase of 2.6% over the past six years.
*Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, "1996 Basic Survey of Community Lifetyles" 社会生活基本調査
** Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, "Family Income and Expenditures," 1996