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ScoobyDoobyBoob
April 20th, 2014, 03:27
I was just wondering what the situation is like in Japan. I know they have a bunch of Gold's over there, which is what I use now in the US, but what's the pricing like? What about more local spots? Their facilities, the equipment, etc. How is all of it? What weight do the dumbbells go up to?

I'm sure this is something that depends on the city/area, but I'd still be grateful if I could get a response from people that have a bit of knowledge on the subject. I'm also trying to figure out monthly costs that I will have while living there. Thanks :)

Page
April 20th, 2014, 08:35
Yeah, it really depends. In my city of 70k we're lucky enough to have 4 "gyms" (there are no standalone gyms where I am except for the 7000/mo one). When you sign up for a gym you have to sign up to attend an information session (at set times) where they explain the equipment. In the 3 gyms I've checked out here only 1 session was run by someone with actual athletic knowledge. Because it's Japan you'll need inside gym shoes for wherever you go.


The one I go to is 200 a visit (if you pay the 2000/mo membership fee, only payable in 3/6/12 month chunks; otherwise it's 500). It includes a pool and onsen that are included (if you get the membership). The gym itself is small: 3 treadmills that go over 8kmh, then there's 4 more that only go up to 8kmh. They have two old stationary bikes and some weight machines as well. My place doesn't have big dumbbells, just smaller free weights but I don't use them enough to know how big they are. Open 10 (11 on holiays?) until 9pm but you have to leave the gym by 8:30. They have 1 day off a month. I haven't gone in 6 months because there aren't enough machines but there's nothing better than working your ass off and then getting into an onsen.


There's another one near me that's a flat 200/visit (500 if you want to use the pool), it's attached to an athletic complex. They have 2 treadmills, four stairmasters, free weights and a lot of weight machines. This one also has small free weights and no big dumbbells. Open until 10pm and closed on Mondays.


The only one that has OK equipment is 7000 a month. They have the only ellipticals that I've seen in the city (just 2, though). Some treadmills, free weights, weight machines, and dumbbells. No idea about hours.


There's another one that's just part of an athletic complex but I've never been to it because it's too small and far. I'm not sure of their hours or fees.

Jiggit
April 20th, 2014, 09:15
4000 yen/year for me.

Lianwen
April 20th, 2014, 23:47
My situation with the gym is a lot like how Page described hers. My town is much smaller population wise, but is very spread out. The two gyms are about half hour drive from each other. There's also a time limit for machines (especially if it's busy). The one I'm most familiar with, it's 1000yen a visit (which includes onsen and pool and gym room) or you can pay 500yen if you pay the monthly 9k membership. In the gym room, there are 6 bikes and 2 treadmills and a little weight bench.

In my area, the local city ones are nicer, but more expensive to get to/use. Larger cities (Sendai, Osaka, etc) will have Gold's Gyms, too.

I've also known other JETs to just buy equipment. I can think of at least two who have treadmills, but I'm sure there are more. You can buy a folding elliptical or treadmill for about 4man. When you consider gym membership here, it might be worth it. Although, ditto Page. Onsen after working out is awesome.

itsabird
April 21st, 2014, 02:16
Seems a bit expensive to me. I go to the gym 5 days a week so that would be 500円 a visit plus the 9000円 monthly membership? 19000円 a month?? I'm currently spoiled by this gym that opened a year ago near me. I only pay $10 a month at the moment.

The 6000円 from Page's situation sounds a lot more... average. But still expensive in comparison.

Jiggit's 4000円 a year sounds very compelling though! How'd you manage that?

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Jiggit
April 21st, 2014, 08:24
Mine is just a weight room attached to the community sports center. Where your kids and other schools do club activities. But it has a treadmill, weights, racks and benches and if you need something else you're probably exercising wrong.

Edit: Also wtf is up with gyms that charge you membership plus for every visit? No idea how you can accept that. The commercial gym I was going to for a while just charged membership and that was that, so it doesn't seem like it's the norm even for Japan.

My community weight room is 100 yen a visit without membership and go whenever with membership. If you really want to get fit you can do it there. 9000 yen membership + 500 per shot just for an onsen is ridiculous.

Hell you can just work out at your school if you don't mind the kids, your school probably has a "training room".

jwkelley
April 21st, 2014, 08:31
Yeah, same as page around here. Decided to get into body weight training instead. I might start checking out my towns community centers.

Jiggit
April 21st, 2014, 08:37
Yeah, same as page around here. Decided to get into body weight training instead. I might start checking out my towns community centers.

It'll be called the 体育館 or 武道館 probably.

ScoobyDoobyBoob
April 21st, 2014, 14:28
Thanks for all the responses, guys! Along with these posts, I've been doing my own bit of research on the web and it seems like half-decent gyms are so much more expensive than American, but I guess that's just one of those shouganai things.

A little about my own style: I love bodyweight training so I know I will be fine when it comes to that. Pull-ups, muscle-ups, chin-ups, etc. Love that stuff. The problem is that I also LOVE weight training. Free weight training. This is what I'm worried about the most. I will have days when I'm benching 155 lbs. for 5 sets of 15 reps each, but then a heavy day where I use 100 lbs dumbbells on dumbbell bench.

This is why I'm thinking that I'll probably choose a Gold's Gym if there is one near wherever I am placed. Of course, this is me just saying stuff without knowing anything, but I like having a plan/idea even though it's not really based on anything lol.

Hopefully there is a more affordable option that will at least somewhat meet my requirements (desires?), but until then, I still appreciate the responses with prices and all that!

Ini
April 21st, 2014, 14:42
most places will have a set of interchangeable dumbbells you can stack up to 100lbs without any trouble. its a pain in the arse fannying around with the collars but better than having to travel vast distances.

Page
April 21st, 2014, 22:31
I should clarify that by my city I mean the city that my town is in. My town of 5k actually has no gym so I drive a half hour to the one I go to! There are 4 gyms in the city (4/10 towns) but the city takes about an hour to get across. You'll have options even in rural placements but you may have to drive.

tealparadise
April 22nd, 2014, 08:29
My gym acts kind of like a social club. I dunno how other people like to work out, but it throws me off. I don't want to feel alone and foreign when I'm trying to exercise. I like the atmosphere of everyone doing their best for themselves- which is the atmosphere in every non-japan gym I've been to. This one feels more like somewhere you go to meet up with your friends and maybe have a yoga class.

ScoobyDoobyBoob
April 22nd, 2014, 12:50
most places will have a set of interchangeable dumbbells you can stack up to 100lbs without any trouble. its a pain in the arse fannying around with the collars but better than having to travel vast distances.

Hope that's the case! I'd be totally fine with a hole in the wall spot that had just the necessities.

And Jiggit, I agree. I can't believe they'd charge you monthly and then every visit. That seems insane.

mrcharisma
April 24th, 2014, 11:39
Scooby, if you get placed anywhere near Shizuoka I know a guy that can do you some roids for cheap(ish). He'll post them on if need be.

ScoobyDoobyBoob
April 24th, 2014, 12:58
No thanks lol, just let me know where I can get some protein so I don't have to order online and do international shipping! lol

Ini
April 24th, 2014, 12:58
the mods?

Teishou
April 24th, 2014, 13:33
I ordered it online. If you figure out where to buy it, I'd like to know, too.

Ini
April 24th, 2014, 15:12
seriously? have you even tried to look? you can find it in any drug store/sports store

Page
April 24th, 2014, 15:16
Yeah, I see it at every Xebio in my area but to be honest I've never looked too closely so I don't know if it's filled with a bunch of other junk, too, or not.

Teishou
April 24th, 2014, 15:37
I haven't tried. Next time I hit the city, I'll give it a gander.

Ini
April 24th, 2014, 15:46
so we can add it to cheese, bacon and the other million things people like to claim you "cant buy in japan"

webstaa
April 25th, 2014, 08:28
so we can add it to cheese, bacon and the other million things people like to claim you "cant buy in japan"


Why not. It'll necro the thread. And then people will come in with evidence/claims to the contrary. Fun times all around.

genkispirit
April 26th, 2014, 04:13
You guys have been specifying a lot of free weights, I assume they are mostly dumbbells? I'm applying to JET next year, are there any gyms out in mostly rural placements, as I assume that's where I'm going to placed. Currently, I go the gym an average of 5-6 days a week, and I do PT 7 days a week. I'm 6 even, and 230lbs, do you guys think I'll be able to keep growing or at least maintain my size in Japan, or am I going to have submit to losing some weight.

Teishou
April 26th, 2014, 15:34
I believe it's been said before, but practically every town has a community center. That's your best bet, honestly. Also, if you can get together with the baseball team, you may be able to train with them.

interioround
April 26th, 2014, 15:53
My town's really small but if I drive about 50 minutes away there is a convention center/gym which has a "training room/トレニングルーム" in it. It took me a while to find this place because whenever I asked people about a "gym/ジム" people would say something like, "Yeah, right. We don't have any gyms in these small towns". So, maybe try asking for training rooms if there aren't any gyms around.

kenkennif
May 15th, 2014, 13:45
There is a really good free gym 10 mins down the road from me, but it's only for people who live in the town and outsiders must fork-out a hefty thirty yen usage fee. There is also one directly in front of my apartment that costs 4000 yen a month which is really awful. I pick the free one and I have no idea how the 4000 yen one is still in business.

Antonath
May 15th, 2014, 13:58
Don't forget the Japanese belief that if something costs more, it is immediately higher quality.

Ini
May 15th, 2014, 14:05
a higher class of clientele and not as crowded?

ihatefall
May 15th, 2014, 23:23
Some schools will be cool with you using the kids work out room during your free periods. (At one school the PE teacher worked out with me)


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Antonath
May 16th, 2014, 08:41
Some schools will be cool with you using the kids work out room during your free periods. (At one school the PE teacher worked out with me)
Be careful about abusing this, though. One of the ALTs in my town spent every free period working out, and wasn't the best about making sure he didn't stink of sweat. His school was not happy.

azguitarist
May 16th, 2014, 10:16
I'm in one of the least populated prefectures in Japan in a town of roughly 45,000 but I am lucky enough to have a great gym within a 3 min bike ride. The cost is 310 yen per visit and there are 3 racks with standard weights, a full set of dumbbells, and various machines and treadmills. In addition, because they held an えんかい held for the members, I was able to meet most of the regulars and the atmosphere became really chill. Some of the Japanese guys who go there are seriously strong and they will offer advice or tell me about local events.

I'm fortunate though because I have heard of gyms in cities much larger than mine with run down amenities and much higher prices. That or you might have to commute a half hour or so.

Do you work out pretty seriously? Most of the people at my gym import protein and other supplements because the quality here is meh and price is way higher, so it is another thing to think about.

par92186
May 19th, 2014, 16:24
I've just been placed in Shizuoka-ken (actual city/town tbd) and was curious about any boxing, muay thai, or kick boxing gyms in the prefecture. Are these popular in the area? I've been boxing for 2 years and have done a few amateur fights, so i'd love to be able to keep up with it or even try some muay thai or kick boxing if possible. thx.

jwkelley
May 20th, 2014, 03:22
Any place above 50k people will mostly likely have some kind of boxing, MMA, or kick boxing. Sometimes its a full gym which will allow full contact, sometimes its just a karate dojo running boxing a few times a week. Learn to search for the stuff in Japanese, you will a lot find more options.

If you get placed in the Inaka keep an eye on the local budakans and ask around. Its not uncommon for X fighters to retire and open up in gyms in random spots.

Most MMA places will split their time between stand up and grappling. They normally don't mind people skipping one half.

Here is stuff to search for
ボクシング Boxing
キックボクシング kick boxing
ムエタイ muay thai

総合格闘技(そうごうかくとうぎ)mma
シュートボクシング shoot boxing

http://xn--pckcuf0p2a4k.jp/shizuoka/

par92186
May 20th, 2014, 16:15
Any place above 50k people will mostly likely have some kind of boxing, MMA, or kick boxing. Sometimes its a full gym which will allow full contact, sometimes its just a karate dojo running boxing a few times a week. Learn to search for the stuff in Japanese, you will a lot find more options.

If you get placed in the Inaka keep an eye on the local budakans and ask around. Its not uncommon for X fighters to retire and open up in gyms in random spots.

Most MMA places will split their time between stand up and grappling. They normally don't mind people skipping one half.

Here is stuff to search for
ボクシング Boxing
キックボクシング kick boxing
ムエタイ muay thai

総合格闘技(そうごうかくとうぎ)mma
シュートボクシング shoot boxing

http://xn--pckcuf0p2a4k.jp/shizuoka/

Thanks!

Vietnamazing
May 26th, 2014, 15:18
No thanks lol, just let me know where I can get some protein so I don't have to order online and do international shipping! lol

iherb.com does have some protein depending on what you want. And the shipping is actually incredibly cheap, you can order with your own country's credit card, and it gets here fast. Also, about the gyms, I've only seen one person mention using the schools' if you're at one. There's a JET in town who asked to use the gym after school, and they were totally cool with that. Also, you can often find training rooms attached to the 'sports gyms' people have mentioned where kids do all their sports. Mine here is only 100 yen an hour, and they have all your basic stuff including a squat rack, smith machine, free weights. And definitely enough to meet the needs of what you're talking about. Otherwise you will be paying about 6,000-7,000 a month, even at your typical run of the mill gyms. It might get busy at certain times, but waiting around is way more worth 100 yen an hour than 6,000 yen a month.