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Thread: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

  1. #1
    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Hey guys,

    I've been perusing the forums looking for this, but haven't come across it (I could be blind). Has anyone on here, who takes their fitness seriously, had any problems when going over to Japan on JET (or any other program) with finding adequate accommodations for said fitness e.g. lifting or cardio?

    From what I've seen, most schools have "gyms", but nothing like Gold's or even Planet Fitness.


    - Gracias!

  2. #2
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Well, I know there are gyms as we know them. But they are usually in the city.

    I remember Givemeabreakman once made a video about it.
    (He's one of those J-vloggers)

    Can't speak for the schools though.

    Edit :
    So I'd say it's more of an ESID again. (I could be totally wrong though )
    Last edited by Zolrak 22; January 22nd, 2015 at 06:57.

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    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    Well, I know there are gyms as we know them. But they are usually in the city.

    I remember Givemeabreakman once made a video about it.
    (He's one of those J-vloggers)

    Can't speak for the schools though.

    Edit :
    So I'd say it's more of an ESID again. (I could be totally wrong though )
    J-vlogger? As in someone who vlogs in Japan? That's seriously its own "thing"?

    If we're in the sticks..er..I mean "rural" towns without legitimate gyms how are people suppose to maintains their gains?!?

    First-world problems

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    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Can't remember if it was him, but I heard it's easier to find gyms with machines than those with a variety of free weights.

    Edit :

    Something to look out for is the fact that some chains (and even privately owned ones) won't allow you inside with tattoos. So if you have any, ask beforehand or live with hiding them whenever you are there. (Same as onsens).
    Last edited by Zolrak 22; January 22nd, 2015 at 07:28.

  5. #5
    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    Something to look out for is the fact that some chains (and even privately owned ones) won't allow you inside with tattoos. So if you have any, ask beforehand or live with hiding them whenever you are there. (Same as onsens).
    No tats here or piercings. I did hear about that though. I thought it had something to do with the Yakuza and how hasty generalizations from the public have led to that conclusion i.e. tattoos = yakuza

    I guess I'll be investing in some dumbbells while in the ol' Japon (if I get into JET)

    trying to find out a little more about me eh?

  6. #6
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiddenlee22 View Post
    trying to find out a little more about me eh?
    You already gave away your general figure by implying you are something along the lines of a weight lifter.

  7. #7
    Senior Member PuddingHead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiddenlee22 View Post
    J-vlogger? As in someone who vlogs in Japan?
    I like this reaction.

    It seems like you're more interested in lifting weights, so I really don't know how to help you on that front. Cardio's easy enough without a gym. You can run around outside if you don't mind people staring at you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    I've never been "sigged" before, someone teased me once saying they would, but it didn't happen.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    You already gave away your general figure by implying you are something along the lines of a weight lifter.
    And the game continues...

    Quote Originally Posted by PuddingHead View Post
    It seems like you're more interested in lifting weights, so I really don't know how to help you on that front. Cardio's easy enough without a gym. You can run around outside if you don't mind people staring at you.
    I'm a big fan of HIIT cardio which I can only imagine as being next to impossible to do in general public areas without more than a few stares.

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    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    As the big new gaijin in town, you are going to get stares anyway

    Might as well make the best of it.
    Last edited by Zolrak 22; January 22nd, 2015 at 08:04.

  10. #10
    Senior Member hiddenlee22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Not that I don't love the idea of Japanese people marveling at my physique, but HIIT makes you look ridiculous, while sweating like a beast. If you've ever done programs like Insanity, just imagine what that might be like...in public.

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    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Alright, alright.

    Then see about doing those in the school gym.

    Pretty sure you can use it in middle and high school.

    Elementary schools won't have one though.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    There are a lot of "sports" complexes. For swimming, basketball, tennis, etc. Outside of actual cities, there aren't a lot of actual gyms. Free weights are rarer still. I live about 1h drive away from the nearest "gym." Joining is ¥3000, and an extra ¥1000 to take a 'class' to be able to use their free weights (mind you, there is one squat rack, one bench rack, and two olympic bars and only about 300lbs of plates total.) A good number of cardio machines of varying age - treadmills/ellipticals/stationary bikes. There is also a few multi-function weight machines. No shower/bathing facilities on site, and each visit costs ¥450.

    There is are a few gym chains in larger cities. Gold's has a few locations, as well as 24hr Fitness. (You can use those if you've joined 24hr Fitness in the US.)

    I found it easier to get back into road cycling. But that isn't cheap. And that's one reason why jogging/running is so popular in Japan.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    Can't remember if it was him, but I heard it's easier to find gyms with machines than those with a variety of free weights.
    Not necessarily true. The modern gyms don't have a lot of free weights, true. But the local community "training rooms" (トレーニングルーム if you want to search for it) have pretty much nothing but free weights and are far more common. They don't have much, true, you'll be working out like Rocky in the 70s, but that isn't necessarily bad. They also cost way less - I pay under 6000 yen for a year's membership. And as people have said, you may well have one at school, though it's up to you how self-conscious you are about it.

    If you want a bunch of machines and classes you'll probably have to travel for it.

    By the way if you ask Japanese people where there's a "gym" they won't think you're talking about a weight room, they'll only think of the big complexes. I was asking people in my town where I could workout for a year before I discovered there's one 5 minutes from my apartment.

  14. #14
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Jiggit pretty much said what I was going to say.

    I have one gym close to me and one that is somewhat close. The one close to me is the local community gym. It's not perfect, but the drop in fee is 310円, and it has cardio equipment, a couple weightlifting machines and some free weights (dumbbells, but no barbells). Save for the cardio equipment, it really does remind me of Apollo Creed's gym in Rocky 2...minus the black people.

    The interesting thing for me is that the rest of the facility is just gorgeous. The swimming pool, the baths and saunas and the other stuff is really nice. The weightlifting room seems like such an afterthought.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  15. #15
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    there are plenty of golds gyms around the place if you dont mind paying 15000yen a month....
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  16. #16
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Seriously, 15,000 a month? I heard gyms are expensive, but that is a crap load of money.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  17. #17
    Senior Member azguitarist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    I live in a tiny city that doesn't even have a Mcdonalds but my public gym is warm, contains squat racks, bench racks, a wide array of free weights and a pull up bar. It only costs about $2.50 a visit and is only a 5 minute walk from my house. I got pretty lucky in that regard.

  18. #18
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    This reminds me of Korea, where parks would have an interesting array of outdoor exercise equipment. Even small little parks would have exercise stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  19. #19
    Constant Fu*kup sharpinthefang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiddenlee22 View Post
    J-vlogger? As in someone who vlogs in Japan? That's seriously its own "thing"?
    We have a whole thread in the lounge about vlogging. Come check it out.
    Accepted with Interac on 13th May 2014
    Upgraded with JET on 7th October 2014...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_Simmons View Post
    shit, i've realize that i picked the wrong time to reply directly the thread's original question...

  20. #20
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gym life (fitness) in Japan?

    And yes, it is a thing here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

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