Time to exercise: Finding gyms in Japan
Hey, it’s Mr. Wada on duty. It’s been a while since Christmas and New Year holidays passed. Have you still got holiday weight? For me a little, and aside from that, I haven’t exercised much lately (I spend pretty much all day sitting at work). So, I’ve decided to go to the gym once a week. Yeah, it’s time to shed. I am sharing some reference for finding gyms in Japan.
“Gym? No way, it costs too much!”, that’s what you are thinking right? Nah, gyms in Japan are not always like that. There’s a way out. Basically there are two types of the gyms in Japan – private and city-owned. Although, there are pros and cons for both. Check the following:
(Photo credit: Health Gauge)
1. Private gyms
You’d see many private gyms in any city. If you are a busy bee type, you might prefer it. It’s convenient and probably easy access.
Some places are open 24 hours, so you can swing by anytime you like. Very convenient indeed, I’d say. They also got facilities like bathrooms, massage rooms, etc. That’s oasis for hard-working soldiers!
(Photo credit: Karl Baron)
They absolutely cost you a lot more than city-owned gyms. Plus, it normally requires you to be a member first (don’t forget to bring your ID) and a registration fee (3,000-5,000 yen) as well.
Fee goes monthly or pick one of their plans and see what fits your schedule. Fees depend on your plan but average is like from 5,000 yen/month. Good gyms might even cost like 10,000 yen/month.
2. City-owned gyms
It’s true that private gyms mentioned above are beyond budget for people like me who want just a little bit of workout once or twice a week. I’d recommend the city-owned gyms.
(Photo credit: Patricia (aka look lovely))
The city-owned gym in Okayama costs me about 200 yen for every use (only for walk-ins). Mmmm? Two-hundred yen? Yeah, very cheap right? So, what the hell is the difference? Take a look at the cons.
As a downside, some gyms don’t have shower rooms (but some do). So if you want to take a shower, make sure the one in your city has a shower room. Or, you might be able to take a shower at the swimming pool’s (most city-owned gyms are located next to a swimming pool). Another one is, facilities tend to be old. I don’t mean like rusted or anything but nothing like brand new, no spa-like facilities a private gym can provide.
By the way, I’ve lived in Saitama (next to Tokyo) before and there was a gym I used to go to. It was a nice city-owned gym called Waku-Waku Dome. It was huge and got nice stuff, reasonable as well. I’d definitely recommend that place, if you live near by.
Waku-Waku Dome in Saitama
How to find a city-owned gym?
Check the list of the gyms in Okayama on this page.
Or else, to find a city-owned gym in your city, I suggest you Google like “shiei gym” (city-owned gym) + city name (example, “shiei gym Okayama”). Or, you might find some info on the website of the city you live in (perhaps in English).
Note: You might be able to save up a little by buying discounted multiple-entry tickets (example, for 10 visits). Take your time and pick the best place and plan for you!
City-owned gym in Okayama (in Japanese only)
Waku-Waku Dome (in Japanese only)
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I have experienced the Waku Waku Dome myself and can confirm it is indeed an affordable palace of funtainment