Despite staying healthy and fit becoming somewhat of a popular trend among young people nowadays, I don’t actually go often to the gym, even when I do it is for a short period. I do however, go when I manage to have some free time and as such I will share my limited experience and have a small comparison between gyms in Japan and ones I’ve been to prior to coming to Japan.
Most gyms owned by a private company will charge roughly the same price range, somewhere between ¥7,000 – 10,000 ($66- 100 / €56 – 80) plus per month. There are few local gyms or sports centers that have cheaper offers (for monthly fee as a campaign) or let customers pay for each day they go to the sports center and use the facility.
Having slightly cheaper offers or paying for days you go only (which can be cheaper if you only go few times a month). They will occasionally have special offer discounts during special days/seasons but most tend to be the same. Personally I do think it is expensive when compared to the UK where they have student discounts, and local gyms being really cheap costing around ¥1,500-3,000 ($14- 28/ £10 – 20) opposing the price above.
Most gyms in Japan are a bit small and feel compact, which is normal in Japan since most of the places tend to be the same (Accommodations, schools, shops, restaurants, etc).
This can be a bit bothersome to some who pay large amount of money but have access to limited amount of equipment.
Sports centers tends to be bigger since they also have other sports equipment for sports such as boxing, basketball, swimming, etc.
There are few things done differently in Japan, for example making noises while working out or lifting weight is frowned upon and it’s best if you keep the noises to a minimum be it from working out or music which is different from other countries that I’ve been to up until now.
If you have a tattoo then you need to cover them. In the past tattoos were associated with the Yakuza in Japan,and while this image has changed over the years, it is still frowned upon in most public places and it is advised to hide them. Note that some gym will not let you register with them if you have tattoos.
And try to refrain from using your phone, if you’re using an app for your workout then it is acceptable but it’s best to leave it in your bag or pocket unless you are using it to listen to music. Also taking photos and charging your phone (except designated place) at the gym are not allowed.
when on a bike or other machines that are done while sitting, you can use your phone as long as you don’t make a phone call which is also not allowed near the equipment and workout locations. This doesn’t cause much of an issue for me since I tend to avoid using my phone however, I do prefer to have the freedom of choice that I had in Libya, The UK or other countries than be on alert on how/where to use my phone while working out.
Privately owned gyms are open 24/7 with some only closes when they need to do some refurbishing, as for staff working hours it is from 8am-8pm. Sports center on the other hand are not 24/7, have more holidays but the staff working hours are almost the same. Both types of gym offer services such as providing personal trainers, advice about leading a healthier lifestyle and facilities that customer can use. They have the additional option of hiring services such as sports cloths, shoes, basketball, etc.
With this I conclude my blog about gyms in Japan. If you are interested, please try and go there.