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The Gym - Japan it UP!

The Gym

I mentioned them gym in my post about shrinking. Well, a gym membership is very expensive in Japan. In the U.S. I was a member of Gold’s Gym in the U.S. and paid $25 a month. Before that I paid $50 a month for a bigger gym with more options. Both were open 24 hours a day.

The memberships I’ve found in Japan vary from 6500-10,000 Yen (about $65-100 USD) per month. The hours are 9am-9pm or similar, and I’d rather be at the gym by 7am. There are strange rules like every Thursday it’s closed, or if you pay less you can only be there 1-9pm on the weekdays, or you can have a weekend only memberhsip for 6500, and all holidays the gym is closed. Also you can only pay through a bank account, so you have to open one at the bank they use.

A gym in Japan
photo credit: takeratta

So let’s break this down… You can’t go on holidays, you can’t go on certain days (like a Thursday, or every other Monday), you can only go around 9am-9pm. What I just mentioned is 8900-10,000 yen per month. So let’s say 10,000 to be safe after taxes and bank fees. If you spend 2 hours total in a gym and go 3 times a week which comes to 24 hours per month you end up paying 416 ($4) per hour to go to the gym. What!? That’s insane. I also asked how much the employees make at one place and they said they start at 800 yen per hour. What!?

By the way, I went to all gyms within a 15 minute walk. Most were full of physically fit people. However I stopped at a place in Fukuoka called American Gym and all of the people inside were freakin’ HUGE! It was an older gym, darker with only a few windows, and felt like people were training for the Strongman competition. Check out the picture of the sign taken by e-chan.

American Gym in Fukuoka Japan

I did some searching, I did some asking, and I visited the very helpful foreigners center in Fukuoka called The Rainbow Center. I found out that each ward has a community center with a gym, basketball court, and other things. My ward’s community center has a small gym with decent equipment. It’s open from 9-9 as well and if you go when it’s open the equipment is available and you don’t have to deal with many people. The price on this… 260 Yen for two hours. That’s what I’m talking about! If you go 3 times a week per month you’re looking at 3120 Yen. It costs an extra 30 yen to use the extremely small locker so everybody just puts their gym bag in the corner of the workout area which is cool with me. This is one of the many deals I’ve found in Japan so far. You could always just do the P90X workout to keep fit or lose weight.

Here’s a picture of Gold’s Gym here in Japan taken by charlton_b. It’s always interesting seeing things here that I’ve seen in America.

Gold’s Gym in Japan


10 thoughts on “The Gym

  1. ooh..you’re gonna get buffed up? will that work with the tuxedo or whatever you’re going to wear for your wedding?

  2. Nomadic Matt – Thanks!

    Jyankee – Right now I am working on eating food and gaining weight. I’ll work on the buff up part (or excuses why I didn’t go to the gym) after the wedding.

  3. The people who go to my gym are really into spandex. I see a lot of Zubaz there too–and it’s not a workout wonder gym either.

  4. Tom – Zubaz! Hahaha, that’s comedy. Last week I sang some MC Hammer at Karaoke. It wasn’t as cool as I remember it being.

  5. I saw your blog just as I was to log out, going to the gym. Yup. It’s so damn expensive here. I’m paying 16,000 yen to include the use of towels. And I’m still not losing weight. 🙂

  6. Dear Sir,

    My name is Samah from cairo, Egypt and I have an export and import company. I’m really interested to import gym machines like “treadmills, bikes, abs machines, etc”. So please help me in finding a Japanese manufacturers or wholsalers or suppliers.

    You reply is highly appreciated.

    Best regards.

    Samah Ali

  7. Gyms in Japan are a bit of a nightmare; my biggest pain point has been that there are plenty of gyms that offer nothing but machines, which is pretty worthless if you’re seriously training.

    I’m not sure if you asked, but your ward/city gum probably has a monthly plan — mine does one month for 2,000 yen, and yours will probably be about the same.

  8. Damn bro this is very very useful. I’ll be going to fukuoka next year for school and want to keep up with the gym. Are there any apartments that have their own gym in the building? Either way I’ll be certainly looking for the community gyms!

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