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.
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.
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.