Ultimate Guide to Gyms in Japan

By RAI Abhinav | May 31, 2022

The summer’s right around the corner and maybe you’re thinking of getting into shape. Or, maybe you’ve always been into fitness?  Or, maybe you’re finally trying to cross going to the gym out of your New Year’s resolution. No matter what your reasons are, this article is the one-stop guide for gyms in Japan. 

Whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran, going to gyms can be scary when you don’t have enough information. Especially when gyms are gaining popularity in Japan and there are hundreds of options to choose from. But, don’t worry! Like always, we’ve got you covered. From English-speaking gyms to first-day essentials, this article covers all the necessary information that you’ll ever need to work your way through gyms in Japan and lose that “gymtimidation”.

This article is part of our extensive series on living in Japan and Learning Japanese.

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    2 types of gyms in Japan

    Gyms in Japan can be divided into two broad types: Public gyms and private gyms.

    Public gyms

    Public gyms are open to everyone and are run by the city. They don’t require membership, and you can choose to only pay for the days that you use them. They are cheaper than private gyms but often don’t possess the same quality as private gyms. You’ll find that equipment and facilities available vary from one public gym to another. So, it might take some effort to find a public gym that’s suited for you and your needs. One more tricky thing about them is finding them online. They are often called “Sports Centers”, “Gymnasiums”, “Health Centers”, etc., which at first glance don’t give the impression of a gym. 

    Price of private gyms 

    The price depends on the gym and city, but it usually ranges from 200 to 600 yen per visit. If you can provide proof that either you or your host live in the city, you’ll often be able to get a discount. Some may have a time limit while some may not. You may also be required to pay an additional fee to use certain facilities. 

    Private gyms

    If you don’t find equipment you like at public gyms, don’t worry! Private gyms in Japan offer varieties of equipment and facilities. Some of them even operate 24 hours a day, so they are good for people that have tight schedules. They also offer different training classes that you can join if you’re a beginner. Some even have women-only training areas. But, all of these come at a higher price. Most of them require membership, and private gyms in Japan often cost more than in western countries. 

    Price of private gyms

    The price depends on the place but you should expect to pay around 15,000 to 20,000 yen per month for a standard membership. They also have a ranking system based on the type of membership, which determines the services that you can access. This means that if you want to use better services, you’d have to pay more for a higher ranking membership.

    A picture of treadmills at gyms in Japan

    What do I need to sign up for a gym membership in Japan?

    Do I need Japanese to sign up?

    Basically, no. Some gyms in Japan provide English contracts for English speakers. Even if they do not provide English support, they are open to everyone. So, if you’re a beginner-level Japanese speaker, you might face some difficulties, but you should be able to join. If you’re still not sure, we recommend bringing a Japanese-speaking friend along when signing up. 

    Okay, now let’s dive into how you can actually sign up for a gym membership in Japan.

    ID (Passport or Residence Card)

    Just like joining any other place, gyms in Japan need to verify your identity before they can offer you a membership. So, you’ll need to bring along a proof of identification with you. As a foreigner in Japan, this can be your Residence Card (在留カード/ zairyuu kādou) or passport. Please note that some places also offer online registration, so be sure to check that with your gym. Here is a helpful Ultimate Guide to the Zairyu Card in Japan.

    Japanese bank account or A Credit Card

    To pay for monthly membership fees, you’ll need to set up an automatic withdrawal system with your gym. This is why you’ll need a Japanese bank account or a credit card that the gym can charge every month. Along with the membership fees, you’ll need to pay the enrollment or the entrance fee, which is paid with cash. If you need help with banking or creating a credit card in Japan, don’t miss The Ultimate Guide to Banking in Japan and The Ultimate Guide to Debit and Credit Cards in Japan

      

     

     

     

     

      

     

     

     

     

    Top 5 Public gyms in Japan

    Public gyms are huge and have a lot of facilities but for the sake of keeping the article aligned with our topic, we’ll only talk about the training areas. One more thing to keep in mind is that public gyms are often not English friendly. If you’re looking for an English-speaking gym, you’ll have more luck with private ones. We’ll list them down later in the article.

    1.Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium

    Membership Not required 
    Equipments and facilities Training room A (aerobic machines and strength training machines), Training room B (free weights), Swimming pool, fitness studio
    Price You can get general tickets that will allow you to use the training rooms and swimming pool. It costs 600 yen for 2 hours and 30 mins and 2,500 yen for a 1 day pass. You can also opt for a monthly fixed usage plan which will cost you 6,000 to 7,000 yen.
    Operating hours Weekdays: 9:00 to 23:00
    Saturday: 9:00 to 22:00 
    Sunday & Holidays: 9:00 to 21:00
    Address 1 Chome-17-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 
    Contact  03-6380-4832
    Nearest Station Right next to Sendagaya station, JR Sobu Line 
    Right next to National Stadium Station, Toei Oedo Line

    2.Toshima City Ikebukuro Sports Center

    Membership Not required 
    Equipments and facilities Training room, Studio, Swimming pool
    Price You can get a general ticket for 400 yen. It will be valid for 2 hours, and if you want to extend your time, it will cost you 200 yen for each additional hour.
    Operating hours Weekdays, Saturday & Holidays: 8:30 to 22:00 (last entry time: 21:30, Usage time until 21:45)
    Sunday: 8:30-21:00 (last entry at 20:30, Usage time until 20:45)
    Address Tokyo, Toshima City, Kamiikebukuro 2 Chome-5-1 Health Plaza Toshima - 9th floor
    Contact 03-5974-7262
    Nearest Station 8 min walk from Ikebukuro Station 

    3.Shinjuku sports center

    Membership Not required 
    Equipments and facilities Training room, Studio, Swimming pool
    Price You can get a general ticket to the training room for 400 yen. It will be valid for 3 hours. If you want to use the studio or the pool along with the training room, you will need to pay 600 yen for 4 hours.
    Operating hours 9:00 to 22:00 (Last entry at 21:00). It’s closed on the 4th Monday of every month, New Year’s, and Year-end holidays.
    Address 3 Chome-5-1 Okubo, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 
    Contact 03-3232-0171
    Nearest Station 10 min walk from JR Takadanobaba Station
    5 min walk from Exit 3 of Nishi-Waseda Station, Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line

    4.Sarugaku Gym

    Membership Not required (But it is only available to people who live, work, or attend school in Shibuya) 
    Equipments and facilities

    Training room (Free weights, aerobic machines, etc.)

    Price

    400 yen with no time limit

    Operating hours

    9:00 to 21:00 (Last entry at 20:00). It’s closed on every Monday and New Year’s.

    Address 12-35 Sarugakucho, Shibuya City, Tokyo
    Contact 03-3463-1211
    Nearest Station 7 min from Daikanyama Station, Tokyu Toyoko Line

    5.Minato City Sports Center

    Membership All Minato city residents require membership, but it’s free. Non-residents don’t require membership
    Equipments and facilities Training room, Studio, Swimming pool
    Price All residents can get a ticket for 500 yen. If you’re a non-resident, you can get a general ticket for 800 yen.
    Operating hours 8:30 to 22:30 (Last entry at 21:30). It’s closed on the 1st Monday of every month, New Year’s, and Year-end holidays.
    Address Floors 3-8, Minato Park Shibaura, 1-16-1 Shibaura, Minato City 
    Contact 03-3452-4151
    Nearest Station 5 min walk from the East Exit of JR Tamachi Station.
    6 min walk from Exit A6 of Mita Station, Toei Subway Line
    a picture of equipment at gyms in Japan
    A picture of a woman in front of a gym machine

    Top 5 Private gyms in Japan

    We’ve separated these into English-speaking gyms and Japanese-only gyms. While some might not provide English support, all of these gyms are open to everyone for membership. 

    English-speaking private gyms

    1.Gold’s gym 

    Gold’s gym is one of the most popular gym franchises in the world, and there are many branches spread across Japan as well. Some locations even provide English contracts when signing up. Today, we’ll be providing information on arguably their most popular branch in Harajuku Tokyo.

    Membership

    Required 

    Equipments and facilities

    Weight training area, women-only training area, cardio area, shower, locker, studio

    Price

    There are monthly family membership plans that range from 7,700 yen to 11,000 yen per person. You can also get an afternoon membership that costs 8,800 yen per person, but it’ll only give you acess from 12:00 to 17:00. If these don’t work for you, you can opt for a Kanto area membership that will grant you acess to all Kanto stores at all operation hours for 14,3000 yen per month.

    Operating hours

    Open 24 hours

    Address

    6 Chome-31-17 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 Belox Building 4F / 3F / B2F

    Contact 03-5766-3131, 03-5766-3131
    Nearest Station

    2 min walk from the Omotesando Exit of Harajuku Station, JR Yamanote Line 

    2.CrossFit

    This place is a bit different than other gyms. It’s designed for high-intensity crossfit exercises and offers 3 different programs, but is on the more expensive side. 

    Membership Required 
    Equipments and facilities Crossfit facilities, Training rooms
    Price Beginners course: 14,990 yen (mandatory for new members)
    8 times a month plan: 25,000 yen per month
    12 times a month plan: 27,500 yen per month
    Premium plan: 33,000 yen per month

    They offer special discounts to high school students, university students, and families.

    Operating hours Weekdays: 9:00 to 22:00
    Weekends: 9:00 to 14:00
    Address Tokyo, Minato-Ku, Nishi Azabu 3 Chome-13-3 B1F
    Contact 03-6384-5639
    Nearest Station 6 min walk from Hiro Station
    10 min walk from Roppongi Station 

    Japanese-only private gyms

    3.Konami Sports Club

    Membership You can opt to pay for each use or become a member and pay a monthly fee
    Equipments and facilities Training rooms, studio, free weights, strength machines, cardio machines, pool
    Price There are a lot of membership plans, and price for each plan depends on the branch. In Tokyo, it costs around 3,850 yen to 5,500 yen for the cheapest plan that will allow you access 2 times a month. And, it costs around 10,340 yen to 16,060 yen for a no-limit plan. Also, it costs 2,090 yen to 2,970 yen for each visit if you don’t register for a membership. 
    Operating hours The exact time varies by location but all stores usually open around 10:00 and close around 22:00
    Address Location 1: 18-11 Shinsencho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
    Also all around Japan
    Contact 03-5489-3621
    Nearest Station 12 min walk from Exit 3A of Shibuya Station, JR Line
    4 min walk from the West Exit of Shinsen Station, Keio Inokashira Line

    4.Anytime fitness

    Just like the name suggests, this is open anytime! The cool thing about this global franchise is that if you’re registered as a member in your home country, you won’t need to sign up again in Japan.

    Membership  Required 
    Equipments and facilities Training rooms, free weights, strength machines, cardio machines
    Price The exact price varies from location to location, but it costs around 8,000 yen to 10,000 yen per month.
    Operating hours Open 24 hours
    Address Location 1: 2-40-13 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
    Also all around Japan
    Contact 03-6907-1351
    Nearest Station 5 min walk from the West Exit of Ikebukuro station 

    5.Tipness

    Membership  Required 
    Equipments and facilities

    Training rooms, free weights, strength machines, cardio machines, Sauna

    Price There is a registration fee of 5,500 yen. There are various monthly plans and prices vary from location to location. Store plans will allow access to a certain store and will cost from around 3,300 yen to 13,000 yen. Area membership, national membership, and corporate membership are also available.  
    Operating hours

    The exact time varies by location and day of the week, but all stores usually open around 9:30 and close around 23:00. Please check their website to find out the exact opening hours of each store. 

    Address Location 1: Hulic Oji Building 6-9F, 1 Chome-10-17 Oji, Kita-ku, Tokyo

    Also all around Japan

    Contact 03-5902-3373
    Nearest Station

    Next to the bus rotary at the North Exit of Oji Station

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    582721_Scene_Japanese Sports

    Top 5 personal training gyms in Japan for foreigners

    1.Club360

    Our list of English-speaking personal training gyms starts with Club360. They provide personal training, group classes, individualised training courses, and other health services. You also don’t need a membership and can choose to only pay for the times you visit the place.

    Price You can book an initial personal training consultation for free. Then, each one-on-one session will cost 11,000 yen. They also offer 5-pack and 10-pack plans for 51,250 yen and 99,000 yen respectively. You can also choose to go with your friends which will make the price quite cheaper. 
    Operating hours Weekdays, Saturday: 6:30 to 21:30Sunday: 7:00 to 1800
    Address Location 1: VORT Building B1, Motoazabu 3-1-35, Minato-ku, Tokyo 
    Nearest station: 7 min walk from Roppongi station

    Location 2: The Belgravia B1, Higashiazabu 1-8-4, Minato-ku, Tokyo 
    Nearest station: 10 min walk from Azabujūban station

    Contact 03-6434-9667

    2.Nihon Barbell Club

    Nihon Barbell club offers personal training and small group training services. You can choose to attend their personal training at their gym, your home, or online. They also offer training services to travellers, so if you want to continue your training regime while visiting Tokyo, this place is the right fit for you. From fat loss to complete body transformation, they offer a variety of support. Price depends on the service, and you can book your first consultation free of charge. 

    Price

    Personal training prices are listed as below:

    2-4 times/ week: 9,000 yen 
    2/4 times/ week (35 mins) : 7,000 yen
    Personal training with Sam, the president of Nihon Barbell Club (1-3 times/ week): 11,000 yen

    Operating hours Weekdays: 7:00 to 21:00
    Saturday: 8:00 to 18:00
    Sunday/Holiday: depends on trainers
    Address 5 Chome-18-19 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Contact 03-6848-7300
    Nearest Station 8 min walk from Exit 3 of Roppongi station, Hibiya or Oedo Line
    8 min walk from Exit 7 of Azabu-Juban station, Oedo or Namboku Line

    3.Chikara Crossfit

    Chikara Crossfit offers individualized personal programs, group programs, and virtual programs. Under personal programs, they offer personal training to help you achieve your fitness goals, skill sessions to help you perfect that one particular workout, individual programs for people that don’t have time to come up with their own training regime, and at-home personal training for people who want to train at their own comfort space.

    Price

    2 times/ week + open gym on Wednesday: 25,000 yen (3 months), 23,200 yen (6 months), 21,500 yen (12 months)

    Unlimited classes + unlimited open gym: 35,000 yen (3 months), 32,500 yen (6 months), 30,000 yen (12 months)

    Above plans include 6 personal training foundation classes which make the price for the first month 54,000 yen.

    Operating hours Weekdays: 6:00 to 21:00
    Saturday: 7:30 to 1:30
    Sunday: Closed
    Address Tokyo, Minato City, Akasaka, 2 Chome−17−65, Wind Akasaka II Bldg., B1F
    Contact 03-6441-0980
    Nearest Station 4 min walk from Akasaka station

    4.NORTHSTAR FITNESS

    Northstar Fitness is run by Hitomi and Bodhi Kenyon, who will help you achieve your fitness goals and optimize life one step at a time. They offer one-on-one private sessions, online coaching, and semi-private sessions for 3 to 5 people. No matter which option you choose, you are sure to get the utmost individualized care. Bodhi is a training and nutrition specialist who has helped more than 300 people in their journey and you can read their clients’ testimonials on their website. 

    Price

    Private sessions: Starts at 55,000 yen per month
    Online coaching: Starts at 78,000 yen for 12 weeks
    Semi-private sessions: Starts at 26,400 yen per month

    You can book a trial session for 5,500 yen.

    Operating hours Depends on the session you choose
    Address 1 chome-6-11 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
    Contact 080-5694-2461
    Nearest Station 4 min walk from Sugamo station

    5.Urban Heroes Tokyo 

    Urban Heroes Tokyo is a community of like-minded fitness enthusiasts founded by Anna Jung. They offer varieties of classes from outdoor to indoor to even online. They have a wide range of expertise from HIIT workouts to yoga to pregnant and postnatal exercises to personal training. They also organize family activities, hikes, and workshops for their community.

    Price

    5 classes: 11,000 yen
    10 classes: 20,000 yen
    4 classes in 4 weeks: 7,200 yen
    6 classes in 4 weeks: 10,000 yen
    Unlimited: 20,000 yen

    Before registering as a member, you can try out their free trial class.

    Operating hours Depends on the class you choose
    Address

    Location 1: 5 Chome-7-29 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Location 2: 9 Chome-7-7 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Location 3: 1-1 Komazawa Park, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
    Location 4: 4 Chome-6-24 Minami Azabu, Hiroo, Shirokane

    Check meeting points of each location in their website

    Contact 080-9556-4704
    Nearest Station 4 min walk from Akasaka station

    If you want more information on the above listed gyms, please visit their website by typing their name on your search engine. If you want to explore more options, try checking out this Recommended Gyms in Tokyo article by MetroResidences.

    Now that we’ve introduced the best gyms in Japan, you might have already made up your mind. Great! You’re one step closer to attaining your fitness goals. But wait! Before you hit the gym, here are some must-know etiquettes! 

    A couple taking a picture at gyms in Japan

    5 must-know etiquette tips at gyms in Japan

    1.Clean the equipment after use

    This should go without saying, but you should clean the equipment you use before moving on to the next exercise. Imagine this, Joe is hitting the bench press and he just set a new personal record. In the hit of the adrenaline, he moves to the next workout leaving behind a trail of his sweat on the bench. Now, would you like to use that bench after Joe? Most probably, you wouldn’t. Neither does anyone else. Wipe your sweat and clean the equipment!

    2.Return the weights

    Have you ever gone to a gym and seen weights lying around the room? Please don’t be the person to do that. After using the weights, make sure you return them to the same spot where you took them from. This makes it easier for the next person to use them. Also, don’t hoard the weights and equipment for a long period of time. Be considerate of other people!

    3.No phones! No photos!

    You will often see signs that prohibit the use of phones inside the gym. Some gyms even outright ban phones on the premises. Make sure you don’t use your phone to chat, call, take pictures of others or even yourself. It’s best to just leave your phone in your gym bag. 

    4.Tattoos are often not allowed 

    If you’ve been to Japan, you may already know that tattoos are restricted in many places such as hot springs and pools. Gyms are no different. While some gyms might not let you join if you have tattoos, some gyms will ask you to cover them when you workout. While the exact tattoo policy depends on the gym, your best bet is to always cover them up. 

    If you want to learn more about tattoos in Japan, make sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Getting a Tattoo in Japan

    5. No Super-setting! No Workin-in!

    Super-setting (Jumping between equipment) is often not allowed and workin-in (letting someone else use the equipment in between your sets) doesn’t exist. You will even find that some gyms require you to reserve the equipment that you want to use. If that’s the case, be sure to complete your workout in time for the next person to use the machine.

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    Don’t forget these 4 things on your first day of gym in Japan

    Gymtimidation is real and we know it. You may be thinking, “This is the first time I’m going to the gym. I don’t know what I need to bring with me.” Don’t worry! We’ve created a list of first-day essentials.

    1.Towel

    You will be able to rent a towel in some gyms and some gyms will even throw in a towel with the membership, but it’s always nice to have your own towel just in case. Don’t use your towel to clean the equipment though, gyms in Japan often have towels designated for each piece of equipment.

    2.Indoor shoes

    A pair of gym shoes is a must when going to gyms in Japan. You will need to change into indoor gym shoes from your outdoor shoes before entering the gym. Again, some gyms will have rental shoes, but we recommend you bring along a pair to save some bucks.  

    3.A drink - Hydrate yourself!

    Whether it’s a protein shake or water, make sure to bring a drink with you! It’s not just to hydrate yourself but also to save some bucks. Vending machines are substitutes for water fountains in Japanese gyms. If you don’t want to drop some yens to hydrate yourself, bring your own drink.

    4.ID 

    Private gyms will require you to show a form of identification before they give you a membership. Likewise, public gyms will also require you to show a form of identification before you can enter the gym. It’s always good practice to carry a form of id with you at all times. Maybe starting gym will instill this behavior in you.

    Useful vocabulary & Phrases for your first day at gyms in Japan

    Two gym buddies having a chat
    A coaching encouraging their student

    Okay, by now you should have all the necessary information to crush your first day of gym in Japan. But we know it can be overwhelming even when you’re fully equipped. We don’t blame you! We’ve created a table of useful gym phrases and vocabularies just for you!

    English

    Japanese

    Romaji

    I’d like to sign up for a gym membership

    ジム会員に登録したいです

    Jimu kaiin ni tōroku shitaidesu

    I have a membership

    会員登録をしています

    Kaiin tōroku o shite imasu

    I don’t have a membership

    会員登録はしていません

    Kaiin tōroku wa shite imasen

    Can I do a trial session before registering as a member?

    会員登録の前に体験セッションをすることはできますか

    Kaiin tōroku no mae ni taiken sesshon o suru koto wa dekimasu ka?

    Can I rent a towel/shoes?

    タオル/靴のレンタルはできますか 

    Taoru/ kutsu no rentaru wa dekimasu ka

    Is it alright if I use this?

    これを使っても大丈夫ですか

    Kore o tsukatte mo daijōbudesuka

    Are you done?

    終りましたか

    Owarimashita ka

    Dumbbell 

    ダンベル

    Danberu

    Bench press

    ベンチプレス

    Benchi puresu

    Treadmill

    ランニングマシン

    Ranningu mashiin

    Warm up

    準備運動

    Junbi undou

    Workout

    筋トレ

    Kintore

    Weight

    重り

    Omori

    For more gym vocab and phrases, check out this article by Japanese with Noriko. And, if you want to learn Japanese phrases to make your life in Japan easier, check out our Ultimate Guide to Useful Japanese Phrases.

    Final Thoughts

    If you’ve made it here, you’re ready to hit gyms in Japan and start working towards your fitness goals. We hope this article has helped you relieve gymtimidation at least a little. Starting something new can be scary, but the fact that you’re reading this article means that you’re making progress. Don’t give up! We believe in you!

    If you want to take it to the next step and learn more about leaving your comfort zone in Japan, check out our article on Stepping out of Your Comfort Zone!

    japanese kanji

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