If you are staying in Tokyo for the long(er) term, you will surely want to find your favorite bakery in the area, nearest international supermarket, best English bookstores in the city, and other places that will make you feel more at home. You may also be looking for a good sports club or gym to join. That being said, if you don’t speak fluent Japanese and or have tattoos, finding a place that suits you might not exactly be a walk in the park. But the good news is that there are several foreigner-friendly sports clubs and gyms in Tokyo to choose from where a low level of Japanese and (covered)tattoos aren’t an issue. Here is an overview of seven of the best foreigner-friendly sports clubs and gyms that you can join in Tokyo now!
1. Anytime Fitness
As this gym’s name already implies, Anytime Fitness is open 24/7 and has more than 600 gyms all over Japan (160 of which are located in the Tokyo area). If you are a member of Anytime Fitness in another country, your membership will also be valid at any location in Japan. The monthly membership fee varies from location to location, but it is usually around 7500 yen a month. People with tattoos will need to completely cover up their ink. While it is not a luxury sports club chain, at most of their locations you will be able to find any machine you need for strength training, endurance training, and cardio training.
Website: Anytime Fitness
2. F45 Training
Just like Anytime Fitness, Australian chain F45 Training has gyms all over the world. Currently, they have 1 location in Japan in the Hamamatsucho area of Tokyo. F45 Training is known for their high-energy mix of circuit training and hiit(high intensity interval training) lasting for a quick but intense 45 minutes. All muscle groups are worked in a fairly balanced way and those who prefer to work out in a group will like their style. Because of their relatively short workouts, even if you have a pretty busy life you can manage to stay healthy and fit. Being on the higher end of the spectrum, an F45 Training membership costs around 20,000 yen per month.
Website: F45 Training
The unique selling point for Orangetheory, which has several locations throughout the Kanto area, is that your workout is optimized for you personally according to your heart rate. During your workout they have you wear a bracelet that measures your vitals, and having this visual proof of your hard work gives a lot of people even more motivation to get all they can out of their workout. Another thing that makes Orangetheory different is that you will start and end your workout in a group setting, and have an individual portion in the middle. If this style of workout is what you are looking for, you will surely be hooked in no time. Because of their personal approach, Orangetheory is not the cheapest option at around 17,000 – 20,000 yen a month for a membership.
4. Club 360
With two locations in Azabu, one of the most expat-rich areas of Tokyo, Club 360 specifically targets English-speakers. It also happens to be one of the most family-friendly sports clubs with several group classes geared towards kids. Besides a plethora of different classes and a state of the art fitness machine room, they also offer other services such as massages, physiotherapy, and nutritional coaching. Personal training is also one of their fortes. Club 360 targets the more high-end market and for an unlimited use membership it will cost you over 30,000 yen per month, but you can also opt for paying per class which will cost you 4000 yen each time.
Website: Club 360
5. Local Community Center Gyms (Ward Gyms)
If you are looking for a budget-friendly gym option, look no further than your local ward’s community gym! Each ward in Japan’s metropolitan areas has at least one public gym that anyone can use. They typically only have a pay as you go system, but even if you go frequently you will probably pay less than what you would pay for an unlimited use membership at a regular lower budget gym chain. Prices will differ from location to location, but you can expect to pay between 250-400 yen per visit. The quality of the gym will also vary depending on the location, but usually the selection of equipment is decent and they offer various group lessons such as aerobics and Zumba. Some gyms even have a swimming pool that you can make use of for an additional fee. Ward gym policies honor inclusivity, and people with tattoos are welcome as long as they cover them up.
6. Gold’s Gym
Are you looking for some serious results and or are you into body building? Chances are Gold’s Gym will be your best bet in Japan. This American gym chain is known as a haven for people who are more experienced gym-goers and want to build an especially strong physique. Gold’s Gym’s equipment has everything you need to properly do this, and they also sell protein shakes and other supplements for muscle building. They also have tanning beds available for use. Membership fees vary slightly depending on the location, but you can expect to pay around 13,000 yen per month.
Website: Gold’s Gym
7. SOGO Fitness
The concept of SOGO Fitness is a bit different from your average gym, as they are a non-profit international fitness community which focuses on organizing health and wellness events such as outdoor bootcamps, running clubs, and yoga groups. They value the social aspect just as much as the sport aspect of the workouts at SOGO fitness, and it is easy to make friends with fellow sporters while working out. If you want a positive and supportive workout environment, SOGO Fitness might be just what you are looking for.
Website: Sogo Fitness Facebook Page
Joining a sports club or gym in Tokyo can be a bit daunting especially if you don’t speak Japanese. However there are lots of foreign friendly options with helpful staff that speak English and are willing to assist you accordingly. We hope you found a foreign friendly sports club or gym from our list above that you might want to join and that you can continue to workout to your heart’s content here in Japan!
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Stefanie Akkerman moved from the Netherlands to Japan in 2013 with her Japanese husband and son. She jumped into the niche of Dutch tour guiding in Tokyo and Kamakura in 2015 and occasionally writes articles about all the great sights and activities Japan has to offer. She loves (Japanese) food, and to work that all off she goes diving, snorkeling, cycling, or hiking.
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