Staying in shape in a big city like Tokyo can be a chore sometimes; I myself am a big fan of running and biking outdoors, and sometimes it seems cars and bad traffic along with the sometimes extreme weather can have me sidelined for days, sometimes weeks without getting my weekly workouts in. Fortunately, I live near one of the cheapest solutions to this problem, and it’s very likely you do too: The Public Gymnasium.
Called anything from “Sports Center(スポーツセンター)” to flat out “Taiikukan (体育館, literally “fitness building”), these community operated gymnasiums have almost the same complement of equipment and amenities as their privately run counterparts but the prices are vastly inexpensive in comparison. While most of the gym chains will charge a ¥30,000 sign-up fee and run around ¥10,000+ per month, one can usually join a community gym for less than ¥2000 per month without a signup fee and sometimes less if you happen to be a resident of the ward or city where it is located. Most gyms have a training room with a full complement of weights, resistance training machines, treadmills, and stationary bikes. Many offer martial arts dōjōs, basketball and volleyball courts, and even pools and saunas. Usually, they will have training classes and clubs like aerobics, cross-training, and even indoor climbing and archery.
Here is a list of a few public gyms around central Tokyo:
— By Jason L. Gatewood