Top five Ways to Stay Fit in Tokyo

By Mark Ellis
Staying fit in Tokyo is not such a hard thing to do.  There are many great placeswhere the whole family can get a good workout.  Finding institutions and organizations that cater to English speakers can be a bit difficult at times.  Below isa helpful list of top five ways to stay fit in Tokyo along with some links to places where English is spoken.

1. Go to the gym

Of course the best and most traditional way to stay fit is to join a sports gym.   They are a great place to get access to all of the equipment you need to get a total workout.  The cost to join a sports gym varies.  Public gyms are a fraction of the cost of private gyms but they rarely have English-speaking staff.  Below is a list of the top places to go if you want to work out in an English Speaking environment.  The third one on the list, My Gym, is an international facility that specializes in physical fitness for kids.

Please be aware that most fitness centers and swimming facilities will not allow you to workout if you have a visible tattoo as they have been traditionally associated with organized crime gangs.  No matter how sweet and innocent you or your tattoo may look the anti tat policy is usually pretty strict.  Some places will let you get away with a tattoo if you can cover it up.

English Speaking Fitness Centers:

Tokyo American Club
State of the art equipment in a glass walled gym that overlooks the city.  TAC caters 100% to the expat community.

Gold’s Gym
The world famous Gold’s Gym has branches that are open 24hrs a day making it the most convenient place to work out in Tokyo.  Many branches have trained English-speaking staff.

My Gym (for children’s fitness)
My Gym has several locations across Tokyo and specializes in physical fitness for kids.  If you have a budding athlete in the family this may be the place for you.

omprehensive List of Fitness Centers in Tokyo(Japanese)

This is a list of fitness centers across Tokyo.  Most of them do not have English-speaking staff.  If that doesn’t bother you and you would like to find something close to your neighborhood then click on the clink above.

2. Personal Trainers

You can find personal trainers at most gyms but they may not speak English fluently enough for you to understand fully what’s going on.  Also, having personal trainers at the gym means you will be confined to the gym.  Lots of people want a much more personalized experience that offers a wide range of fitness options such as Pilates or other types of specialized programs.

Tokyo Fitness
This is an Australian run company that specializes in personalized training.

Synergy deals with personal fitness, rehabilitation, and customized training.  Everything is done in English or Japanese.

3. Recreational Sports

Sports can be the most fun and rewarding way to get a good workout.  Because wide-open spaces are scarce in Tokyo it will be difficult to set up an impromptu football or softball match.  You could go to one of the big parks like Yoyogi but there are usually too many people around to be able to play freely and safely.  There are, of course, many people who would prefer to join an already existing group rather than try to go through the trouble of gathering a team.  Here is a list of places where you can go to get a variety of sporting experiences.

Krissman International Tennis School
They offer tennis classes in English for both children and adults.  This is a great way for the whole family to stay active together.

Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Centre
This is a world-class swimming center with a gorgeous facility for casual swimmers or serious athletes.  English may be limited but it may be worth the hassle to swim in this beautiful place.  Don’t forget, visible tattoos are not allowed.

British Football Academy (children/teens)
This is an organization that holds classes and summer football programs for children up to 18 years of age.

Tokyo Gaijin (various sports activities)
Access this site for various information on outdoor and indoor activities.

Tokyo Cycling Club
This is an international community of cycling enthusiasts.

4. Yoga

For more than1000 years yoga has endured as one of the best ways to keep your body in tiptop shape.  Now people all over the world practice yoga to unwind, to stay healthy, and to strengthen their bodies.  There are several places in Tokyo where you can go to take yoga classes.  Below is a short list of places that teach classes in English.

One of Tokyo’s longest running Yoga classes.  Lessons are taught in English and Japanese.

Synapse Body (Baby Yoga)
This is a class for infants and toddler that is run by masters of modern dance, the Tamagawa sisters.  It is a great way for parents and children to bond.

Hello Yoga
This is an international Yoga community with studios all across Tokyo.

5. Martial Arts

Of course you can also get a great workout while learning martial arts.  Japan has a long tradition that is rich with various fighting arts styles.  Below is a list of training centers that teach classes in English.


International Karate Organization

Japan Karate Association

Shinkali is a twist on traditional Filipino martial arts.  They teach self-defense, security training, and fight training to all levels.  Classes are in English and Japanese.

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