Establishing a fitness regime after winter hibernation can be grueling. It’s tough enough getting out of bed on those cold mornings, let alone making an effort to stay fit. Yes, we’re all lazy creatures for three months of the year, and that’s why they invented Netflix. But it’s warm now, so you’re plum out of excuses.
Fortunately, there’s an endless supply of fitness options in Tokyo that cater to all styles and budgets. So whether you’re dusting off your sneakers for a jog or looking to push yourself that extra mile, Metropolis wants to help you perk up and get into shape.
Getting fit can be as easy as setting your alarm clock an hour earlier and hitting the streets for a morning jog. OK, perhaps “easy” isn’t the right word. But the more you make jogging a part of your routine, the more pleasurable it becomes.
Tokyo is a jogger’s paradise. Its abundance of accessible public spaces makes the city a perfect place for outdoor fitness, whether you’re a resident or a visitor. Your best bet is to pick out a local park, which usually offers idyllic scenery and well-maintained paths.
Those in the Minato area might consider checking out the quaint Arisugawa Park in Hiroo, which offers around one kilometer’s worth of rugged yet impeccably manicured running space. The path snakes around a large manmade pond and waterfall, over a series of rustic wooden bridges, and past the Tokyo Metropolitan Library, which is located at the back of the park. Go early for maximum serenity.
Larger parks are, of course, a popular choice for joggers, and none come larger than Yoyogi. The park encompasses a vast swath of central-Tokyo real estate, so there’s no shortage of paths to jog along. It’s also home to the must-visit Meiji Shrine.
Another noteworthy spot in central Tokyo is the grounds around Akasaka Palace, with a three-kilometer path surrounding the regal edifice. A further kilometer east is the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda, where you’ll find people jogging at all hours of the day, with 10 kilometers’ worth of runner-friendly sidewalk that takes you around the imposing palace moat.
Arisugawa Park. Nearest station: Hiroo. Yoyogi Park. Nearest station: Harajuku. Akasaka Place. Nearest station: Aoyama-itchome. Imperial Palace. Nearest station: Otemachi
There’s no short supply of good quality gyms in Tokyo, with many open 24 hours. However, most require fixed membership plans, which can be costly.
If you’re looking for personal training, Club 360 in Roppongi offers a diverse selection of private and group classes, and lets you pay as you go. Club 360 is a great option for those who enjoy, or feel the need for, the structure and motivation of a personal trainer. Their studio, impressively large for downtown Tokyo, is more than your run-of-the-mill gym, decked out with all manner of training equipment to get you moving.
Options include one-on-one personal training (¥10,000 per class), group personal training (¥4,000-5,000), or weekly classes (¥4,000 / ¥35,000 per month for unlimited access). All their instructors speak English.
Classes include yoga, core and cardio, Shinkyokushin karate, and an outdoor fitness “boot camp,” which is held each Monday and Friday morning in Arisugawa Park. The studio also provides massages (¥8,000-14,000) and physiotherapy (¥7,000-12,000), with the added benefit of accepting international insurance.
Club 360 has also developed a reputation for boxing. As well as various boxing and kickboxing classes, they host Executive Fight Night, an annual charity event where mostly foreign, Tokyo-based office workers hang up their neckties and take to the ring to spar fellow salarymen—for charity—in front of a roaring audience of 500-plus.
Club 360. CMA3 Bldg. B1, 3-1-35 Motoazabu, Minato-ku. Nearest station: Roppongi. Tel: 03-6434-9667. E-mail: email@example.com. www.club360.jp.
Executive Fight Night. May 20, 2016. For tickets, visit www.executivefightnight.com.
If swimming is more your speed, you needn’t travel too far to find a decent pool in Tokyo. Municipal gyms are a good choice, as they’re usually quite affordable and have a good variety of indoor fitness options and decent pools.
One such center is the Katsushika City Sogo Sports Center in East Tokyo, which is popular among paddlers of all ages. The center has two heated indoor pools, as well as a summer-only outdoor “flowing water” pool (¥100-300 for two-hour access). There are also numerous terrestrial activities on offer, including an archery range and several ball courts.
Katsushika City Sogo Sports Center. 7-17-1 Okudo, Katsushika-ku. Nearest station: Aoto. Tel: 03-3691-7111. www.spo-katsushika.esforta.jp/english.html.