Stereotypically, college freshman gain somewhere around fifteen pounds during their first year of university. This is referred to as “the freshman fifteen.” This did not happen to me. However my first year living in Japan is another story…
During my time in university, I was good at keeping up with daily workouts. When I moved to Japan, my first job had me working from 2 pm to 10 pm. Combined with the culture shock, this schedule left me little time or energy to do anything-including exercise.
Fortunately, I soon found a new job with hours from 8 am to 4 pm and we discovered the local gym. We had a trial day at the gym, and decided to join.
Though a small gym, Kawara Sports has a lot to offer. There is a weight room with free weights as well as machines for lifting and cardio. There are two studios in which many different types of classes are held everyday. The lap swimming pool also holds daily classes.
Although gym memberships are expensive in Japan-ours runs us close to 19,000 yen (combined) a month-we find that it is worth it. The membership fee covers entrance to as many of the offered classes you care to join. We have frequented yoga, taichi, and kickboxing classes and have really enjoyed them.
Along with the membership, you receive two free tickets to the Kawara no Yu onsen that is located just across the street from the gym. We have found that spending an intense evening at the gym followed by a relaxing bath in the hot spring is an excellent way to relax after working all day.
Oh, and by the way, I have lost all the weight I gained that first year.
Kawara Sports Club is located very close to Kawara no Yu Onsen, only about a ten minute walk from the station. Here is a map:
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