Get Active and Stay Fit On Holiday

by Mieke

Visiting Japan soon? No need to leave your training condition at the mercy of the fast-food-ramen joints, ubiquitous escalators and enticing cakes and sweets. Even on holiday (or business trip) you can work out and stay fit. Living in Japan, I was always annoyed by the ‘members-only’ policy many Japanese gyms seem to have: no occasional work-out allowed! But, there are many other alternatives for the active traveller. Read on below on where to go with your excess energy!

Get Active and Stay Fit On Holiday
photo courtesy of spjob.jp


Outdoors

Hiking
If you’d like to combine your workout with some nature, you might consider hiking. Hiking is very popular in Japan, and for sure a reason that many tourists come to the country in the first place. Which hiker or mountain climber hasn’t dreamt of conquering Japan’s highest point, Mt Fuji? At 3776 metres, this will surely make you break a sweat. There are also countless options for the less practiced legs. From flat walks along rivers in Tokyo’s suburbs to the gentle slopes of hills and small mountains spread out over the country.
When you come from Tokyo, Mt Takao is a good mountain to start with. There are lifts running (so if you are more tired than expected when you get to the summit, a comfortable return is waiting for you.
Same applies for Inasayama in Nagasaki. It is quite doable for untrained feet (especially in spring or fall), and not only is there an alternative ropeway course, you can also reward your feet for their hard work at the Fuku no Yu onsen (with an unrivalled view of Nagasaki city below). Miniblog onsen
The Japan National Tourist Organization (website) lists various hiking courses.

Jogging
Something more high pace? You can always go outside and jog for a bit. But the streets of Tokyo are quite busy with traffic, slow moving grannies and cyclists on the pavement. You can either put up with those, or try the running course around the Imperial Palace. A workout, nature, and sightseeing (the Imperial Palace is over a century old!) in one! That’s what I call effective! There are numerous shower facilities around so you can return home completely refreshed. Click here for more info.

Swimming
Believe it or not, some people like to swim. And if you do it fast enough, it is even said to become an adequate workout. Most pools are part or gyms and therefore only allow visitors to the gym, which requires a monthly membership. If you’re only in Japan for a short period, an occasional-access pool is a better option. I’ve listed some possibilities here.

Cycling
Why not rent a bike in the city and have a work-out and some sightseeing rolled into one? Also, it can be a fast(er) way to travel from A to B, and you won’t be depending on the train network, which in Tokyo shuts down around 24:00/24:30 (be careful with your drinking and driving though, it also counts for bicycles!). Here are a few rent-a-bike places in Tokyo.

Golf
Okey, I’ll admit that I do believe golf is not the most sporty of sports (especially not if hiring a golf cart). On the other hand, it does enquire walking lengthy amounts, often (but not always) accompanied by lengthy conversation. It does provide a good excuse to walk around in the sun all day and strut your new vest and shiny white shoes. Check golf courses around the country here.

Indoors

Gyms
For some, sweating at a gym is just the best workout. Running on a treadmill, some rowing or weightlifting can really push you to your limits. You can track what you do and goals are set clear and match your own objectives. Why not try out one of these gyms if your hotel is not equipped with one?

Climbing
Climbing and bouldering are wildly popular in Japan. It has to be, considering the country is 80% covered by mountains. In any case, you will have enough natural climbing spots to choose from. But, for beginners, city-dwellers or rainy days, the climbing gym is just right. Even for those of you who have never tried, in many gyms there are lessons you can join (be aware that some will be in Japanese though). For first-timers, sore muscles are guaranteed the next day. Check here for a list of climbing and bouldering gyms around Tokyo.

Dancing
True, you can choose to dance in a sweaty night club, shoulder-to-shoulder with twentysomethings with such thick makeup on their own parents probably wouldn’t recognize them. Don’t get me wrong, this can also be good fun. But, for the typical traveller looking for a dance workout, one of the many dancing classes taught in Tokyo might be a better idea. Check here for a selection of dancing schools of all genres, all of which you can join for a single lesson.

 


19 Aug 2014

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ Tokyo Half Day Highlights ”

Excellent
16 minutes ago Traveler: Caroline -   Tour Guide: Makiko

I enjoyed a wonderful morning with Makiko! She was very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. She understood I wanted to see as much as possible in a short time and delivered.
read more

“ Wonderful time in Tokyo ”

Excellent
10 hours ago Traveler: Vivian -   Tour Guide: Mack

We had an amazing time with Mack. He is very friendly and approachable and was very flexible to attend our wishes. Highly recommended for sure.
read more

“ Lovely, patient, and skillful. ”

Excellent
12 hours ago Traveler: Family -   Tour Guide: YUKIKO

Yukiko taught an origami lesson to three children, 8,10, and 12 years old. She was wonderful! She began with simple objects and moved to increasingly complicated creations as the kids caught on quickly through her patient and skillful instruction. She wore a kimono which they also loved, and really enjoyed their time with her. I'd highly recommend Yukiko to any family!
read more

“ TOTAL SATISFACTION!! Covered a variety of sights and experiences with our charming and fun guide ”

Excellent
17 hours ago Traveler: Sonja -   Tour Guide: MAYUMI

Mayumi San is a lovely, fun person with great English and knowledge about Tokyo. My 17 year old son and I spent 2 fantastic days ( Mon and Wed) being taken about Tokyo by Mayumi. The first day was in typhoon weather but still thoroughly enjoyable, due to Mayumi’s delightful personality and the thrill of being in this awesome city. She changed the schedule to better suit the weather and we ended...
read more

“ Wonderful Day in Tokyo ! ”

Excellent
17 hours ago Traveler: Sharis -   Tour Guide: Yuki

I came to Japan as a solo female traveler and figured it would be a good investment to tour the Tokyo area with a local, and I do not regret doing it with Yuki one bit. I spent about half a day with him and we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market, Akihabara, Meji Shrine, Asakusa and the Senso-Ji Temple. He was extremely accommodating (met me at my hotel and traveled with me back) and knowledgeable on t...
read more

“ June 4, June 6-8,2018 services ”

Very Good
19 hours ago Traveler: Edu -   Tour Guide: TR Taxi

The tours went okay and all drivers are good especially our driver on last tour, his name is Eddie. He is fluent in English. We easily understand each other and he is very knowledgeable with the place so we were able to see a lot of sights that we would like to visit. Thank you
read more

“ 1 Day in Tokyo and 1 Day in Hakone ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Isabel -   Tour Guide: Dai

Dai provided our group of 9 with 2 fun-filled days. Dai was very patient and accommodated the needs of everyone in our group. Without him, we would not have seen half the places we did! He made navigating the transportation systems of both Tokyo and Hakone a breeze. I wish we had more time in Japan. Next time we will go in early April like Dai suggested. We would definitely hire Dai again!!
read more

“ One Day in Tokyo. ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Alison -   Tour Guide: Dai

We had a group of four and we were only in Tokyo for the day. What we truly appreciated about Dat is that he was punctual and made sure we got the most experience out of our day. Dai took us on the subway and so getting from place to place was very convenient. In addition, when visiting temples he explained traditions and customs. He was very knowledgable and I would recommend his services to anyo...
read more

“ 1 day tour of Tokyo ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Jennifer -   Tour Guide: AKIRA

Akira was a fantastic guide, he took us around the highlights of Tokyo, recommended great places to eat and squeezed in an extra visit to a garden that was on route when we mentioned that we were garden enthusiasts. His knowledge gave us a great introduction to Japan. Thank you so much Akira
read more

“ Flexibility ”

Very Good
2 days ago Traveler: Joyce -   Tour Guide: Makiko

Makiko is very, very flexible which suited me perfectly.
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started