I just want to be as big as Godzilla is that so bad? so finding a gym to throw some weight around and finding enough food to stuff my big silly face is of course of the utmost importance. Japan is an amazing place. I love it there. The food, culture, people all amazing. I spent about 6 months there in total with a 1 month break in between in Thailand but that’s a whole other story. I must admit at first it was hard to find a gym and where to get food. Let me explain about the gym situation. Gyms are everywhere it’s really not very hard to find one. Google can be your best friend. I have tattoos and in Japan tattoos are not very popular. They are associated with crime and wanting to distance ones self from society. This is mostly an old way of thinking. I was never treated badly because of my tattoos, a a lot of people even though they were cool, but it did make it hard to find a gym that would take me or an onsen ( hot springs), even some beaches and most public pools wont permit you if you have tattoos.
The first gym I went to was of course a gold’s gym, it was about a 45 minute train ride from my place. I walk in wearing a short sleeve shirt but took a long one with me just in case. The first thing the girl behind the counter tells me is they cant admit me because of my tattoos. She was super nice about it and very apologetic. She told me if I put the long sleeve shirt on and walked over to there other location of gold’s gym down the block and told them I had no tattoos they should take me. She was really trying to help me out. I did just that and after a pretty expensive 3 month upfront payment I was able to workout.
Now none of this will be a problem if you don’t have tattoos or you can cover it with a band aid. After 3 months of having to wear long sleeve shirts in the summer and not being able to shower after and then riding the train home I needed to find a different gym. I eventually found two gyms that were more like a YMCA that didn’t care about my tattoos, and you pay about 300 yen per visit. I honestly liked the local sports center more then Gold’s gym. I made so many friends and met a lot of great people there, after they realized I wasn’t some big mean guy just a big goofy guy who loved to lift. Bonus points for it being a beautiful 30 minute walk from my apartment.
FOOD…we can’t do anything with out it. I love the food in Japan. Probably too much, it’s really good most everything is so fresh. Coming from america i’m used to buying a lot of things in bulk, saves a lot of time and money. I eventually discovered that Japan has a Costco, that solved a lot of my problems. My local grocery store called “OK” was pretty good though. They had fresh cooked sweet potato, amazing fish of all kinds and the vegetables were fresh and great. Costco is the only place I found beef at 88% lean. Protein powder is also hard to find and pretty expensive in Japan. You can find a few brands at Costco but you can also order from bodybuilding.com or Iherb. I took some pictures of food at Costco to give you some idea on prices and what they have to offer.
There is WAY more then I took pictures of obviously. They have fresh baked bread and bagels. They have good pizza cooked in house ( if you’re into that kind of thing) and foot long hot dogs. They are always giving out samples to try. Huge wine and other alcoholic beverage selection. Costco’s is definitely worth going to if you’re looking to by in bulk or missing something from the states.