So before coming to Japan, I had just enrolled in salsa classes, I was about 3 months in when I skipped off to Japan-land leaving this beautiful world of dance behind me.
I lived in a town where I had to drive, although some of my neighbours were require to ride a bike my one of my schools were a little ways off so a car was necessary.
A year later, I moved to Saitama and my first gear less A to B bike was purchased. Now, I can honestly say that I hadn't ridden a real bike (Im excluding the bikes you use at the gym) since I was about 15. Thus, this new biking lark that I had to get on with was a nightmare. I think in about 2 - 3 weeks I got those weight lifter callouses on my hands (and they're still there - how do I get rid of these!?)
School #1 is a 10 min walk away, it was then and is now a 5 min bike ride (3mins if i magically wake up at 8am and have to arrive at school by 8.20...)
School #2 is a 35 minute walk away some how it was a 30 min bike ride (in the beginning) Now I can do it in 15, which sounds about right.
School #3 is a 20 minute bus ride away. I think I walked home from there once or twice deffo an hour or more. On my bike it used to take me 40 mins, now I can get there in 25 mins on a hard fast bike ride. But I arrive at school looking like a hot mess. Luckily my lessons usually get cancelled or moved anyway so its no biggie (JHS).
Who cares? Whats this got to do with Salsa??
Anyway, I decided shortly after buying my bike that I really needed to get fit/increase my stamina/do SOMETHING so I decided to join a gym.
The closest gym I could find easily was megalos (メガロス）in soka, about a 30min bike ride from my home. They had it all, over six floors they have grammed in squash courts, tennis courts, swimming pool, weights rooms, two studios, Sauna, onsen type baths and massage areas not to mention an array of classes including Salsa, Zumba and Belly dancing not to mention God knows what else. However even though they had Salsa classes they were at 11am on a Tuesday morning. Yeah, don't think school would be OK to let me out for that...
Joining the Gym.
Was relatively painless I could fill out the form on line for the most part, but I would have to head down to sign papers and what now. I was 1 year into Japan by this time and I had mustered up enough Japanese to go through this process solo, as I said it was too had as I had did the bulk on line. There is no English application page, I just used google translate and stuck the links in there. The sales assistant couldn't speak a lick of English, so after a lot of guess work on my part I was finally able to sign up and get started out.
I joined another new starter and we went off with a buff looking personal trainer for our introduction. The young lady I was with and I were made to do a detailed weigh in. it measure BMI, height, weight, muscle strength and a number of other things. The young lady was visibly repulsed by the fact she had a higher body fat rating than me (Even though she was a twig in comparison) and that I was already my exact ideal weight for my height. Oh well to her.
With that out of the way, and knowing that I hadn't turned in to a heffa, I decided I didn't need to use the machine and went only to the classes.
My routing was -
Monday - Belly Dancing
Wednesday - Zumba
Thursday - Swimming
Unluckily for me they were closed on Fridays so I couldn't plan my week exactly as I had wanted.
How much does it cost?
I think in total, to sign up I had to pay around 30,000yen. I had to pay for 3 months of membership as there has been a problem of people (salary men and OLs) who joining the gym only to quit a month later as as feel they cant fit the gym into their schedule. By making us pay up this much in the first place, they not only ensure they get our money, but that we actually think long and hard before we joining up.
Monthly my fee is 7000yen and I can do everything, I don't have to pay extra for classes or usage of the pool and what not. Major bonus. However, as far as I know, I think I can only use the gym in Soka. I had been curious about whether I could visit others, nows a good time as any to ask.
There are cheaper plans depending on when you would like to go and what facilities you would want to use. I opted for evenings, weekends and pool.