5 Tips to stay fit in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

5 Tips to stay fit in Japan

By Guidable Writers Oct 26, 2017

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Japan is known for being one of the most expensive countries when it comes to living cost. Especially for the students in big cities like Tokyo, it may be tough to make ends meet every month. In that case, maybe staying fit is the last thing to be considered in your everyday life. Even with the national health insurance card, however, medical expenses are not so inexpensive in Japan. Staying fit and not visiting the hospital as much as possible might be the reasonable way to save those medical expenses.

Here, we would like to introduce 5 tips that may help you stay fit in Japan with less expense. Be ready for taking note!


  1. Visit blood donation centre

Like in other foreign countries, Japan is carrying out blood donation activity too, supported by Japanese Red Cross Society. Any healthy 16~69 year old can join this activity, and donated blood is going to be used for the patients who need blood transfusion due to the injury or illness. You might think why blood donation can be good for staying fit. In fact, some people say that draining some amount of old blood leads to the production of new blood (cells) in your body. Of course, this can be applied to those whose health condition is good. If you feel unwell or tired, do not join blood donation.

The donation itself is free, but to attract younger generation which is getting less interested in blood donation, nowadays, many centers offer free attractive offers such as Haagen Dazs ice cream, drinks, and snacks in manga kissa like atmosphere (you can also read comics for free there!). But be careful not to have too many snacks and drinks there, since this article is written for you to stay fit…

Instead of visiting the center, the bus with blood donation facility sometimes comes to your city, at the city hall or the square near the station. Also, please be noted that those who have been to certain countries cannot do blood donation considering the infectious disease risk of via blood.



  1. Go to public bath

Sento or Public bath is one of the unique features in Japan. If you don’t feel uncomfortable with sharing a bath with other people, it’s good for your health to soak in hot water in a bathtub and then take a shower after. Recent sento is often equipped with even jacuzzi or sauna. In the coming next week, 10/Oct is Sento no hi (Public bath day), you can visit the sento near your house to see if you can take a bath with other people feeling comfortable or not.




  1. Eat Japanese food

Since you are in Japan, constructing your everyday diet mainly on Wasoku, Japanese food is also a good way to stay fit. As you know, Japanese food is known as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. When you feel hungry around the lunch time, you should go to Teishoku-ya (set meal restaurant) like Otoya or Yayoi-ken, rather than McDonald’s. And please order the teishoku with yaki Sakana (baked fish) rather than with deep fries like Tempura. Around tea time, you should take wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets, rather than yogashi (western style sweets). You might feel less guilty even eating wagashi since it’s is basically based on red bean and less oil and flours.


  1. Join the radio exercise in the parks

Radio exercise is also one of the unique things observed only in Japan. It’s the exercise done along with the music from the radio broadcast. If you have spent your school time in Japan, you should have absolutely experienced this unique way of exercise.

Every morning in some parks in Japan as well, you can experience this radio exercise. It usually begins from 6:30 on the spot and most of the participants there are elderly people. After the exercise, you can enjoy conversation with them as well. They will surely welcome the younger joinee. As they say Hayaoki wa sanmon no toku (the early bird gets the worm), getting up early in the morning, joining the radio exercise in the park around your residence, and taking a walk in a fresh morning air would bring you a good feeling from the start of the day.



  1. Go to the gym in the city facility

If you are planning to go to a gym in Japan, please consider not only world/nation-wide franchise gym but also the gym facility organized by your city. Searching the web, you can find some sports centers in your city. They usually offer gym facilities such as swimming pool, or training machines at a reasonable cost. In addition, they often offer various kinds of sports classes focusing on various ranges of the age/level groups, from kids to the elderly, or from beginners to experienced, such as yoga, swimming or martial arts class.


Well, any of these tips has attracted you so far? Living in a foreign country is tough. Besides, if you are a student, you might tend to get yourself engaged in studying or part-time job in your everyday life. Taking care of yourself, however, is the most important thing in order to enjoy the life in a different country. And when choosing the tips to stay fit, let’s pick up Japanese unique ones, taking the most of it while staying in Japan. Once you live in Japan, enjoy the healthy lifestyle unique to this country!


Sonia Insomnia/JAPAN