Sports Opportunities

Sports are a great way to make the most of your JET experience, to feel active and genki, and to avoid gaining too-many-onigiri pounds. If you want to be involved in a sport, the obvious first choice is to participate with the sport team at your school. However, if you would rather join a team (instead of pretending to coach a team), then there are plenty of options out there.

Ultimate Frisbee

There are groups playing Ultimate Frisbee every week in Osaka, Himeji, and Toyooka. One thing to keep your ear open for is the Taj Ultimate Tournament. which is held up in sunny Tajima sometime in July.

Gaelic Football

If Gaelic Football is your thing, there’s a group that practices twice a month at a number of venues around Osaka and Kyoto, most regularly at Osakajo Koen. All players are welcome, and we have men’s and women’s teams! They also usually adjoin to a local Irish Pub such as the Blarney Stone, Umeda, or Ryan’s, Sannomiya, for a pint and a bit of craic after training and games.


Gym Recommendations



Costs: Monthly fee is ¥11,000, one time fee is ¥3000
Facilities: 2 weight rooms, huge swimming pool, 2 aerobic class rooms, 60 plus nautilus machines, bath, massages, lounge/tv room, squash court
Location: Okubo-cho, Akashi
English Spoken: No, they don’t speak Eigo
Activities/Classes: Classes include yoga, step, body pump, jogging aerobics, jazzercise, body combat, body healing, and much more
Impression: Excellent gym, the place rocks and people are unbelievably friendly!
Hours: The gym in Okubo is closed thursday. Otherwise it’s open from 10AM-midnight M-F, 10AM-6PM Sa-Su


Asago Gym

Costs: 500 yen per visit or 3,000 per month.
Facilities: Awesome! There is a beautiful 5 lane 25 meter pool (lap lanes and walking lanes), a smaller maybe 12 meter pool used mainly for playing, big jacuzzi and individual jacuzzi, and sauna. There are free weights, maybe 5 treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, stair machines, and weight machines.
Location: Across the street from the Junior High
English Spoken: Not really, a little bit sometimes. You have to fill out paperwork and go through a brief orientation—you need to take someone to translate if you don’t speak Japanese.
Activities/Classes: There is a studio where classes are offered including: various stretching and aerobics classes (for an extra 300 yen per class). You can also use the studio for stretching and exercises when there aren’t classes.
Impression: I go to the Asago Gym and it’s awesome!!!!! A lot of JETs use it in this area.


Itoman Sports Club

Costs: About \9,000 a month
Facilities: Extensive cardio facilities, good treadmills and steppers, but crappy bikes. Good weight machines, but inadequate free weights. Best thing about it is its pool.
Location: About two minutes from Seishin-chuo subway station/bus-terminal. Plenty of car parking.
English Spoken: No. Joining was challenging.
Activities/Classes: There are a plethora of classes available
Impression: Friendly staff.
Hours: Closed on Thursdays.


Costs: About \9,000 a month
Facilities: Superb, all brand new equipment. Showers include sento and a whrilpool.Fantastic treadmills, bikes, eliptical trainers, and weird horse riding thingies. Very good weight machines
Location: About two minutes from Seishin-chuo subway station/bus-terminal. Plenty of car parking.
English Spoken: Yes
Activities/Classes: There are a plethora of classes available
Impression: I was happy with Itoman, but I LOOOOVE Cospa. Friendly, and attractive, staff.
Hours: Closed on Tuesdays.


Sun Sports

Costs: 2 membership levels: ¥7,000/month (you can go anytime until 5 or 6pm i think), ¥10,000/month (you can go anytime); there was a joining fee around 3,000yen as well i think. 2-hour orientation (free) also required to join.
Facilities: Swimming pool, training room, and ping pong tables. Great workout room facilities–variety of machines, all new, 8 treadmills, lots of bikes, 4 elliptical-type machines, plus plenty of free weights, 4 TVs, 4 massage chairs. Nice new locker rooms adjacent to shower/onsen room and dry sauna
English Spoken: Nada
Activities/Classes: both memberships include any classes (there are lots, like aerobics, ‘fighting workout’, yoga, pilates, hip hop dance, etc…also, no prior reservations or registrations for classes are required)
Impression: super-expensive, especially during months when i hardly go, but the good facilities, classes, convenience of location, and friendly staff make it worth it for me.
Hours: M,Tu,Th,F 9am(?) to 11pm, Sat 9am to 9pm, Sun 9am to 6pm, closed Wednesdays


Takino Sougo Kouen

Costs: very cheap b/c it’s a city gym…200yen/2hours, i believe there’s a monthly membership fee but not sure what it is; no fee to join but a 2-hour orientation (200yen) is required and a reservation is needed for that
Facilities: basketball court, training room (small but has new machines: 3 treadmills, a few bikes, a few weight machines, a few free weights), an indoor track, maybe a pool but i haven’t seen it, 2 massage chairs
Location: Takino-cho, Kato, near the Yashiro JR station
Phone Number: 0795-48-2566
English Spoken: a couple of staffmembers can use english, buti believe they quit recently
Activities/Classes: there are some, but i don’t know anything about them
Impression: adequate, but for me, not enough machines, and i’ve heard that on crowded days, there’s a wait for the treadmill (also, treadmill and bike time limit is 20minutes on crowded days).
Hours: 9am to 9pm i think, closed mondays



Costs: 6,000 yen/month for the basic plan, a little more more the plan that includes a sauna
Facilities: Good weights room with various machines, racketball court, swimming pool, bicycle/treadmill room, gymnasium, track, and two rooms for classes
Location: Kobe-shi, Chuo-ku, Kanou-cho, 2-7-15. About 15 min. walk north of Sannomiya Station.
Phone Number: 078-241-7202
English Spoken: Decent
Activities/Classes: Various. They have boxing, yoga, aerobics, and a karate club you can join.
Impression: Very good, nice facilities, and central location
Hours: Open 6 days a week (closed sundays)


Hyogo Kenritsu Sougou Taiikukan

Costs: Depends on what you use. 650 yen to use the Training Room.
Facilities: Training Room with weights, machines, treadmills (2) and bikes (4).
Location: Nishinomiya, Naruohama 1-16-8 5 mins south of ‘Rainbow Town’
Phone Number: 0798-43-1143
English Spoken: The woman who teaches hip-hop can speak English, but aside from her, no.
Activities/Classes: Most of the classes are during the day, but hip hop dancing is offered Tuesdays and Fridays
Impression: Friendly staff, but equipment is pretty old looking.



Costs: 300yen/time, there’s a reasonable monthly fee as well
Facilities: Training room facilities are old, but somewhat adequate: 2 treadmills, a few weight machines, a few bikes, no free weights (that i remember); good pool; basketball court
Location: Ono (next to Saty)
English Spoken: Not Really
Activities/Classes: Several, like aerobics and yoga, but you have to submit an application in advance and pay for 3 months’ worth, so it requires commitment
Impression: good enough, but the atmosphere of the training room is rather dreary and the equipment looks like it’s straight out of the 80’s…
Hours: 9am to 9pm, closed mondays (?)


Costs: Same as Argo (both are Ono City gyms…if you join one, you can go to either)
Facilities: About the same as Takino Sougo Kouen, but I don’t recall any massage chairs
Location: Ono, closer toward Miki, off Route 175 near Ono Industrial Park or something like that
Activities/Classes: Same as Argo I think
Impression: Adequate facilities, and new



Costs: 100yen/time, or 1000yen/11 times
Facilities: Treadmill, stairclimber, stationary bike(x5), weights (I think), indoor Basketball/Volleyball court
Location: Taka-cho, Naka-ku, Kishikami 281-51
Phone Number: 0795-32-5151
English Spoken: No
Impression: It’s more of a community center than gym, but its dirt cheap. Bring indoor shoes.

San Swim Kami サンスイム・カミ (温水プール)

Costs: 500yen/time, annual membership also available
Facilities: Indoor heated swimming pool
Location: Taka-cho, Kami-ku, Toyobe 1840-55 (Turn near Lawson’s)
Phone Number: 0795-35-1475


Tokyu Sports OASIS-Sakasegawa

Costs: evening only membership-8400/month, regular-11000/m, joining fee-3000 (but often do deals where they wave the joining fee)
Facilities: weight room (free weights & machines), studio, swimming pool, locker rooms with shower stalls and sauna
Location: Next to Sakasegawa Station on Hankyu Takarazuka-Imazu line
Phone Number: 0797-74-5480
English Spoken: At the moment one English speaker, Takikawa Yasunari (aka Yas, went to university in America so perfect English), but he’s not going to be there forever…
Activities/Classes: Classes offered all day, everyday in all of the usual subjects–step, aerobics, dance, stretching…I like pilates, power yoga, kick boxing, aqua kick boxing.
Impression: This is a small but adequate neighborhood branch of the ever popular chain of Oasis gyms. I love going there because it is only a few minutes from my house. I can work out have a nice hot shower and hang out with the other members and employees for a while. This is where I have met most of my good Japanese friends, so I am so happy I joined way back in August. Overall grade: B+


Toyooka Gym

Costs: Free, but may be changing
Facilities: good sized sports hall and a small weights room (which can only be used if you have been to some kind of lecture given by a japanese person….how much of that us foreigners will understand is another question though…but from what i understand, you just need to turn up!)
Location: B & G Takeno town, Toyooka city, Hyogo
English Spoken: None
Activities/Classes: Kendo, Karate, volleyball, basketball….and i’m sure there are a few other activities too, but i’m not aware of them!
Impression: there are no machines of any kind….just weights, which is a bit disappointing, but a sports hall to jog/run in is better than nothing during the heavy snow/rain that we get in Tajima. The staff are all friendly, and it suffices for the short while that we are living here in Japan.

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