There is a gym in Nagai in the Southern area of Osaka City that you can use for just 600 yen a day or 6,000 yen a month. Seems so convenient and cheap right? Well actually, there’s a catch. Here are all the details.
Where is it?
In the southern area of Osaka. It’s about a 10 minute walk from Nagai Station on the Midosuji line. Nagai is a 14 minute train ride from Namba station.
How much does it cost?
Short-term visitors: 600 yen (approx. $5) for a one-day pass, 6,000 yen (approx. $50) for a book of 11 x one-day passes, 6,000 yen for a monthly pass.
Note: If you want use of the gym + the swimming pool, then the above prices are 1,000, 10,000 and 8,500 yen.
Monday: Closed (open on public holidays)
Tuesday to Saturday: 09:00 – 21:00 (entry permitted until 20:30)
Sunday and public holidays: 09:00 – 17:30 (entry permitted until 17:00)
The catch? You need to make a reservation and complete an “introductory session”.
Before using this gym for the first time, you will need to take an “introductory session”. An advance reservation is required. Call them on (+81) 06-6699-8885. (I’m guessing you will need to speak Japanese).
This will apparently take around an hour and includes an introduction to the facility, taking measurements, creation of a training program and explanation of how to use the machines, etc.
Before doing this, they will want to you fill out an application form and health questionnaire as well as present your ID and provide a snapshot photograph.
This all seems like a major pain in the arse, and I wouldn’t bother going through with it if I was only going to work out at the gym once or twice. But if you are going to be staying in the area for a month or more, then it’s probably worth doing considering the relatively cheap cost of the gym.
Additional information thanks to Robert (added: 7/15/2018): I took the full orientation and introductory session, which I hoped would be useful for making a program (though it really wasn’t as the instructor just asked me what I wanted to try and made up a program from what I asked to do). However, when a friend of mine who is an experienced gym user, came to visit one day, although he still needed to make a card, using a photo ID and answer a questionnaire about his health and goals, it didn’t take very long. It pretty much amounted to listening to the rules of the gym (use indoor shoes, don’t yell out or heavily drop weights, don’t take pictures or video in the gym, don’t come to the gym drunk etc…) and filling out the forms. That said, it would probably help to have someone who speaks Japanese to help out if you don’t speak Japanese yourself. The staff are friendly but they don’t speak very much English. My friend also gave the gym a good evaluation, saying that it was better than most he had been to in Japan, and maybe second only to Gold’s Gym.
One other thing, I don’t remember if there is any policy on tattoos, but I have seen people in there with visible ones, so perhaps they are relaxed about that.
What if I don’t speak Japanese?
Then you’re probably shit out of luck, my friend. Find a Japanese-speaking friend to take you there.
How are the facilities and atmosphere?
Equipment: Power racks, Smith machine, barbells, dumbbells, leg press, leg extension, leg curl, cable crossover machine, etc.
Additional information thanks to Robert (added: 7/15/2018) There are two squat cages, and two further step (?) squat racks, where the bar can be placed on one of four different steps, which can be used for high-bar, low-bar squats, overhead press and rows etc… There are three main benches with 20 kg bars, and a few more that can be used for dumbbell presses, inclines and lighter bars. There’s a T-bar, some cable machines, a couple of pull-up bars, a dip station, a Smith machine, and an area for deadlifts and cleans. The dumbbells in the racks go up to 30 kgs, but there are also some heavier ones that are perhaps 40 kgs or more. There are also a lot of machines such as lat pull-downs, chest presses, leg extensions etc… running and cycling machines, aerobics classes etc.
Other facilities: There is a swimming pool, but you have to pay extra.
Very cheap with a sufficient amount of equipment. But the abundance of unnecessary procedural bullshit to complete before you can actually work out in the gym makes it suitable only for visitors who plan to use the gym more than just once or twice. I’d only use it if I was staying very close to that area. Otherwise the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium seems like a better option (same deal but better-looking facilities and potentially less bullshit).
Disclaimer: I haven’t been to this gym yet. I have simply collected all the information I could find in Japanese from various sources and the official website and translated it into English.
Have you been to this gym? Leave a comment and let us know what you thought!
Do you know any other gyms in Osaka suitable for short-term visitors? Let me know about them – firstname.lastname@example.org