If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see two consistent themes. I love my children and I love exercising. In some posts you’ll even see both simultaneously; working out with my kids in the background.
I don’t have a proper gym membership. Years ago, I made a conscientious choice to curate my own exercise equipment to avoid the need to go to the gym. I have a set of adjustable dumbbells, a barbell, a kettle bell, pull-up bar and weight bench; all the essentials for weight lifting.
I only ever go to the gym if I need to use cardio equipment or attend fitness classes.
Charlie invited me to workout with him at his gym after seeing my videos on Instagram. Despite having mutual friends in Tokyo, I’ve never actually met the guy. Heading to his gym was a great way to formally meet him.
I definitely had my reservations at first. Meeting people online is almost always a gamble. It’s not something I do often, but during this public health crisis, there are fewer opportunities to make new friends.
Lucky for me, Charlie turned out to be a great dude.
He’s an English teacher operating out of Tokyo. His Instagram and Youtube profiles are focused on teaching English to Japanese folks. Every post is a mini lesson on phrases that viewers can watch on the go. This kind of content is extremely popular in Japan.
So how was the gym?
Believe it or not, there are quite a few recognizable fitness clubs in Japan that originated in the West. Our workout took place at Anytime Fitness which is a 24 hour gym brand. Members scan their ID cards to gain access to the gym. The gym was awesome. Well ventilated. A wide variety of equipment and gear to scratch any itch you might have while working out.
I think the best part was the “locker room”.
They don’t have a traditional locker room. At least not the kind that I’m familiar with. You simply stow your valuables away in a cubby hole. Remember, Japanese people don’t steal. Never have I ever had to worry about someone walking away with my things in this country. Despite a proper locker, they offer a private room to change and shower. That part blew me away. Most locker rooms at commercial gyms are communal, you change in an open area and walk to the showers in an open environment. Here, I was given my own space and privacy.
After our workout, we dined at a nearby German restaurant. We ate, had some beers then walked over to new Starbucks built by Meguro River. I attempted to visit that location last year with some old High School friends who were visiting from out of town. We didn’t get in because it had a three hour waiting list.
But luckily with Charlie, we were able to get in immediately. We toured the facility and had some coffee… Of course.
Hanging out with Charlie was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I said it before and I’ll continue to say, the silver lining of this whole pandemic situation is that there are fewer people around. Fewer people at the gym, fewer people at restaurants and fewer people outside. I understand some people might take offense to folks being out and about and socializing, but Japan is one of the safer nations out there.
Let me know what you think. Comment down below.