Meet like-minders through the club
by Danielle Tate-Stratton
We all know about wanting to work out before we go out and meet someone with our glam new bodies, but why not try and combine activities. What better way to meet a like-minded person than through a sport or club you both enjoy? Of course, there are countless gyms and fitness centre throughout Tokyo— try well known facilities such as Tipness (www.tipness.co.jp), or Gold’s Gym (www.goldsgym.jp) to get you started.
If pounding the treadmill or pumping iron isn’t your thing, or you’re looking to try something new, there are a surprising number of English friendly sports clubs throughout the city. A great place to start is the Tokyo Gaijins, a group of foreigners who put on tons of different events, and have a good email mailing list system to let you know what is going on. In the winter months, consider going on a weekend ski, snowboard, or snowshoe trip to a local resort. Typical events occur a few times a month and include transportation, lift passes, rentals, onsen time (how romantic!), accommodations, and sometimes a few extras like lessons. Expect prices to run in the ¥16,800-¥25,000 range for the weekend and plan to meet 20-100 new people.
Later on this year already planned events include Whitewater rafting, paragliding, snorkeling, sightseeing, hiking, caving, boat cruising, beach camping, and more. Destinations for the weekend trips include Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, Kinugawa and Tochigi.
If a weekend away seems like a bit much for a first chat up, try out one of the classes or drop in sports the group offers such as a yoga/pilates class, (about ¥2,000 for a two hour class). Other options include a weekly basketball drop in, and regular futsal games near Tokyo Tower (¥1,000 per session). Although there are more men at the futsal games than women, everyone is very supportive of women players, so don’t be afraid to drop by! Visit www.tokyogaijins.com to start joining mailing lists of interest and finding out more about upcoming events.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we actually live on an island—so easy in the city to never see the water! To take advantage of the ocean around us, consider joining the Tokyo Sail and Power Squadron (www.tspsjapan.org) where you can get involved with regular socials at the Maple Leaf in Shibuya as well as on sea events in the Tokyo Bay and beyond. You must speak English and pass a basic safety course to join.
If being in the water and having a bit of an adventure appeals, there are several organizations that offer SCUBA diving certification and tours. Mar Scuba (www.marscuba.com) is the oldest foreigner run dive service in Tokyo and serves the English speaking community in Japan with classes, safety certifications, and dive trips to the Izu Penninsula.
Thinking that watching a sport is more your cup of tea? Take advantage of one of the biggest sporting events of the American calendar, The Super Bowl, to go meet some like-minded fans this Feb. 04 (Feb. 05 Tokyo time). To watch live, try the Tokyo Sports Cafe in the Fusion Building in Roppongi (www.tokyo-sportscafe.com), which plans to have an all you can eat American buffet breakfast while you watch the game from 8:00am.