Sports in Sendai
Many ALTs take part in sporting activities at their own schools after classes end. Such sports can include football (soccer), baseball and basketball, along with traditional Japanese sports and martial arts such as Judo and Kendo.
Some people indulge in both water sports (such as surfing) and snow sports, with snowboarding being the most popular of all outdoor ALT sporting activities. There are several slopes within an hours travel by public transport, or for bigger and better things take a look at the numerous Miyagi snow resorts.
Sports & Fitness Facilities
As the largest city in Tohoku, Sendai is blessed with an abundance of fitness facilities to suit most interests and price ranges. There are many well-equipped private gyms, municipal facilities, sports clubs, ski slopes, and the great outdoors to explore.
The SIRA English hotline is also a great source of information on local sports groups and facilities: 022-224-1919.
Those who want the rigour of the gym they are all over Sendai, depending on the some charge per session while others have a monthly membership fee. Depending on the gym, facilities can include free weights, machine weights, running or stepping machines, basketball courts, golf ranges, saunas and spas. Check with ALTs in your neighbourhood after you arrive about the deals they offer - some big savings can be made on membership fees if you sign-up at certain times and/or get a get a member to recommend you.
Gyms or Fitness Centers
There are many Fitness centers in various locations across Sendai. These gyms are typically more expensive than municipal gymnasiums, but have better facilities. Most private clubs have weight rooms, cardio machines, and aerobics/yoga studios. Many also have pools. Average monthly membership fees are 10,000 yen.
To join a private gym, you will usually have to pay a joining fee, handling fee, plus your first two months’ membership in cash. This can add up to around 30,000 yen. One way to avoid the expense is to sign up during a campaign period. Many gyms have campaigns waiving the fees for a limited time period, or giving cash-back if a current member refers you. When signing up, as well as paying fees, you’ll need proof of ID, such as your Alien Registration card, your hanko, and your bank details for setting up automatic payment.
Please be aware however that prices, etc. constantly change and that we are unfortunately unable to update these pages on a regular basis. So please check with the individual facilities for accurate, up-to-date details.
So you've decided you're heading to the slopes. Now you're going to need some gear!