T Nation

T-Nation Japan


I've noticed that a number of members are currently living in Japan. I wanted to throw this thread out as an opportunity for all of us to get connected and possibly meet up at sometime in the future.

I live in Yamaguchi City, in southern Honshu. I have been here around 3 and 3/4 years now, teaching English at a small private school. I'll probably be here for another 2 or 3 years. Speak and read fluent Japanese.

Just about to turn 30 (in 4 days). I am originally from Texas. There are plenty of reasons to love living here, but, from a training and supplement perspective, this place is nearly worthless.

The gym I work out at is way on the other side of town, actually a track and field stadium with an attached weightroom, and the equipment is literally from the 1960's (they have molded, round ended dumbbells!).

There are a couple of cool things here (like a peg climbing wall...I may have a pic I can attach), but the training is pretty limited. It's either that, though, or work out at one of the commercial gyms, which are almost 100% machines (the free weights at one that I checked out were concrete covered in plastic, like an old set of DP weights).

Supplements are pretty pathetic, too, so I order my protein from Biotest (which is plenty expensive).

So, Japanese T-Nation, post up. Where are you? Is there a good gym nearby? Tell us about your life.


On Okinawa, The gym I lift in is nice, but it only has 2 squat racks and no GHR but plunty of weight, and tons of squat rack curlers. Anyone else on Okinawa?


Here's a couple of pics of me at my dungeon gym. Taken with a keitai so the quality isn't the greatest but you can see those funny looking dumbbells in the background.


What are you doing in Okinawa? How long have you been here? Where are you originally from? Plan on staying?


peg climbing wall. A fun tool.


Am in Kanagawa.Been here for 4 years now.like you an Eigo Sensei,my Jap is crap even though I'm married to a Japanese girl.I have a 21/2 year old son,Thor,who is the light and source of my happiness.

I use a commercial gym which is reasonable(smallish free weight area,adequate,lot of waiting sometimes but steel weights and Olympic bar,loads of machines.No concept II rowing machines!).

Suppliments are shit,but you don't really need them anyway.Food is good,much less processed than it is at home.I reckon it's easier to eat better,without all the temptation of shitty,easy canned and processed crap.This is changing though.Few fat people here but I reckon there will be soon.

-sidenote-how have they managed to stay so lean with such a high G.I. carb diet?Very few 'roids here too as there are no monstrous guys-

Nice bf% Shawn, 10-12?Looking to get down to that by March.Am in my 2nd 2 week and retest phase of Berardi's Tailor Made Nutrition.First 2 weeks no change,so I made changes!Check out Fitday.com for a cool and free way to keep track of things,it's an ace toy!

Your Dungeon looks just like my old weights room under the stand at Hillhead/Jordanhill RUFC in Glasgow.Ahhhh...memories...


I'm getting married to a beautiful Japanese girl in March, sweetest, most patient girl I have ever met. Your son has a cool name, why did you choose that?

that baffles me as well. I have to wonder if there isn't a genetic component (though I usually hate it when anyone uses that word). If you'll notice, also, a lot of Japanese guys and girls have legs like temple pillars.

Not sure about my bf (as you can see from the pic, no shoe). That's about what I usually stay at. My diet is very clean other than the occasional beer and izakaya night out. I usually get around 4000 cals a day. Right now, however (though most members of this board would yell at me for doing so), I am dieting way down so that I can look great on my wedding day. I do know about the FitDay resource and use it. It is excellent.


Great legs,but zero arse.Someone said to me it's got a lot to do with the hip joint,so the muscle is flattened.

Thor is named so because,apparently my surname means (Higson)'Thor's Men' and it's just a powerful,cool name,lots of chi as they say in Japan(as opposed to say...Eugene or Takafumi!!!).

Plus I don't like any Japanese boy's names(see ugly eg previously(well...Ichiro and Akira are ok..I suppose)).Girl's names are fine though.

Am off drink,has to have an effect on my body comp.Looking for about 8% by years end,sadly am about 17% now(strangely can still see my Abs though?).


Unlike Hardcore_Balla(rina?) I don't seem to need the shoe trick to get my bf% done.I must just be strange that way.


i dont live in japan but i noticed shawninjapans traps, and well kudos those things are nice.



Have been here in Osaka studying for a year, but am back home to The Land of the Long White cloud (New Zealand) next saturday.

Ive done an Intensive Japanese language course, as my Major back home is Japanese. Am here on scholarship which runs out in Feb, so back home to finish my degree, and then I will be back over here asap.

I have been a member of 4 gyms in the time that I have been here. Got kicked out of one for having a Tattoo, which could only be seen when i was changing/in the shower etc. When I say gyms, I mean sports clubs. Full of machines of fluorescent colours, and white lino floors. You need sunglasses on while you work out. While none of them had everything, they were enough to get by. There is a Gym at my Uni, but the heaviest dumbell was 8kg, and there was only one of them! So bit the bullet and paid through the teeth to join a Gym. (Konami, Renaissance, Tipness).

When i first came, got great results in the cutting area, the body just wasnt used to the different food, but it has evened out, and Im not losing big time weight any more. Im sure I will put it all back on when I get home though.

Also, living in a homestay ive had a hard time keeping my diet under raps (just another excuse, i know). Supplements here are kinda average too, and really expensive. But managed to get some reasonable creatine and protein. Things like oatmeal and fish oil are easy to come by, but flax seeds and oil, brown bread, and tortillas are virtually impossible to find. And seeing as though im not too adventurous in my eating, I havent endeavoured to eat any of the more "interesting" things they choose to eat.

All in all a great place, but Im really itching to get home right now. But, after a few weeks of being home, I will want to get right back here. Cant win.

And yeah, the girls are all good, but as the only reason they are into you is because you are a foreigner, it gets old after a while. Definitely met a few keepers though.

With Japanese language ability, I think it definitely makes it a whole lot easier, and the experience a whole lot better. I was fortunate to get put in with a GREAT host family (my 4th one in 10 months, which makes going home kind of hard. But I will definitely be back here in the near future. I plan to work hear once I graduate.

Sorry for the ramble, but if any of you guys plan to get over here, even for a little while, i definitely reccomend it. You wont regret it. Its an amazing country.



C'mon, I know there are a lot more Japan T-men and women out there. Own up!


I wish I could make that complaint. Well, the good thing is that I'm almost always the only one working out at my gym, and it looks out onto the track, where there are often pretty girls running, which is close to a fair trade.

Are you in a big city area? Yamaguchi is comparatively small, I have to go to Fukuoka or Hiroshima to buy books or any good clothing.


One of my best friends (whom I met here) lives in Hamilton. I'm gonna get down there and visit him probably next year some time.

I know the feeling. I am blessed in that my mom is a flight attendant and I get three long vacations a year, so I usually go back to Texas once or twice a year (will be there for 2 weeks in March, yeah!). There are plenty of aspects of this country that I love, but my real home is America. I think that most Americans don't appreciate what they have. I didn't. I got here and I realized that, even in the 2nd most economically powerful industrial nation in the world, much of this place is like the third world compared to the States.

The other part of it is that, no matter how hard you try to become "Japanese," you will never, ever, ever be truly accepted as one other than by a handful of small, good people.


I know the feeling. I am blessed in that my mom is a flight attendant and I get three long vacations a year, so I usually go back to Texas once or twice a year (will be there for 2 weeks in March, yeah!).

Im in the same boat, my mother works for Air New Zealand, so I get cheap airfares which rocks. I went home for 2 weeks in august, and after a week I alreadt wanted to come back.

The other part of it is that, no matter how hard you try to become "Japanese," you will never, ever, ever be truly accepted as one other than by a handful of small, good people.

Yea, Thats sure is a big difference to back home. You see people of all shapes sizes and colours all day everyday in NZ, and Im sure its the same in The States. Its about time they globalise I think, and its quite annoying. But no matter how pissed off you get, its not going to change quickly. So its best just to leave it. You can even play it to your advantage, and turn it back on them. The old men with the dirty stares on the train, the little kids that point and ask their mothers why we (Gaijin) look different (I find that as funny as hell though). And personally, I dont want to be Japanese anyway. Theyve got a kickass country, but they are all crazy. Cant wait to get home to some good home cooking, real TV, and night clubs that you dont have to pay an arm and a leg to get in to.


Ive been in Japan for 6 years and counting. My wife and I (Japanese lady) have a l year old daughter.

I teach English out here and am here for the long haul. Live in Mie prefecture and train at both the city gym and the gym of the high school I teach at. The high school is famous for its rugby team so the gym is reasonably well equipped. Olympic bars and loads of bumper plates. Getting good supplements out here is pretty tough.

And in case anyone cares my Japanes is not as good as it should be.


Hey guys!

Reading all your stories motivated me to share mine. I am currently living in Fukuoka City in Kyushu. I have to say that I just love the life here. I have so far lived here for 2 1/2 years. My research period is passed and I just got accepted to start my Ph.D. so I am really psyched out about that.

The gyms here . . . not to be critical, but I guess that the japanese men are not into muscle building. I talked to some friends who mentioned that they prefer a more "sculptured" look. I am still trying to figure out what he meant!

I am fortunate to work in the local "bodybuilding" gym. The atmosphere is pretty hard core but some of the guys ego's are a little difficult to handle. I attribute that to the fact that there is only 1 power rack and truly these people love to squat!

That said the weights are adequate with lots of Eleiko free weights and some decent dumbells. Although there is only up to 25Kg fixed; I believe that they also have som adjustable that can go higher but am still not near that limit.

Personally speaking, I have made some acquaintances but do not try to make too many friends since my spoken japanese is very poor and honestly I do not understand all these guys cutting their eyebrows and stuff like that!

As far a supplements go I have used almost exclusively SAVAS brand, but in all honesty the taste of their protein is like sumo smell. . . If you have been to any matches you will know what I mean.

I would post a picture of myself, but I am carrying a lot more bodyfat than I want at this time. I miscalculated my last bulking cycle and now I am paying the price. I want to check the carb cycling codex to see if I can lean out sensibly and then in the summer start another more refined bulking with some Biotest stuff.

If anyone wants to drop me a line please feel free! I am attaching a pic of the gym.


The only Japanese "bodybuilding" magazine I have seen, a rag called Tarzan, is full of girls that look about like what most of the girls look like here (thin and sexy) and guys that look like what most of the girls look like here. And I don't get that plucked eyebrow business, either.

I've found that, for my protein intake, I spend just a couple thousand yen more a month to order everything from Biotest. It tastes a hell of a lot better and you know the quality you are getting.



I know about Tarzan! It is just a cruel joke to the intellect. As for my saying "bodybuilding" I meant as compared with all the threadmill gyms that are around here.

I have been considering doing the same thing with the supplements, but have you had any hassle from customs? Last December I did an online purchase for some equipment (wrist roller and grippers) and they placed on surveillance for 3 weeks. Later they cleared it and gave it to me but it had passed almost 2 months since the purchase. . .

Sorry the pics did not showed I used the original size. What size do you have to use for uploading?


hey that peg climbing board, well, i have never seen one.. looks cool! is it for training ninjas? lol!

I am not in Japan but in Asia, Manila, Philippines to be exact. I know Japan and the Philippines have some economic ties, so if any of you are here (Manila) for business, lemme know!