Tsukamoto, my new hometown is really near Amagasaki (only 3 minutes away by JR). And yesterday on our way to Osaka we quickly hopped off the train to give me a chance to check out the vibe at Tsukamoto station.

Check out the sign, it’s right between Amagasaki and Osaka! Tsukamoto station looks a lot busier than the one in Inuyama, with a lot of restaurants (including hole-in-the-walls), shops, hotels, a nice karaoke place, and of course the ubiquitous konbinis and pachinko parlors.

But the best discovery was the Cospa Comfortable Sports Space. The night before training by on my way to Amagasaki I’d already spotted a long line of brightly lit treadmills in a building near the tracks. Some research online taught me that it’s a huge gym with a lot of facilities including elliptical trainers and steps classes. Unfortunately, the steps classes they offer are only level 1 (I used to do level 3), but for now that might be a nice way to start after a way too long break from steps and the fact that all classes are conducted in Japanese (which I still not speak nor understand). The next opportunity I get I’m going to check out that gym, which will hopefully be in biking distance from my new apartment.

I’m so excited about moving from the country to the (almost) big city. Inuyama has basically nothing to offer, especially in the fitness club area, but in Osaka Umeda (3 minutes from Tsukamoto) gyms seems to be omnipresent. We visited 3 different ones on Monday. A Gold’s Gym which is such a muscle factory that it made me want to run away. A Konami Sports Club which was nice but so extremely expensive (apparently it was some executive version) that it made my wallet want to cry. And a Tipness Fitness Club which was very impressive. It was definitely my favorite, but all the people (and there were a lot) working out there generated a temperature fit for a sauna, and apparently Japanese gyms don’t do airconditioning… I’m used to working out and doing intensive group lessons in heavily airconditioned buildings, that actually made me shiver before starting the bodily movements. Also, I’m used to pools in which you can actually cool down after a workout, not pools heated up to 30°C like they are in Japanese gyms. And I don’t particularly feel like doing a number of laps in a huge hot tub. The one time I stepped into a Japanese pool, I was shocked by the temperature and it felt kind of disgusting actually, so I got out after less than 2 laps. I realize that Cospa will probably also be sporting a temperature that makes me transpire before even looking at a treadmill, but you never know.

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