Takao San #1

50mn train away from Shinjuku Station is Takao San, a mountain in Tokyo’s doorsteps. it is an easy hike, about 2 hours up, a lot of nature and peaceful moment. so it can end up being crowded but it remains a nice place.

Spring is nice, you avoid the heat in town, if you go in the morning, it is not that packed and the square close to the cable car has shops and cafes for a break

Taking the cable car also take you to a panorama, there is a cafe with terrace there that has barbecue in the late spring as well as beer garden

in the autumn, it is a scenic place to admire the autumn leaves so get ready for long queues, lots of people, packed trains. this is 95% Japanese tourism and not very known by foreigners (yet), I hope it stays like that

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Gym and Fun

As anything they do, Japanese go to the max when it comes to sport. I noticed that a lot of Japanese people enjoy jogging.

Go to the Imperial Park and you will confirm my statement, the park is packed from 5am to 10pm with joggers. I now know a lot of regulars with same timeframe as mine!

Soon after I arrived, I subscribed to this studio, great atmosphere, a lot of Les Mills class (in fact only Les Mills classes), just next to Shibuya Crossing. All are extremely professional and I found here the same sense of team/club atmosphere as I had in Brussels.

When Izumi San left, it was very sad for me as she was the one subscribing me and making all possible efforts to get our broken Japanese/English communication going, always smiling, energetic, she was a sunshine in the club. Of course, it is great to see her challenge herself and move to Auckland but she is missed!!



Living in Japan almost meant I could attend the Les Mills Live day last November. In Europe, we are not so privileged and Les mills Live never happened in Belgium so I made it!! Let me tell you, getting the tickets when you are not a Japanese reader is an adventure

1- get the website and “understand” how to navigate

2 – choose your sessions, at that stage, I had to ask a colleague to handle for me

3- get the emails to confirm, one per session!!

4- find another colleague to go along with you and collect the tickets from the combini

5 – find out that these tickets are not printed out from the automated machines but at the counter in the Kombini (even my Japanese friend struggled with that)

6 – get the tickets one by one and not all together!!

7 – take a deep breath, it is almost over!!

the day itself was great, I enjoyed very much. As always, Japanese super equipped, very elegant and trendy, make you feel really underdressed and guilty!! they are all expert at whatever they do when I feel like a beginner after 6 years of Shbam, 6 months of Body Jam and 5 years of Body Balance, but great fun!! aim higher as they say…


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At the gym

What a blast!! Once a week, I attend a zumba class close to the office. 15 Japanese regular guests…and me who understands just right and left. They are very kind and gradually incorporated me in the group, they laugh at me as I always miss the instructions but all together it is great fun and I learn new words at each session

In the meantime, I spent a day on trial at another club in town. Massive, 1 floor for a 25m swimming pool, 1 floor for the reception, and changing rooms, 1 floor for the gym and the studios, 1 floor for the professional training! Again, very very nice people but not a single one speaks English. Great facilities, never seen so many machines in one place, every scary. A race track around the gym. In the changing room, I was highly impressed by the shower room, you get open individual cabins where you can sit to shower and on the other half of the room, a massive bath to relax in. we, in Europe, could learn lessons out of it

On the next one I tried, high attendance rate, you need to book your classes on line and depending on your membership level, you have a lesson cap of 4 or 8 classes bookable a month. The rest, you request at reception on the same month. Great facilities, impressive technology, and they offer me H2 water, did not even what it was, had to browse to see what this product was. Been told it increases focus and performance, …. I am not up to that level just yet my dear Japanese friends!! Keep calm and carry on