There are a number of reasons to join a sports club in Japan. Keeping fit is important, but if you don’t find running much fun, then playing sport is a great alternative and fortunately for foreigners, one that is easy to get involved in.
One of the biggest reasons why you would join a club is to make new friends – especially if you first come to Japan and you do not know anyone. It is one of the best ways to make contacts and get in touch with what is happening in the wider community – all helping you towards establishing yourself in Japan.
Choice is not a problem either, clubs exist for Japanese traditions, associations for business and industry, sports and plenty more besides. Which ever club you join, if you are looking to make new friends, then the club needs to be quite active. The more active and social the club is, the more you can meet people and get to know them.
Personally, when I first moved to Tokyo, I didn’t know many people. I decided the best way to expand my network was to join some clubs. I found at some of the clubs, the members were hard to get to know because once the club activity was over, they all went home and weren’t interested in hanging out afterwards, which made socializing tough.
With FWT, we not only play touch rugby, but add in the social element where we can. One of the things that we do is after playing touch rugby on Saturday afternoons, we all go out for a drink. It’s a really good way to know many of the players on a personal level.
Also, we don’t just meet on Saturdays, we managed to have a few parties throughout the working week as well. They are always well attended as a lot of the players come and bring their friends. The biggest party that we had was last November, where over 100 people were out – not bad for a sports club gathering on a Thursday night.
If you are keen on meeting new people, playing touch rugby, joining in on the drinks after touch rugby (non-alcoholic drinks are fine!) and going to the parties, will definitely provide you with the opportunity to know your fair share of people in Tokyo.
I can say that being involved in the club has had a positive effect on me as well. I find FWT players pop up everywhere! I have been walking down the street in random areas of Tokyo and bumped into players, I have been to parties or networking events thinking I knew no one, only to find 5 people that play FWT turn up and say “hi”.
There is that other “element” to meeting people, the guy-girl element. When you have a club with a lot of guys and girls, things may occasionally happen. The club has not been going for more than a year and a half, but we already have one confirmed marriage and another couple that are thinking along similar lines. How is that for getting to know people.
Click here to see some of the future events that we are holding!