What To Wear To The Gym In Japan (And What Not To)

by Erika Shinomoto
gym fashion in japan

Here are the unspoken rules of gym fashion in Japan. Check out this article to find out what to wear to the gym in Japan and what not to. Also find some gymwear tips below!

Different countries have different senses of styles, fashion rules, and appropriateness. This is also true when it comes to gym fashion. 

While there is not a hard and fast rule when it comes to what you wear to the gym, there still seems to be an unspoken rule in Japanese gyms about what you should and should not wear. 

The gym is not only about spending hours sweating out that stubborn fat and taking notes on the nutrition rules you need to follow. 

Gym-ing involves taking care of your lifestyle, which does not only include losing all that fat. 

While it is extremely important for you to maintain a healthy diet and follow new workout regimes, following an appropriate gym fashion is also quite essential. 

Your gym fashion should be a reflection of your style, personality, and confidence. It should make you feel great – before you hit the gym, while you are working out, and after you are done burning out. 

Here are some excellent tips and do’s and don’ts regarding the gym fashion in Japan that can help you add more meaning to your workout sessions.  

What To Wear To The Gym In Japan

Make Sure You Cover Up

When it comes to fashion in Japan, it is more about being modest. 

gym fashion in japan

This is unlike the fashion that we look at and follow in the west. When we look at all the fitness photos coming up on our feed on Instagram, we see women in crop tops, tank tops, and short shorts. But this is not what you see in Japan. 

There is no concept of showing off all your hard work by wearing short clothes. Instead, a typical Japanese gym outfit includes leggings with skirts and shorts combined with t-shirts. 

You may obviously want to flaunt that hard-earned six-pack ab, but that is not the norm in Japan. You can wear a training top that has a slim fit along with tight leggings. 

However, if you look at a typical Japanese gym-goer, you will notice that they try to cover their butt by combining their leggings with a skirt or shorts. 

Also, there is yet another reason why gym-goers in Japan wear leggings. It is done for sanitary purposes; they do not want to come in contact with other people’s sweat. 

Bring Your Shoes To The Gym In Japan

Japanese homes are very particular about shoes. You cannot enter a Japanese house with your shoes, because that would mean bringing in all the dirt from outside. 

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Similarly, the Japanese are also particular about the shoes in the gym. They do not let you wear your shoes inside the gym because that would make the shiny gym equipment dirty. 

Sanitation and hygiene are deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, and this is followed quite strictly in Japan. You have to open your shoes before entering the house; you also need separate shoes for the bathroom. 

The case is the same with Japanese gyms too. You will not be allowed to enter a Japanese gym if you are not carrying your gym-dedicated shoes with you. 

Purchase High-Quality Gym Wear

Wearing high-quality and excellent gym wear makes all the difference in the world. 

Investing in some quality gym-wear can make you feel good when you are exercising. It also makes you want to train harder so you can flaunt your wonderful body in your gym wear. 

While shopping for high-quality gym wear, you also need to keep in mind the modesty rule that is followed in Japan.

Don’t Wear Your PJs To A Gym In Japan

While Japanese gym-goers wear a combination of leggings and skirts, there is one thing that is a complete no in Japan: wearing PJs to the gym. 

While the entire gym fashion is different than what we are normally accustomed to, you will never see a woman going to the gym in an old T-shirt and oversized basketball shorts. 

This fashion style, however, can be seen in western countries like America where people who go for cardio in the gym, wear a comfortable set of PJs. 

The concept in western countries is that when you are going to go all sweaty, why spoil fashionable sportswear? However, the Japanese are very concerned and proud of their appearance, which is why you will never see them sporting this look. 

According to the mantra of the Japanese, your appearance and clothes should represent the place you are in. 

So, if you are going to the gym, you need to be dressed in that fashion, and not like you are going to go there to unwind and enjoy a sauna.

Hide Your Tattoos in Japan

If you’ve read about Japan or even been there, you would have noticed by now that tattoos in Japan are frowned upon. People with tattoos won’t get jobs in Japan. Many onsens don’t allow people with tattoos to enter the hot springs too. In the same way, if you have tattoos and your tattoos are exposed, you may not be allowed to enter the gym in Japan. 

If you have tattoos in your arm then either wear full sleeves or get those sleeve patches for your arms. Same thing with your legs, if you have tattoos on your legs then you can wear full length pants to hide your tattoos. 

Gym Fashion Tips in Japan

All Black

Black is never out of style, and this rule applies to your gym wear too. Black makes you feel both comfortable and cool while being super classy. You can go for black tops and leggings like this one here:

gym fashion in japan

This is a seamless black top that comes with a round neck. It is made up of breathable fabric and is very stretchy. 

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The sleeves are long and come with thumb holes, making them extremely comfortable when you are working out. 

The fabric is also extremely soft to touch and is gentle on your skin. The top has a body-hugging fit, which accentuates your curves. 

You can get it here.

I am in love with these high-waisted yoga pants. It is ultra-soft and is made of non-see-through material. The fabric also helps remove moisture from your body. 

The pants are extremely high in quality and feel extremely soft and silky against the skin. The best part about it is that it comes with pockets, so you do not have to worry about where to keep your phone. 

Just keep your phone inside the pocket and you are good to go. The pants are also high-waisted so they keep your tummy in control.

You can get it here.

Minimalistic and Comfortable

When it comes to gym fashion, being minimalistic and comfy always works. When you are indulging in some light workout, you can go for a pull-over and leggings. 

For summer months, go for comfortable and light material. 

You can opt for this one:

This is a pullover that is made using extremely lightweight material. It has a quick-drying feature. It also works really well at absorbing sweat. 

The material is also highly breathable and super soft on the skin. It comes with a cowl neck design that keeps you protected against the wind. There are also two side pockets. 

You can get it here

japanese active wear

This is a pack of three basic black leggings that will make your workout time more enjoyable and comfortable. 

These high-quality leggings will last you for years as these are made only with the best quality materials. 

The leggings are made using breathable and soft fabric. It gives you complete freedom to move easily. It is also high-waisted so it can tame your waist.

You can get it here. 

Bright and Bold

A great way to bring some statement look to your gym wear is by adding some bring and bold colors to your outfit. You can go for cute and bright leggings along with a bright sports bra. 

Adding this will definitely bring you in the limelight and make you the center of attention. And not just that, these bright colors will make you happy and motivate you to workout.

You can go for this one:

fitness wear japan

This is a bright colored leggings that you can definitely consider getting for yourself. 

It comes with a wide, high rise waistband that offers excellent tummy control. It also comes with side pockets that are perfect for all your essentials. 

The material is comfortable and stretchy, ensuring that you feel at ease when working out. 

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You can get it here.

Japanese gym fashion

This bright sports bra comes with crisscross back straps that let you twist and turn with absolute ease. It comes with removable cups, which has been designed keeping in mind your ease. 

It is made using lightweight material that makes working out in them quite a relaxing thing to do. It also provides a nice contour and gives you a streamlined look. 

You can get it here.


Yet another excellent way to make a statement is by adding bold prints to your outfit. 

Adding cute and cool printed leggings to your look can make you look slim, sleek, and cool – all at the same time. You can wear a matching printed top, or add a classic blacktop to complete the look. 

Also, there are no rules when it comes to wearing prints. No matter your age, you are allowed to go for bold prints to make you look and feel fabulous. 

gym pants to wear in japan

This high-waisted statement leggings will definitely make sure that you walk the gym in style. These printed leggings are stretchy and opaque, making sure that nothing is visible. These are also quite comfortable to wear and provide a lot of support. These leggings also help control your tummy. 

You can get it here.

Statement Shoes

It is extremely important to wear comfortable shoes while working out. You do not want to sit at home with an injury, especially if you have only just started working out in the gym. 

However, even shoes can add a lot of style to your look. Instead of going for plain, basic sneakers, go for statement shoes that add an oomph factor to your gym fashion. 

You can go for shoes with colorful prints or reflective material. Bold and statement sneakers can complete your workout look. 

gym clothes japan

I love the quirky print on these shoes. These really help you create a statement look. The shows are made using soft, comfortable, and breathable materials. 

The air-mesh material makes it possible for you to complete your workout without getting sweaty. 

The rubber sole is lightweight and durable in nature. It provides you with the right amount of stability. You really need to add these quirky sneakers to your collection.

You can get it here

Walk the gym in style!

If you are in Japan and love hitting the gym, I hope you found this guide extremely helpful. Japan has a certain code of conduct when it comes to gym fashion. 

Hitting the gym in Japan requires you to follow a certain dress code. After all, their fashion is not the same as the one followed in western countries like Japan. 

Try out these tips listed above to ensure you are able to hit the Japanese gyms the right way!

Also Read:

  1. Top Spring Fashion Trends in Tokyo
  2. Cheap Japanese Clothing Brands 

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