Daphne has been dreaming about traveling to Japan for as long as she could remember. And last April, during cherry blossom season, it finally became reality. She packed her backpack, threw her crossfit gear in a side pocket and was on her way. Ready for an awesome trip ánd a drop-in!
Japan is an amazing country and I was very overwhelmed by the entire experience. But somewhere in between taking 30.000 steps per day, tasting oddly flavoured Kitkats (like matcha (green tea) and red beans), and falling in love with another city every few days, I definitely had to visit a crossfit box.
Crossfit Chikara has been around since 2010 and, as they say themselves, are the first purpose built CrossFit facility in Tokyo. When you visit their website, you immediately see they are very open to visitors: one of the reasons I chose Chikara (the other being their excellent reviews). You drop them a line and you’ll receive an email back with all the information you need. You pick a class from the schedule, register and you’re good to go. Your first drop-in is free; every following visit costs 3500 yen.
The box is located near the Akasaka subway stations and a short walking distance from Roppongi, where most Crossfit boxes in Tokyo are located. It is also surrounding by many great places to eat, so your post-wod meal is also taken care of 😉 The day of my drop-in, I left my hotel a bit early because I read about people having difficulties finding the box. Using the Maps.me app I had no problems finding it, so I got there well before the wod started.
About the box
Crossfit Chikara is located in the basement level of a five-story building. At the entrance you immediately see their amazing collection of hundreds of shirts of other boxes. Downstairs, Coach Yasu welcomed me and showed me around. We talked a bit about my injuries and decided on how to scale the wod to accommodate that. The box is compact, but not cramped at all. Showers and towels are available free of charge and there is enough space to get ready and hang out before or after the wod. They are fully equipped with everything you expect there to be, including a wide range of heavy dumbbells and assault bikes.
“The amount of weight that you can lift has nothing to do with the degree of happiness that you already have” – Coach Otoya
The group of 12 consisted of four visitors and eight very enthousiastic and welcoming members (thank you for the restaurant suggestions, David, Afuri was great!). Coach Yasu asked the visitors to introduce themselves and after a round of nice to meet you’s, we were all set.
The wod included of a good amount of mobility to start off with, followed by the warming-up and the actual wod. Coach Yasu took enough time to make sure everybody was familiar with the movements during the warming up.
Overhead Rib Mobilization
One-arm hang with internal/external rotation
3 rounds of 200m run, Inchworm to Downdog and Perfect Stretch
Followed by 3 sets of:
4-6 alternating 1-Arm Dumbbell Snatch (increasing weight)
6 rounds for time of:
10 alternating 1-Arm Dumbbell Snatch (50/33lbs)
After the last person to finish was cheered on and highfived, confirming their awesome community, there was time and space for a sound cooling down. A group picture and a t-shirt completed the experience.
The community vibe here is great the atmosphere is positive and the programming seems very well-balanced. I also really appreciated the amount of attention that was given to mobility and technique. I highly recommend paying this box a visit when you are in Tokyo! And to coach Yasu and the Chikara crew I’d like to say: arigatou gozaimasu!
Ps. I’ve been writing this with a huge smile on my face. This was a journey I will remember forever ❤