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Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/8 03:59
I will be traveling to Tokyo for about a week in November. Itfs been my dream trip for many years and now I can finally afford to go!

I am however, rather overweight and Ifm wondering how itfll be for me in Tokyo. Ifm not looking to buy clothes and I can walk on my own just fine. Ifm pretty thick skinned, so I don't care if people stare of whatever.

Nothing will stop me from going but I just want to be properly prepared I guess. Any thoughts are welcome.
by Jessica (guest)  

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/8 08:12
I've been in the same position myself. I think it is a little more of an issue in the hinterlands than in Tokyo. It all boils down to how you feel about yourself and how prone you are to putting yourself down because you don't conform to the norm. You will see a large number of women who are just ridiculously petite! For me, it's partly about weight but more that I don't wear makeup, or spend a lot of time on my hair, or dress up all the time. By the end of a trip I sometimes start feeling scudzy or kind of low-class because all the women I see in public present themselves so much nicer. But I've learned to just hold my head high and focus on all the wonderful things there are to see, do, and eat. (Don't get obsessed with your weight over there! The food is awesome and you should enjoy it to the max.)

If you like to wear makeup and nice clothes, then those things might help you feel a little less abnormal over there. (But I hate makeup and I like comfortable practical clothes, so my solution is to just not listen to those inner voices.) Japanese women do tend to put a lot of time and money into looking cute and nice. But you are who you are, and you don't have to conform to their beauty standards.
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/8 08:12
Hi!

I'm overweight... I've been to Japan multiple times. I go in single gender onsen. I..haven't really had an issue? One person I knew once had some teen girls snickering and talking about her being overweight until she said in Japanese to them it was rude to make fun of people. (and this shut them up fast) But overall... I think it's a non issue as long as you don't have mobility issues and if you have mobility issues regardless of size, the issue is mobility issues not weight.

But if you are wondering if random Japanese people will be pointing at you or something... uhh no.

Enjoy Japan!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/8 09:09
So? There are over-weight Japanese people too.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/8 12:38
In touristy areas Japanese people are used to seeing foreigners of all kinds. They are too polite to say anything in your face.
by Kamahen (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/8 13:25
Ifm tall and fat. I definitely was the biggest guy almost everywhere I went, but I never felt negatively impacted by it. Japanese are very polite, in general. You wonft be the only heavy tourist theyfve seen.

Itfs more getting out of your own head and just enjoying yourself, because as a stranger, people will forget theyfve even seen you after 90 seconds.

Dress conservative and a little nicer than you would in EU or North America. I feel like I stood out more as the only adult man wearing shorts more than I did for being large.
by BB (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/8 18:27
This is maybe not the aspect you were considering but a lot of things are quite small. I can barely fit on a normal train seat in the underground. Some cafés have chairs that are cramped in small areas just like some restaurants also have. But with some flexibility that wont be a problem. And I am not overweight, just tall (189 cm).
by sullon rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/8 19:13
Yeah that's what I was thinking. I'm not heavy and I can barely squeeze into the booths of some restaurants, especially okonomiyaki places which are probably designed for school kids.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/9 01:52
All the subways I have encountered in Tokyo had sideways benches. Youfd have to be 5m wide not to fit on a seat.



by BB (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/9 03:57
Hi

I've never had a problem with seating on public transit outside of local buses, but that's mostly based on crowds vs. not being able to fit in the seat.

I guess since I am short but overweight I fit into most seating in Japan. I've been to a few cafes where it is a little tight, but in those cases I try to sit on the outside and let my kid who is short and thin sit on the inside.

I've traveled outside big cities where I've been the only obvious foreigner outside my kid (like the Michinoku Hydrangea Festival) and no one comments or talk about my weight. However, my child does get a lot of attention.

I don't wear make-up but I've never felt awkward in Japan about that.

About the only weird comment I've personally gotten was from a very old lady in Tanabe in the mid 2000s who wanted to know if I dyed my hair black, because as a foreigner it can't be my natural color. (It was my natural color.)

I think being really tall can be more of an issue because so many things are just designed for shorter people in Japan. I personally love it. but I can imagine if you're 182 cm it's less fun. I'm like 163 cm so...
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/9 06:34
One thing I can add is that I sure see a lot more overweight Japanese people nowadays than I did 35 years ago when I first went to Japan. On a subway train, for example, you will still see a lot of very small women but you will often see a few who are heavy and occasionally more than just a little heavy. Itfs nowhere near like the ratio I see where I live in the U.S., but as JapanCustomTours pointed out there are overweight Japanese people, too! Itfs really not something that you need to worry about on a 1-week vacation trip to Tokyo.

I used to be more self-conscious about my weight, especially in public baths, but Ifve had many Japanese women strike up cordial conversations with me, and nobody has ever said anything about my weight, not that I would expect them to. Ifve never felt that my physical appearance was a barrier, at any rate.
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/9 09:01
I've noticed an increased number of obese Japanese too. The western diet has obviously made an impact....
by .... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/9 19:39
"All the subways I have encountered in Tokyo had sideways benches. Youfd have to be 5m wide not to fit on a seat."

You are supposed to occupy one seat unless you want to appear as an ignorant tourist.
by sullon rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/10 03:09
How do you define gone seath when it is a 5m bench that many people sit on at once?
by BB (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/10 03:15
Google gTokyo Subway Bench Seath and select gimagesh and you can get a pretty good idea of how how one seat is defined. Not all bench seats are clearly divided, but many are. How the space actually ends up getting occupied varies greatly, of course.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Overweight and traveling to Tokyo 2020/2/10 06:41
The seats are benches, but you can see they're intended for someone with a regular size ass. Some have a slight shape to make it more obvious, other ones are less obvious until someone sits down and you can see how many spots are available. For example, the spot between the end partition and the pole is obviously for for 2 people.

Taking up two seats will make you seem ignorant.
by Bob (guest) rate this post as useful

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