Recently, I found an easy and relatively cheap way to play tennis in Tokyo. Meetup!
Up until a few months ago, I thought the easiest way is to enroll in a tennis school. I am currently enrolled in one such school, and I pay around 12,500 yen a month, which covers four classes, each class lasting 90 minutes.
Each class would have about a dozen students, coached by two instructors, and would usually involve warm-ups, lots of rallies, volleys, serves, and some short doubles games towards the end. I go to tennis school on Wednesday evenings, but on weekends, I would join tennis meetups!
With Meetup, there is no need to enroll. I just sign-up and play.
Tokyo tennis meetups usually accommodate eight to ten people per event, and I pay only around 500 to 700 yen per two hour session. There are meetups that charge more than that, though I usually stick with the sub-1,000 yen events because I already pay quite a lot for my tennis school.
Compared to tennis school, this is definitely cheaper! I guess it’s because most of the people who organize these events do it for the love of tennis, and just share the cost of the tennis courts with the participants. Venues are usually in government outdoor tennis courts so prices are not that expensive. There are usually no instructors, and it’s usually just warm-ups, short rallies, and a lot of doubles games.
I heard there are some events where the organizer is an actual tennis coach, who organizes tennis meetups on days he doesn’t have class. He charges something around 1,500 yen per event, so it’s a little more expensive than the usual meetup, though considering the organizer is an actual tennis coach, it’s actually a cheap alternative to going to tennis school.
Play with new people
One of the good things about tennis meetups, is I get to play with random people every time. Most tennis meetups have a good mix of Japanese and non-Japanese players. Most of the Japanese people I meet speak English, which I guess is because Meetup, in general, is still mostly dominated by English-speakers.
There is also a good mix of intermediate and advanced players. There will be the occasional beginner, though the ones I’ve played with have at least six months of tennis experience, and can usually hold a good rally, and can do a proper serve. Tennis meetups are usually very accommodating, and wouldn’t mind having beginners in the group.
The main goal is to have fun playing this sport that we all love.
Play in new places
I also get to play in different parts of Tokyo, and have even travelled all the way to Yokohama just to play tennis. I guess for the love of the sport, distance is not an issue.
I’m definitely looking forward to joining more tennis meetups, and hopefully I’ll meet one of you guys in one of these Tokyo tennis meetups soon!