"As for balancing off-ice and on-ice life, right now I try not to because all of it is part of my private lifestyle. I'll take breaks to rest my body, but I generally don't feel like I must take days off."
Takahashi took more time out in 2011 when he had to have the bolt from that knee surgery removed, but he recovered the following year to win his first Grand Prix Final -- which was held in Sochi, the Russian resort city that will host next year's Winter Olympics.
"The most significant competition for me is the Olympics. I've entered the Olympics twice, but the one at Vancouver is the one I can't forget about," Takahashi says.
"It was the season after recovering from my injury. It was a competition that I got so excited I started tearing up before it began, which never happened before.
"I got hurt, and I struggled, took out my feelings on the people who supported me, and even then I was able to make the Olympics, and through the season it was the only time when I felt like I was actually competing well.
"It wasn't the perfect performance, but it was my first medal, and I think that was when my life took a different turn."
Takahashi is now hoping to earn one of the three men's places in Japan's figure skating team for Sochi.
He finished sixth at March's world championships in Canada, behind fourth-placed compatriot Yuzuru Hanyu but ahead of Takahito Mura in eighth.
Both are much younger -- Hanyu is 18 and Mura 22 -- and Takahashi is keenly aware that he has a lot of work to do if he is to succeed at Sochi.
"They definitely are rivals, but it's more like I try hard so that they see me as their rival. Now the level of technicality of skating is very high and they grew up with the new rules, but my generation just adjusted to the new rules ... It's hard keeping up."
But Takahashi showed last month in Tokyo that he still has what it takes, winning the individual title for the second year in a row at the World Team Trophy event, with Mura fifth.
"Since three years ago when I decided to continue my career until Sochi, I think emotionally I'm doing everything I can to prepare for it, more than any other Olympics ever," he says.
"I don't have the Olympics gold medal, so I definitely want it."