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Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/21 02:54
Simple question: can I run shirtless in public or will the police want to talk to me? I'm visiting in June and will be running 4-5 times a week. I'm not concerned with whether or not I'll be committing cultural faux pas or offending anyone; just from a legal standpoint, can I do it?

Thank you.
by runner (guest)  

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/21 11:47
Yes, you can (it is not illegal).
by Kamahen (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/21 12:22
uWill the police want to talk to me?v
uJust from a legal standpoint, can I do it?v

Those are really two very different questions. Yeah, it's legal, but you'll definitely stand out and look like a weirdo, so there's a chance the Japanese police will stop you and ask to see your ID, as they tend to do when they see someone who looks suspicious or potentially unbalanced.
by . . . . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/21 14:30
"I'm not concerned with whether or not I'll be committing cultural faux pas or offending anyone"

It is not illegal but not accepted by society.
Seen plenty of shirtless people there. Otherwise, no, please don't go shirtless unless you're at the beach or the pool. It's just not done in Japan.

Your commend shows already that you think you have lack about other people in Japan.
Properly you will be asked asked by police for ID because you are different, and better you have your ID with you. People may even complain seeing you.

Another foreigner who is not thinking about that Japan is Japan

by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/21 15:08
Are you male or female?

We all seem to be assuming you are male as somehow it got accepted in many western countries to be bare chested for men. But itfs not for women.

So just think what you/your society would think of a bare chested women jogging around. Thatfs you in Japan. Do you want to be that?

Btw, as police may stop you, remember that in Japan it is mandatory that ALWAYS have your passport with you.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/21 15:30
It's bad manners, you'll be a guest, don't do it. Wear at least a tank top, or preferably a tshirt.

If you decide to do it, take your passport with you, and don't give the police a reason (or excuse) to arrest you. This is the Australian government's advice on interactions with Japanese police:
https://japan.embassy.gov.au/tkyo/arrests.html
by Who? (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/21 18:57
i am also a fellow runner, but i think it looks stupid to run topless even here in europe or america (unless on a beach). so no, in japan you should definitely not do it. :-)
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/21 23:52
Thanks for the info. Yes sorry, neglected to mention that I am male. Thank you for the info, I'll take my passport with me just in case.
by runner (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/22 01:07
According to a lawyer, it can be illegal.
https://news.goo.ne.jp/article/otonanswer/life/otonanswer-44829.html
Misdemeanor law says "you must not reveal a part of your body in public because it can make people around disgusted".
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/22 04:08
It sounds like your plan is to do something thatfs technically legal but completely unaccepted, and to play sidewalk lawyer and throw it in their faces when youfre stopped. I would strongly urge you not to do this. As a visitor to the country your priority is to stay out of trouble. Whether youfre technically in the right or not, they can find a way to make your life hell and ruin your trip.
by Gregalor rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/22 05:44
Appreciate your concern. No intention of playing sidewalk lawyer. Was just looking for a firm answer (yes or no) on whether or not it is legal. I don't know where you got the idea that I was looking to get into arguments over grey areas or technicalities with the police in the street but again, thanks for your concern.
by runner (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/22 08:57
@Runner

Your sentence "I'm not concerned with whether or not I'll be committing cultural faux pas or offending anyone" made it sounds like you did not care.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/22 09:08
uNo intention of playing sidewalk lawyer.v
uWas just looking for a firm answer on whether or not it is legal.v
uI don't know where you got the idea that I was looking to get into arguments over grey areas or technicalities with the police in the street.v

Again, those don't really match up. Is it legal? Seems like it is. Is it going to get you stopped by the police? There's a pretty good chance of it. If the police do stop you, are you going to be able to get them to leave you alone (i.e. let you get back to jogging without a shirt) without playing sidewalk lawyer? Probably not.

Japanese police will think you look suspicious running without a shirt, and it sounds like you're hoping that either
a. A police officer who does want to stop/question you won't, because it's technically not illegal.
b. A police officer who decides he is going to stop/question you will give up once you say "I know this isn't illegal, because some laymen on the internet told me."

Neither of those scenarios is going to happen. It may not be illegal, but if you're going to run around shirtless, you should be prepared for the likelihood that the police are going to want to talk to you, and at the very least that conversation is going to take some time. But hey, if your attitude in life is " I'm not concerned with whether or not I'll be offending anyone," I imagine you're pretty used to having to regularly take time out of your day to justify why your preference is of the utmost importance. Just be aware that in Japan, where the vast majority of people do care if they're offending other people or not, you might have to spend even more time outlining your justifications.
by . . . . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/22 09:17
No, neither of those things are what I'm hoping for. No my attitude in life is most certainly not that I don't care about offending people. I mentioned that I'm not interested in discussing cultural faux pas because I thought it might help avoid the discussion of a simple question getting sidetracked (this isn't my first rodeo on Japan Guide and we all know how it is here). Obviously that hasn't worked. I just wanted to ask if it was legal or not because a) I've taken up running since my last visit, b) I run shirtless when it's hot, and c) June is hot in Japan.

Either you've entirely misinterpreted my intentions or you're imagining what you want to think my intentions are for whatever reason.

Thank you very much for the information.
by runner (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/22 11:31
Again we understand you do not care much about others, that one is clear.

There is a difference which is allow or not allowed by law, this is written.
You also have the cultural aspect (which you try to ignore) and this is an unwritten rule.

Basically as a guy you are not breaking any laws in Japan and you won't be arrested for running without a shirt, but you will be the only one, and you might get some second looks. You may become known in your neighborhood as "the foreigner who runs without a shirt" and may get complains. If that's okay with you, go for it.Just do not complain if you are requested to put a shirt on.
Running in the park you will have to consider you are not alone, and running shirtless on the street will defiantly give you attention.

Yes it is warm but other runners (Foreigners or Japanese) are wearing shirts, why you cannot?
Lets me guess, it is because you want (as you mentioned often with "I want")

So try not to do things you do in your own country, because I am sure that you complain about foreigners in your country who are not respecting your culture, if you have any.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/22 16:03
Millions of women in your country (where ever that might be) manage to run in the summer heat with a shirt on. (And most likely even a bra beneath!) Why? Because it is culturally not acceptable for women to be bare chested in public spaces (except maybe a few beaches). So why do you accept that in your country women canft run just like you do without a shirt gbecause it is summer, because it is hoth ? I am sure it seems totally normal to you that for women this is not acceptable.

Well, in Japan this rule also apply to men. Seems only fair.

Btw, even in your own country many people (not only women for sure) do not specially like seeing bare chested men. Itfs just something that should be confined to the beach or swimming pool.
Only that this silent majority (?) doesnft get to say anything. But frankly enough hanging bellies, sweet dropping, hairy chests arenft a pleasurable sight for everyone. And no, I am not saying that thatfs how you look. But once you culturally allow bare chested exposure you need to allow it for hanging bellies as well.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/24 16:18
Hello. I know a lot of people are replying to this thread, but the the main issue that people are having is the fact that you seem to have a misunderstanding of Japanese culture of what is accepted and what isn't. Sure, you may not be arrested or stopped by police, but why do you NEED to take your shirt off to run? Other people run normally with their shirt on. Are you trying to show off your body or to get attention? That would seem like the only rational answer since in the summer, you can get sunburn not having a shirt on running around.

The point people were making is that it's a culture thing. If you're openly saying that you have no issue to run around without a shirt on, it shows you don't know about Japanese culture or that you're trying to know about it. Things work differently in other countries and what's accepted in one may not be accepted at all in another. Imagine trying to smoke weed in Japan and then you get arrested and you try to say "well weed is legal in America in certain states" this isn't America. When you're in another country, remember that YOU are the GUEST there. Abide by the rules and learn how people do things. There is a reason why there are sterotypes of certain countries, so please try not to be that sterotype of "I'll just do whatever I want to do". Anyway, I digress. Hope you take our comments to heart and really think about your actions.
by Motti15 rate this post as useful

Re: Can I run shirtless? 2020/1/28 01:23
Man, c'mon, just put a t-shirt. There's no need to run without it at all.
by taskkill (guest) rate this post as useful

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