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Tattoo's These Days? 2010/3/25 18:25
Hey there, I went back in the forum and found some threads on this, but wanted some updated answers cause the threads were quite old.

I am heading to Tokyo and Kyoto in March next year (a few sidetrips but not many). I have a large black tribal pattern tattoo on my left arm and across my shoulder to halfway down my back, my husband does not have any yet but was planning on getting one this year.

I would like to know if we will have any problems getting into hotsprings/onsens (public - would love to experince this- and ones in hotels).
I am not going to go out of my way to cover my tattoo even when out sightseeing, it is a part of me and I am quite proud of it, saying that though, most shirts cover it XD

I would like to hear from people living in Tokyo and Kyoto, is there an issue for an obvious Aussie chick and bloke when they have tats? I've already seen one or two water parks we cannot go to because of it. Trying to plan an itenary and need this info!!!!

Thanks so much.

P.S. I would imagine cause they are bigger cities we wouldnt have many problems, yesno?
by Freyalilith  

Tattoos 2010/3/26 00:19

I don't think official attitudes to tattoos in public places have changed much in the past 10 years even though more and more young Japanese people have small tattoos these days.
There's no need to cover up in public or when sightseeing, but you may have to abandon any ideas of going to an onsen. In my limited experience, all onsen and public bathing places explicitly prohibit people with tattoos, although some (many?) allow you if you cover them with plasters. (My local sports club prohibits tattoos even if they are covered up)
Having said that, there were two heavily tattooed yazuka-looking guys at the hotel onsen I visited in Chiba recently, and I have seen a similar yazuka type complete with stereotype sunglasses at a summer swimming pool complex, so I guess the really scary guys get turned a blind eye, while young people with a tiny fashion tattoo get thrown out.
by Dave in Saitama (guest) rate this post as useful

Ta 2010/3/26 05:24
Thanks so much for the answer, I guess I might have to give the great onsens a miss, will wing it when I get there and check whenever booking. Cause there is no way it is fesible to cover the tat I got! =( I had alrady scrapped water parks and swimming pools off the can do.
But it is just a little bit dissapointing for the nation that is light years away from others to still have this view, but it wont ruin my trip!
by Freyalilith rate this post as useful

. 2010/3/26 12:58
IMO, you are going in the other direction, toward the caveman era.
Having said that you can still enjoy onsen if you care to look for kashikiri private time reserved onsen (often no extra charge)or in-room type if you can afford. You just can not show off as you might want to. Enjoy privately.
by amazinga (guest) rate this post as useful

tattoos 2010/3/26 15:20
Cultural attitudes do not usually change so quickly in Japan that threads in this forum would be out of date. I have a small tattoo myself, and I have to cover it up to teach yoga classes in a gym. Friends of mine with large tattoos have been refused entry to swimming pools before in Tokyo.

I'm not sure what you mean by Japan being light years from other countries? In terms of fancy cellphones and talking washing machines and things like that perhaps, but technology has nothing to do with cultural attitudes, which are still quite old-fashioned towards many issues here.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

additional question 2010/3/28 08:02
I was wondering what might happen when going to a ryokan where the bathing facilites are shared? Can they throw us out of the hotel or something?
I only have a really small tattoo on my ankle and I plan to cover it up with waterproof bandaids but I'd rather be safe than sorry!
by zarya (guest) rate this post as useful

.. 2010/3/28 17:58
I've done some research and contacted a few onens and royakens and the ones I have contacted have all said that tattoos (even my big one) are no problem with the public baths, and they all said if I was more comforable there are private times I can book. So I get to share with others! Very happy.

And what I meant about light years is that where I live, I have to travel 10 mins by car to get to the nearest train station, the buses never run on time when they do actually run, I can count on my two hands how many shopping centres are within an hour of me, and everyone is cranky, unpolite and moaning idiots. very different to Japan from all accounts. So needless to say, looking forward to visiting!

by Freyalilith rate this post as useful

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