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Enter Tokyo Onsen with covered tattoo? 2010/4/18 14:47
Hi. Me and a friend are both going to Tokyo in a month. We really want to go to Oedo Onsen Monogatari in Odaiba but my friend has a tattoo on his upper arm. He can easily cover it with an Ace bandage or the like. Will that be okay to enter the onsen? Will they ask him to remove the cloth wrap?
by Zacky (guest)  

I suggest doing nothing 2010/4/18 21:18
The reason for banning people with tattoos was due to the high probability that the person belonged to the Japanese-mafia. Your friend has a different type of tattoo and no one is going to suspect he is in the mafia. Many Western people have tattoos as do an increasing number of younger Japanese.

You will be clothed when you enter the building. I suggest doing nothing is better than wearing a bandage whereby we will all be wondering what nasty disease you are exposing us all too.
by Doug (guest) rate this post as useful

rules are enforced 2010/4/18 21:54
Even though no-one will suspect him of being yakuza, some onsens, pools and gyms do enforce the "no tattoos" rule strictly- friends of mine have been asked to leave pools and hot springs, although they are a bit more heavily tattooed.

Fellow bathers are unlikely to be impressed with the Ace bandage, but they most likely won't say anything.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2010/4/19 08:55
The fact that there are English signs prohibiting tattoos at Oedo Onsen suggests that the prohibition is not only targeting yakuza members.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Shouldn't be a problem 2010/4/19 19:22
The last time I went to Oedo Onsen I saw a person with a tattoo on their lower back. It was pretty noticeable. I'd say you will probably be fine. Like others have said you will be clothed until you go into the changing room. And as soon as you are in the onsen, you likely won't see people working there wandering about. I'd go for it. The onsen is too good to pass up.
by Arbel rate this post as useful

bandages 2010/4/21 06:55
Generally speaking, you will not be able to go into a real onsen with a bandage. It's for sanitary reasons. With tattoos, it'll depend on enforcement.
by sdbri rate this post as useful

My experience 2010/7/3 11:04
I've been to Japan a few months ago, maybe it is because I was traveling with my partner who is Japanese, but I didn't have any problem. I have three visible tattoos, they're quite small but still visible. When I was staying in a Ryokan in Hakone I didn't have any problem, same thing when I went to an Onsen in Tokyo. People were sometimes looking at me, but I guess that the reason is because I was the only foreigner there. The only thing that happened was when I was asked to cover my tattoos with a bandage while I was visiting an Onsen in Hakone. We noticed a 'no tattoo sign' at the entrance, but my partner told me not to worry about it as my tattoos are small. Once I was inside, after a while I was approached by a staff member who kindly asked me to follow him. He applied bandage on all three tattoos, and then told me I could go back to enjoy the Onsen. Maybe I was just lucky, or maybe it is because I was traveling with my partner, but I didn't encounter any problem during my stay.
by Nick (guest) rate this post as useful

You might be lucky 2010/7/5 13:09
Me and my partner went to the Oedo Onsen last week and didn't even get a chance to take off our shoes before they turned us out. We are both westerners and she had a small tattoo visible on her calf and one palm-sized between her shoulders.

Don't know what they would do if you manage to get in with tattoos covered, but there was no discussing it with them.

I think you just have to take the chance. There doesn't seem to be any strict rule about it being OK if you cover it with a bandage.

Good luck!
by Gil (guest) rate this post as useful

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