Discussion about tattoo in Japan


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There are some foreigners who might be interested in “onsen”(hot spring) and “sento”(public bath) in Japan. But you may be not allowed to enter there, if you have a tattoo. (If you can hide it, possibly you can enter and it may depend on what kind of tattoos you have.)

The difference between “onsen” and “sento” (another site)

If someone has a tattoo in Japan

The Japanese people tend to associate people who have tattoos with people who belong to anti-social groups. So, a lot of Japanese people are a bit negative about tattoos. If a person with a tattoo is in a public bath, the owner may think they will scare other costumers. This is why people with tattoos get rejected in some onsens and sentos.
These days, some young Japanese have tattoos as a fashion. I think having a tattoo is getting common slightly. However I wouldn’t see the situation where most Japanese people on the streets have tattoos in my life time.

Personally, I would’t mind whether or not people have tattoos. But I wouldn’t get a tattoo because it may affect my career. To me, money is much more important than getting a tattoo. I have grown up where few people have tattoos and I’m used to it. So getting a tattoo is not a thing to me.

As for onsens and sentos, the number of onsen and sento which allow people with tattoos to get in seem to be increasing since Japan is trying to get more foreign visitors. I actually saw a person with a tattoo at a sento the other day. But maybe there are still many onsens and sentos which reject people with tattoos. (I found a website which lists hot springs and public baths where people with tattoos can enter there. But the site is written in Japanese.)

By the way, when I told an American about Japan’s views on tattoo, she said it’s strange because some Japanese tattoo artists are famous.

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