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Users tell us they don't want their children to see tattoos. We don't want Japanese customers to leave us.

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Seiji Hori, a senior official at the Beppu City Ryokan Hotel Association in Oita Prefecture. Hotels and bathhouses at the popular Beppu Onsen hot-spring resort continue to be divided over whether to accept tattooed visitors, as the city hosts five Rugby World Cup matches.

© Jiji Pres

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If I were these rugby players, my itinerary would be Japan only for watching the matches and a bit of nightlife in Tokyo. The sightseeing, R&R, etc. would then be in Thailand, Vietnam Cambodia, Philippines or somewhere else a lot more fun and less uptight.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Users tell us they don't want their children to see tattoos.

I wonder if anyone actually did tell them that, or if they just make that assumption.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I'm not a fan of tattoos so I have no problems with any institution banning them.

That said there are establishments in Japan that allow these things, so it just takes research to find those.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Invite the entire world, two years in a row to your house but they're not allowed to use any of the facilities. And I don't want you to let be seen by my kids.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

That said there are establishments in Japan that allow these things, so it just takes research to find those.

There are places but I doubt they're easy to research if you come here as a tourist.

A better solution, tho, would be for the organizers of these sports events to make a list of these establishments that allow tattoos. Or for the people in charge of specific groups, teams, to find a place that allows for it and let the establishment know beforehand. Just so we don't have the situation we had some years ago, where the government (or private organization, can't remember) brought this Maori woman for a conference. Then took her to a local onsen where tattoos are not allowed and made a huge scandal coz how dare they be so un-pc to discriminate against her cultural face tattoos?

The whole thing could have had a totally different outcome if organizers have had done their job properly.

"Tramp stamps" man... Sexiest thing I can think of in a women (or at least top 5) Love them! And why are some people so sensitive???

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I've been to a lot of onsen. I don't cover my tattoos. I've never been asked to leave, nor have I noticed anyone getting out because I'm a foreigner. On the contrary, it often ends up in conversation. No one has ever expressed a problem with my tattoos, though I do accept it may be just because they were too polite.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Garthgoyle, “There are places but I doubt they're easy to research if you come here as a tourist.”

It’s not hard at all. A few seconds with Google and the phrase “Japanese hot springs that allow tattoos” resulted in this and more:

https://travel.gaijinpot.com/japan-sightseeing-essentials/30-tattoo-friendly-onsen-in-japan/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have a mid-sized tattoo and have been to many of the onsen down here in Fukuoka, bepu included.

I just drape my towel over it while going in and then it is uncovered the rest of the time. NEVER has a guest complained. I actually have good conversations with them.

The trouble us the ignorance of the operator or the ones that dislike foreigners. It is also the foreigners in general that don't know how to properly share a bath.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think it is more the fact they see a foreigner with a tat and it makes them feel too intimidated to ask the required, "Where are you from" "Can you use chopsticks", "How do you like Japan", and "Do you like sushi".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I've been told I wouldn't be allowed in to a few onsen places, and I've been told 'of course you can come in, we welcome everyone' by others. The ones that were welcoming were of the 'slightly old but not old enough to be traditional' style of onsen, though. I have yet to find a proper traditional ryokan that will let me into their public onsen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've been told I wouldn't be allowed in to a few onsen places, and I've been told 'of course you can come in, we welcome everyone' by others. The ones that were welcoming were of the 'slightly old but not old enough to be traditional' style of onsen, though. I have yet to find a proper traditional ryokan that will let me into their public onsen.

If you ask, they will default to no more often than not. If you don't ask, in my experience they don't say anything.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Out of respect recently got the wife to tape up the one on my back as there was your standard sign at the door with the big red mark through the tattooed body. Was a nice little set to overlooking the ocean and the tape job works well. Until I saw two fully inked up Japanese guys who just didn’t give a toss and nor did the other seem to care. Kids stared a bit but hey, these people exist right?

The answer is always the default “no” if you ask. Expats who have been here long enough know not to ask, be respectful and you’re all good 9 times out of 10.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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