Visiting Japanese Hot Springs? Be Aware

Tattoos continue to gain wider acceptance, but there are still instances where they’re considered something of a no-no. One of these places is in Japan. No, not all of Japan, it’s only certain areas in Japan where having a tattoo could cause trouble. Specifically, the onsens are where a tattoo might get you banned. Onsens are the wildly popular Japanese hot springs that draw tons of tourists and one of the many reasons why people choose to visit the beautiful nation in Asia.

Now you may be wondering why something as innocent as a butterfly tattoo would cause issues in Japan. The answer has a lot to do with the Yakuza, the notorious Japanese mafia. Because tattoos are strongly associated with these people, many places ban them as a means of keeping gangsters out of their establishment.

For those of you planning on visiting an onsen in the near future, there is some degree of good news. The Japanese Tourism Agency is doing its part to sway onsen operators to consider visitors from other cultural backgrounds with tattoos.

Most onsens don’t have a problem with the tattoos provided they’re covered up. For the time being, it’s best to err on the side of caution to avoid any unwanted surprises as onsens become more accepting of foreigners with body art.

This update is by Steve Santacruz a Miami tattoo artist and the owner of Empire Tattoo, where the motto is “one client at a time”. Santacruz takes pride in providing his clients a welcoming environment and exceptional quality work that speaks for itself. He currently has locations in Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and downtown Miami. For contact information or to learn more about Steve Santacruz tattoos, please call 305-397-8050 or visit his main office at 710 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach.

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