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What is Tattoo Friendly?

In recent years, the number of tourists has been increasing while at the same time, the more and more popular question “Do you know of any onsen that will allow tattooed guests to enter?” is being asked. For this purpose, this site has been created to answer those questions. Many travelers become uneasy when they don’t know whether it is possible to enter a certain onsen.

The information posted on this site has all been confirmed with the posted facilities through phone by asking “Can tattooed guests enter?”


Main reasons for refusal:

  • “We are refusing because of the operating company requests”
  • Result of a Union agreement
  • The local police have intervened
  • They received complained from the elderly local residents and decided the results at council meetings

With the increase of tattooed guests and tourism on the rise, many facilities have recently started to accept tattooed guests.


Main reasons for acceptance:

  • Compared to the past, tattoos for the sake of fashion, not criminal activities, have increased
  • Foreign tourists with tattoos have increased
  • Guidance from some administrations have become more lenient
  • Experimental trials of allowing guests to cover their tattoos (with a seal/bandaid ) have been implemented
  • According to the Yakuza Exclusion Ordinance, new signs have been remade and regulations of tattoos were abolished.

In Japan, manners make all the difference.

In addition, when asking the question “Can tattooed guests enter?”, there are various other responses that have not been written about above.

Generally, if you practice good bathing manners, there is little reason for one to be restricted from entering any facility.

That being said, if a guest secretly enters a facility that clearly does not allow tattoos, is it very possible to be denied access or removed.

However, according to guests’ comments, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of people who have complained about being refused.

So, What kind of person complains about tattoos? The general consensus was the elderly. The reason for this is because the elderly residents don’t often have chances to see tattooed guests in rural areas.

Current trends have changed and become lenient towards tattoos, but opinions towards tattoos still are commonly negative among the elderly, especially towards Japanese.

Therefore, once a person displays bad manners in a bath, it isn’t uncommon to be refused entry. In fact, it seems that facilities are constantly changing their regulations regarding tattoos because of mishaps in the past.

Based on the information above, please understand that even small tattoos may cause for surprise. Feel free to enter the facilities on our site with that in mind.

Tattoo Friendly was built to ease the process of finding accepting businesses

Find places that will accept your body art without any trouble.

Tattoo Friendly categorizes by “types” of places that will allow tattoos in Japan. The most common place that has issues with tattooed guests are “onsen”. What does “onsen” mean and what the different types are will be explained below.

Hotel & Ryokan

Hotels are straight-forward and technically are the same as a ryokan except for one factor: Ryokan are Japanese-style hotels often with tatami mats and futon-type beds that lay on the floor. Recently, there has been an increase in modern ryokan that have bed or futon options available. Both types often have complementary bathing facilities inside.

Indoor Bath

Just as the name says, a bath indoors that can be either natural hot spring water or regular water.


Onsen are hot springs or resorts that use the natural spring water from underground to fill their bathing facilities.

Open-air Bath

Also called “rotenburo” in Japanese, are outdoor baths often surrounded by beautiful landscapes to induce an atmosphere of tranquility

Private Bath

Also self-explanatory; these baths are almost always connected to a hotel or ryokan room that can be rented and usually fit 2-4 people but can vary in size.


Communal baths where customers pay a small entry fee to enter the facilities. They do not use natural spring water, or they would be called “onsen” instead. You can find these by the large “ゆ” (Yu) sign meaning hot water.

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