NO TATS Many Japanese spas and baths forbid tattoos

Posted on 10/27/2015 | About Japan

A survey conducted by the Japan National Tourism Agency has revealed that more than half of Japanese hotels with hot springs and communal spas do not permit use by guests with tattoos.

Of the almost 600 hotels polled about 56 percent do not allow people with tattoos to enter public bathing areas. Tattoos are still synonymous with Japanese Yakusa mafia gangs. About 13 percent of hotels said they permit tattooed visitors only if tattoos are covered, while 31 percent allow tattooed guests access to all facilities.

Other public facilities such as fitness centres and public swimming baths also have strict rules banning visible body art. Japan has attracted a rising number of complaints from foreign travellers turned away from spas and hot springs due to tattoos.