Many hot spring facilities in Japan do not allow people with tattoos to enter as having a tattoo is a stigma associated with Yakuza (Japanese version of the Mafia). However, these days, some places have become more open-minded with a few bathing facilities relaxing their rules to accommodate tourists with tattoos. Here are 2 hot springs which allow people with tattoos to enjoy the Japanese public bathing experience!
Yamato no Yu is a hot spring resort opened in October 1998. It started small that was expecting to accommodate only 200 visitors daily. However, that number grew especially during the holidays which prompted the resort to expand. Now, it can accommodate 1,000 people who want to relax and enjoy a cherished natural hot spring. Everyone is allowed to enter the bathhouse as long as their policies are followed such as respecting the privacy of others while maintaining a mature attitude.
Hours: 10am – 10pm 7 days a week
Weekday price: 800 yen
Weekends and Holidays price: 1000 yen
Junior (6 – 12 years only) with Guardian: 300 yen
NB: children under 6 are not allowed to enter
If you want a bathing facility which offers a gorgeous view of Mt. Fuji, you should definitely try the Hottarakashi Onsen in Yamanashi City. It is also one of the best places that offer starry skies at night as well. Its bathing facilities are divided into two: Acchi-no-yu (“that bath”) and Kocchi-no-yu (“this bath”). The latter is more popular as the bathing area is located in an open area designed with stone and wood and provides a view of Mt. Fuji. The former is double in size and provides a view of Kofu basin which is surrounded by mountains.
Hours: 1 hour before sunrise – 10pm (last entry 9:30 pm) 7 days a week*
Prices: Adult 800 yen, children (0 years – 6th grade Elementary school) 400 yen
*In May the onsen is open from 4am
So there you go, if you have a tattoo, there is no need to worry about missing out on a relaxing onsen experience here in Japan as there are some bathing facilities, such as these three, that have relaxed their ‘no tattoo’ policy to help accommodate tourists. So go and enjoy the bathing culture of the Japanese people to your heart’s content!