Tattoos in Tokyo

This topic seems to have been flogged to death in various places But I figured it might be worth asking here.

I’m visiting Tokyo for a couple of weeks at the start of October and have visible tattoos on my arms and legs. There seems to be a fair bit of conflicting information about covering up in public, not just Onsen and the like.

Has anyone had any experience while there? I’m not bothered about covering up if need be.


Onsen, and public baths are probably the main place you’d notice any tattoo rules. Recently some of the beaches near Tokyo have a “no tattoo visible” summer rule (and also no alcohol), but it doesn’t seem to be enforced!

Also some gyms have a cover up your tattoo rule, though this might also be weakly enforced.

You don’t need to cover up unless there’s explicitly a rule stating you should do some, and people won’t be offended or anything. Japan slowly shifting towards tattoo acceptance, and you’ll see quite a few young people in Tokyo with (usually small) tattoos now.

Here’s article on finding hot springs that are tattoo friendly:

Disclaimer: I have no tattoos!

Cheers for that. Generally what I’ve seen agrees with what you’re saying.

There’s no chance I’d be in a gym while at home let alone on holiday so I think I’ll be ok!

This topic was automatically closed after 4 days. New replies are no longer allowed.