Japanese Onsen for Tattooed
This is what you need to know about tattoos in the japanese traditional onsen
On the way to the hot onsen bath, it can catch you cold: "No tattoos!" it might be there (also in English) at the entrance. And tattoos can actually become a problem on a trip to Japan. The popularity of the elaborate colored tattoos comes - in a few detours - from Japan! But why are tattoos banned in many onsen, and what should you do if you have a tattoo but still want to enjoy the health benefits of Japan's hot springs?
Perhaps the biggest problem the Japanese have with tattoos in their peaceful onsen is the association they make with tattoos in general: In Japan, large tattoos in particular are associated with the thugs of the yakuza. The Yakuza is a criminal organization in Japan - the "Japanese Mafia" so to speak - whose gang members can be recognized not only by their typical appearance in the form of brightly colored suits but also by the fact that they have tattoos all over their bodies. These gangs don't merely pick up some big black penises which may or must remain intact; rather, most go into hiding when approached for protection reasons. It does seem strange today to associate them strictly just because somebody has an ink stain across their chest where something cool looks like one... Although we find these same types wearing flashy swimsuits here as well, let us set aside this image-seeking attitude going forward during our travels abroad even though things could turn out far more unpleasant than such fun adventures would entail ("Do I ever really wear my shirt down?"), since otherwise no harm whatsoever will be done while enjoying your summer vacations