No Tattoo “Irezumi” Allowed in Public Bath in Japan !?

Japan has a tattoo culture from long time ago as well known.

When I was a teenager, I liked looking at Japanese tattoo photograph books in book stores
and I was thinking I would get cool black and white tattoos! ( It didn’t happen though.. )
Tattoos may sound accepted by Japanese people but if you go to public bath places in Japan, you will see an “Irezumi Okotowari” sign that  means no tattoo allowed.
Because tattoos are still from underworld for some people. Maybe it reminds them of Yakuza so they can’t relax??
But I don’t think all public baths prohibit tattoos.

4 kind of public bath in Japan

If I categorize Japanese public bath, I can categorize 4 kind of public bath.
Sento 銭湯 is mostly for local people. Small bath place. Only hot bath, warm bath, cold bath and herb bath… (if you got to Osaka, you may be able to see electronic bath. you will feel low electricity )
Super sento スーパー銭湯 has wide variety of baths. They even have restaurants and massage area. People can stay long time.
–  Kenko land 健康ランド is like a Super sento but people can stay over night. There is a room to rest with other people 🙂 you can also save money for staying night.
Onsen 温泉 is hot spring place.
I think Super sento and Kenko land prohibit tattoos.
you will see an "Irezumi okotowari" sign means no tattoo allowed
you will see an “Irezumi okotowari” sign means no tattoo allowed
I have a small tattoo on my back so I have been stopped going in bath by a young lady and kicked out, lol (At least they paid me back!) Also, I have been asked to put a big band-aid that they provided and hide it.  I thought the big band-aid is nice 🙂
I have experience so I learned  that if I have choices, I would choose Sento or Onsen.
I saw news about tourist from overseas got kicked out because of her tattoo. But also some public bath recently is trying to change, they sell big band-aids for people who have tattoos so please check before you get undressed if they allow tattoo or not. Otherwise you will be kicked out like me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *