Are Tattoos Not Allowed in Japan?

Tattoos have become increasingly popular in many parts of the world, but Japan is an exception. Tattooing has a long-standing cultural taboo that has been passed down through generations and it remains one of the last bastions where tattoos are still not accepted by mainstream society. For those planning to visit or live in Japan, it’s important to understand why tattoos are not allowed and how this affects their experience while in the country.

The Japanese culture traditionally viewed tattoos as symbols of criminality since they were commonly used by members of organized crime syndicates known as yakuza. The stigma surrounding tattooing was so strong that even after World War II when much of traditional Japanese culture had already changed, there remained a firm disapproval against any visible body art. This attitude towards tattoos still continues today with most public places such as swimming pools and gyms having strict policies regarding people displaying large or obvious pieces on their skin.

Tattooing has been a popular form of self-expression for centuries. But in Japan, it’s an interesting topic since tattoos are not actually allowed. The country has a long history of associating tattoos with criminality and organized crime which makes them socially unacceptable.

The exact laws surrounding tattooing vary from region to region but generally speaking, getting a tattoo in Japan is illegal unless you have permission from the government. This means that even if you find someone who is willing to do your tattoo, they may not be able to get the necessary paperwork needed for it to be done legally. In recent years there have been some exceptions made when it comes to tattoos in Japan such as allowing certain types of decorative body art or medical tattoos used after surgery or illness recovery process.

However these are still very limited cases and most people will not be able to get away with having any kind of visible ink on their skin while visiting the country without fear of legal consequences or social stigma attached to them. So why exactly are tattoos so frowned upon? It primarily boils down to cultural norms and beliefs about what is considered acceptable behavior within Japanese society.

Tattoos were traditionally associated with criminals, yakuza (Japanese mafia) members and those affiliated with gang activity – something that is still seen today despite its declining number amongst younger generations due largely in part due increased acceptance towards more alternative forms of style choices including piercings, colored hair dye etc…

Why Tattoos are BANNED in Japan in Some Places

Tattoos in Japan As a Foreigner

When it comes to tattoos, Japan has an interesting and complex relationship with them. Tattoos are widely accepted in many parts of the world, but they’re largely frowned upon in Japan. This is due to their association with organized crime, which has given tattoos a negative stigma that’s difficult to shake off.

However, if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo while visiting Japan as a foreigner – don’t worry! It can still be done! In fact, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors who want to experience the Japanese art of tattooing firsthand.

Here are some things to know before you take the plunge: First and foremost, make sure you research your artist carefully before committing yourself to any design or procedure. The internet is full of reputable artists from all around Japan – just make sure that their work meets your standards and expectations.

Additionally, keep in mind that the laws regarding public displays of tattoos vary greatly by region in Japan; so do your best to find out what applies where you will be visiting beforehand. When it comes time for the actual tattooing process itself beware that prices may be higher than expected due to Japanese customs taxes on imported needles and ink used by professional artists. However, this cost should include aftercare services as well – something not always included when getting a tattoo elsewhere!

Tattoos in Japan 2022

Tattoos in Japan have a long and complex history. For centuries, tattoos were associated with criminals and the Yakuza (the Japanese mafia). However, that has been changing in recent years due to an increasingly relaxed attitude towards body art among young people as well as celebrities who popularize it.

Tattooing is becoming more accepted in mainstream society, which means that attitudes are shifting. In 2022, tattoos will be even more commonplace in Japan than they are today. There will be many tattoo parlors across the country where individuals can get custom designs created by professional artists.

The level of skill involved with these works of art is quite high and there’s no doubt that those who choose to get them will have something truly unique on their bodies for life! There may also be an increased focus on safety when it comes to getting tattoos done in Japan 2022 – especially considering how popular this form of self-expression has become over the past few years. New rules and regulations should help ensure that anyone looking to get a tattoo gets one safely without any risk of infection or other side effects from unclean equipment or poor aftercare advice being given out by inexperienced practitioners.

Are Tattoos Allowed in Japanese Onsen

Are Tattoos Allowed in Japanese Onsen? The answer to this question depends heavily on the particular onsen you’re visiting. In general, many traditional onsen facilities have strict rules against tattoos.

This is due largely to Japan’s cultural attitude towards them: while they may be popular among young people in many parts of the world, including Japan, tattoos are still seen as taboo and often associated with gangsters or organized crime. Therefore, some establishments do not allow customers with visible body art into their baths or pools. That said, there has been a shift in recent years as more younger generations embrace tattoos and appreciate their artistic value; tattoo-friendly onsens are popping up all over the country!

Many hotels now offer private hot springs where guests can relax without worrying about offending any other patrons with their body art. Additionally, mixed gender public bathhouses that accept visitors regardless of whether they have tattoos are becoming increasingly common—especially in larger cities like Tokyo and Osaka. If you plan to visit an onsen during your trip to Japan but aren’t sure if your ink will be accepted at the facility you’re interested in staying at, it’s always best to call ahead and ask before booking a reservation (or paying admission).

Getting a Tattoo in Japan

Getting a tattoo in Japan is becoming more and more popular these days, with many tourists opting to adorn themselves with beautiful works of body art inspired by Japanese culture. But before you do so, it’s important to understand the laws and customs surrounding the practice of getting a tattoo in Japan. The legal age for getting a tattoo in Japan is 18 years old.

Any younger than that and you will be refused service at any reputable shop. Additionally, tattoos are forbidden on certain parts of your body; this includes hands and feet as well as areas around important veins or joints such as elbows and knees. So if you’re thinking about getting an intricate design on one of these parts then think again!

In terms of cost, tattoos can range from extremely affordable to incredibly expensive depending on the size, complexity, artist’s reputation etc., so make sure you know how much yours will cost before committing yourself financially! Some shops may offer discounts for large orders (such as multiple tattoos) or if they’re feeling generous – but don’t count on it too much! When searching for an artist in Japan there are two main things to keep in mind: experience/skill level and trustworthiness.

Make sure the shop has good reviews online (preferably written by foreigners) regarding their skill level- some even have portfolios available online which can help give you an idea what kind of work they produce.

Are Tattoos Not Allowed in Japan?


Why Does Japan Forbid Tattoos?

Japan has a long history of banning tattoos, and the ban is still in place today. Tattoos have been associated with criminality and gang-related activities since Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868). In addition, traditional Japanese culture views tattoos as an act of rebellion against authority figures.

This association with rebellious behaviour has caused many people to associate tattoos with social deviance and delinquency, leading to their being banned from certain public spaces such as swimming pools and hot springs. In recent years, there have been several attempts by local governments in Japan to lift the ban on tattoos. However, these efforts have largely failed due to strong opposition from conservative groups who argue that allowing tattooing would lead to increased crime rates or be disrespectful of traditional culture.

These opponents claim that legalizing tattooing would make it easier for criminals to hide evidence of their criminal activity or send a message that law-breaking is acceptable behaviour in Japanese society. Despite its clear stance on prohibiting tattooing in public areas, Japan does not officially outlaw private individuals getting tattoos – though they are forbidden from displaying them publicly if they do get one done. Even so, this lack of legal protection often leaves those who choose to go ahead with getting a tattoo vulnerable; some employers may refuse potential employees based solely on visible body art while others may even be denied services at restaurants or hotels because staff there don’t want customers bearing any kind of ink marks on their skin—even ones they got legally somewhere else!

Is It Disrespectful to Have a Tattoo in Japan?

When it comes to tattoos, Japan has a complicated relationship with them. In the past, they were associated with criminals and were heavily stigmatized in Japanese society. Today, while attitudes towards tattoos have softened somewhat, there is still some stigma attached to them and many people view them as being disrespectful or inappropriate.

The roots of this attitude can be traced back centuries ago when tattooing was used by the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) as a sign of allegiance and loyalty. Because of its association with organized crime, having a tattoo became taboo in mainstream society and was often seen as an act of defiance against social norms. Even today, tattoos remain closely linked to the Yakuza which has led to many businesses refusing service to those who have visible body art.

This includes both traditional establishments such as restaurants and hotels but also more modern businesses like gyms and even public baths where displaying one’s skin is considered vulgar or offensive. In addition to being viewed negatively by some Japanese people due to their associations with crime and gangs, tattoos are also thought of as disrespectful because they can be perceived as drawing attention away from other important aspects of life such ike family values or work ethics. For example, getting a large tattoo might indicate that you care more about your own appearance than earning money or contributing positively within the community which could lead people around you think less highly of you and see you in an unfavorable light overall.

Where are Tattoos Not Allowed in Japan?

When it comes to getting a tattoo in Japan, there are certain places where tattoos are not allowed. While the country is known for its traditional culture and customs, it has become increasingly popular to get tattoos in Japan as well. However, there are still areas where you should be aware of if you plan on getting a tattoo while in Japan.

The most obvious place that prohibits tattoos is public baths or hot springs (onsen). This includes any swimming pool associated with an onsen or sento bath house. It’s also important to note that if you do have visible tattoos at these locations they may ask you to cover them up with bandages before entering the facilities.

Another place that does not allow visible tattoos is many gyms and fitness centers throughout Japan. Some private gyms may make exceptions depending on their policy but generally speaking these establishments will not accept guests with visible ink showing on their bodies. Public beaches can also be tricky when it comes to displaying your body art due to potential safety concerns from other beachgoers who might feel uncomfortable around someone with large amounts of ink showing off his/her body—especially near children and families who frequent Japanese beaches during summer months.

As such, make sure your bathing suit covers all of your artwork just as a precautionary measure so no one feels uneasy about being around people with extensive body art displayed proudly out in public view!


If you’re considering getting a tattoo in Japan, it’s important to be aware of the country’s laws. Although tattoos have become more popular recently, they are still not allowed in many public places. Tattoos are often seen as taboo and associated with organized crime, so most establishments will turn away anyone with visible body art.

Even if your tattoo is small or discreet, it could cause problems for you if discovered by authorities or staff members. However, there are some places that do allow tattoos – such as water parks and certain types of spa facilities – but these are few and far between. So before you get inked up while visiting Japan, make sure to check the local regulations and restrictions first!

Izumi Kenta

Hi, I’m Izumi Kenta from Japan. By profession, I worked as a tourist guide and interpreter in Japan. Besides this profession, I’m a hobbyist blogger. I love to talk about different things about Japan and share them with a wider audience who wants to know about my country. To share my thoughts, I’ve created this site Visitjapan and brought some Japanese travel enthusiasts and tourists worldwide to share their experiences.

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