Japan’s hot spring operators urged to open doors to tattooed tourists
The Japan Tourism Agency has urged operators of onsen (hot springs) throughout the country to allow foreign visitors who have tattoos to use the facilities.
Tattoos have long been associated with yakuza – organised crime gangs – and bathers with tattoos are typically turned away. However, a representative of the tourism promotions group has asked that onsen operators take into account the cultural background of their foreign guests, in a bid to give more overseas visitors the chance to enjoy the Japanese onsen experience.
There was some controversy in 2013 after a New Zealand woman with traditional Maori face tattooing was refused entry to an onsen in Hokkaidō. Read more: japantimes.co.jp
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