Unveiling The Secret Onsen: A Guide For Tattooed Travelers

Japanese Onsen Etiquette: A Guide for Tattoo Enthusiasts

Indulge in the serene bliss of onsen, Japan’s revered hot spring baths—even if you’re adorned with tattoos! Contrary to popular belief, not all onsen in the Land of the Rising Sun prohibit inked individuals. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this cultural nuance.

Unveiling Tattoo-Friendly Onsen

  • Kusatsu Onsen: Nestled in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, this renowned onsen town welcomes tattoo enthusiasts with open arms.
  • Ibusuki Onsen: Located on the southernmost tip of Kyushu, this seaside onsen destination offers stunning views and tattoo-friendly facilities.
  • Beppu Onsen: A vibrant onsen city in Oita Prefecture, Beppu boasts a plethora of tattoo-tolerant onsen, including the renowned Sand Bath Onsen.

Etiquette for Tattooed Patrons

  • Cover Up: While small or discreet tattoos may not require covering, it’s respectful to conceal larger or more visible tattoos with towels or bandages.
  • Be Polite: Always ask permission before entering an onsen and adhere to any specific rules or requests regarding tattoos.
  • Respect Local Customs: Remember that onsen are sacred spaces for relaxation and rejuvenation. Be mindful of your behavior and noise level.


  • Can I get a tattoo in Japan? Yes, but be aware that many tattoo studios may refuse service if you plan to visit onsen.
  • Are there any tattoo-exclusive onsen? No, but some onsen may have designated times or areas for tattooed individuals.
  • What if I have a temporary tattoo? Most onsen do not allow temporary tattoos, as they may dissolve in the hot water.


Embark on an unforgettable onsen experience in Japan, regardless of your tattoo status. By following these guidelines, you can respectfully enjoy the therapeutic and cultural benefits of these tranquil retreats. Remember, the true essence of onsen lies in relaxation, rejuvenation, and embracing the moment. So, dive into the soothing waters and let the worries of the world melt away.

onsen in japan that allow tattoos

onsen in japan that allow tattoos

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