A young European has revealed how having tattoos made his visit to Japan more difficult and a little uncomfortable.
Speaking to a traveling Japanese reporter, the anonymous man said he loved going to the gym, but had to lie about his tattoos to get in.
“I like going to the gym every day, to go to the gym I have to cover up and lie to them. I don’t like lying,” he said with a smile.
He said the person at the counter would ask him if he had any tattoos before letting him into the gym.
“Otherwise they won’t let me go,” he said.
Young traveler revealed how having tattoos made his stay in Japan more difficult
That means wearing long sleeves and pants to the gym, despite the hot weather.
“It’s very difficult, you know,” adding that he doesn’t mind. “It’s the only way, I think we have to respect (that).”
He added that his tattoos and tall figure also seem to make locals uncomfortable on the train.
“We use perfume, we’re big and people don’t like it, I understand, but I also know that because of the tattoos people don’t like it,” he said.
The reporter asked him if he liked onsen, but he admitted that he hadn’t been to spas.
“It’s not possible for me, I tried several times but they don’t accept me,” he said.
He added that the onsens that will accept him are “very far away” and that he was too “lazy” to go there.
“Even in my hotel there is an onsen, I can’t go there,” he said.
The video was posted on Reddit where around a thousand people commented.
Onsen are another place people often can’t go because they have a tattoo.
“I have only positive memories of Japan and being heavily tattooed didn’t affect the few trips I made there at all,” one man said.
“I went earlier this year and, as a white man with tattoos, I faced very little discrimination. Honestly, I think they judge you more as a foreigner than as a person with tattoos,” said another.
Some have revealed their experiences getting tattoos in Japan.
“I have a small tattoo and I went to an onsen in Noboribetsu. Asked if everything was okay and then told me to go to the onsen after 10 p.m.,” one person wrote.
“I had the whole house to myself, which was nice. Then a young man came in and saw me covering my tattoo with my little towel and he said to me “don’t worry, it’s just old men who are interested in this sort of thing”.
“It gets better every time I go. I just came back from a month-long trip and experienced 5 or 6 different onsen and sento, and I have completely Japanese sleeves and chest. Finally, the attendant said he couldn’t say yes but would pretend he didn’t see,” said another.
This confused many.
“I always thought they hated tattoos because of the yakuza, but why do they care if it’s a foreigner who clearly isn’t a gangster,” one person asked.
But people responded quickly and frankly.
“Because Japan doesn’t like foreigners either, it’s an easy excuse to turn them away. If you are not Japanese and not traveling to a place frequented by tourists, you will be surprised how many places outright refuse to serve you or let you in,” one man said.
This comment received 2,000 likes and was quickly followed by others.
“Seeing signs everywhere that say things like ‘No Westerners’ is really weird,” said another.
“I have been to Japan several times. On many occasions, I am far from any other tourists. The Japanese are surprised to see me. They tell me they are surprised to see me. Twice at high end restaurants I was told they couldn’t accommodate my requests, but didn’t even say anything until I was at the door.
“My wife spoke in my favor and they let us in. Also, deep in Japan, most Japanese people assume you speak Japanese but I don’t and they get angry. An old man got angry with me because I couldn’t talk to him on the ferry,” said another.