No Tattoos on Japan’s Beaches

The summer season has begun in Japan! If you are headed there like I was last year, it is the time of the year where it will be humid and very hot. Skin will be showing and even if you are in dress, you still have to be careful of one huge thing – TATTOOS.

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During my visit to Tokyo and the beaches in Kamakura last year, I had read about how tattoos are not an acceptable part of the society there and they are to be covered.

This applies to onsens,  temples, sento, and beaches.

A major connection that the Japanese have about tattoos is their history of being part of the mafia. While this is no longer true for everyone who has a tattoo, history continues to follow and the thought of skin being pure goes along with it.

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When you are off to a beach in Japan, be sure to cover your tattoos. If you don’t, you might get escorted off the beach by police and trust me, dirty looks will follow.

You will see many signs to warn you that tattoos are not allowed. The best way to cover them is with clothing. If they are in a more obvious place, consider a thick bracelet over your arm or high socks if they are on your legs. You can be creative in using accessories to look good yet be proper.

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When I went to the beach, I wore a bikini and totally forgot about my tattoo on the side of my hip. I had to keep my sundress on and go in the water that way. I kick myself that I did not bring a tank top and shorts to change into (I usually do), cuz the tank top would have done the trick.

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Bottom line – be respectful and be prepared to cover up those tats at the beach in Japan!