AverageJer

Walk In Tattoos in Japan

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Hi folks, I have been a mostly lurker/occasional poster since August but this is my first created post so I will be brief.

This summer I am going on a short (about 10 day) trip to Korea and Japan with a couple of friends and I would like to try and get a tattoo in Japan. The specifics are not yet worked out but my guess is we will end up splitting time between Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka. Clearly this will not give us very much time in any of these cities. Also, due to the nature of the trip and the people I am going with, I will not be in a position to make any kind of appointment. I realize that this will greatly limit my options and I may take some hit in terms of quality. Really this is ok with me. My goals for any tattoo I get on this trip will be to have fun, get something small that I like and that is not actively bad, feel good about the safety/hygiene of the shop. I would like to get something in a Japanese style.

Anyway, any ideas or suggestions for either Tokyo or Osaka would be appreciated.

Also, as long as I am already posting- I am wondering if people have any advice for Japan or Korea in terms if wearing shorts with visible leg tattoos. My tattoos are benign in subject matter but they are noticeable. Is it best to just avoid shorts altogether or just when going to temples and the like? I have actually been to Japan and Korea before for similarly short trips but it was pre tattoos and I honestly don't remember if I wore shorts at all.

I searched the forum archives but all I really found was this long since dead thread http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/general-tattoo-discussion/532-japanese-tattoo-politics.html which, while cool, didn't really address my question. If there are past conversations on this I missed I would appreciate being pointed in the right direction.

Thanks, AverageJer

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They do more western trad than Japanese style but Inkrat in Tokyo were doing walk-ins when I was there, as was Three Tides Tokyo. If you could mail ahead you could also set something up with the likes of Bunshin Horitoshi via email probably?

As far as the shorts go:-

Day to day visible tattoos shouldn't be a problem on your trip. Although I personally prefer now to cover up (as I have more and more coverage, and I feel like I'm at a tipping point) if it was the height of humid summer I'd wear the shorts.

That said, at some temples it felt more appropriate to be covered up. Particularly if it's a national holiday or something is going on.

The other places it can be an issue are very high end restaurants and the nicer hotels - Park Hyatt etc. But really that's true of any city in the world.

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Awesome. Thanks. Three Tides and was already on my radar so I guess it is well worth checking out. Maybe as the trip gets closer I will have a better idea of my timing and will email them. Good advice on the shorts. I would probably wear pants to go to a temple regardless of tattoos and I'm not thinking high end restaurants will be in the plans - especially if I kick down for a tattoo.

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I got a tattoo from Mutsuo at Three Tides Osaka back in November. I emailed him about a month prior to my trip with a brief description of what i wanted and to my surprise his schedule was open and he was very accommodating.

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I got a tattoo from Mutsuo at Three Tides Osaka back in November. I emailed him about a month prior to my trip with a brief description of what i wanted and to my surprise his schedule was open and he was very accommodating.

Cool- good to know.

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I wouldn't say its a problem to walk around with visible tattoos in high end hotels. People just tend to presume you're someone 'famous' very ironic but can be funny.

I've stayed in the Park Hyatt Tokyo a couple of times and although you can walk around without a problem if you want to eat / drink in either of the two bars or restaurants the staff can be sticky about making you observe the dress code, and doing that tends to mean you have de facto covered up.

I was politely told once that they couldn't seat me in the casual lobby bar (I was wearing shorts). Embarrassing and a bit frustrating, but not unexpected really.

The pool was a no-no without rash guards. Oddly the gym is no problem.

As far as public baths go: I found two where I was let in... dunno if they are on the seedy end of the spectrum but it didn't seem like it.

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@AverageJer Regardless, sounds like a great trip. Looking forward to hearing how it all goes. My wife, who lived in Tokyo for five years, has been reading this thread over my shoulder with great interest. I don't know how important a visit to a bath would be, given the sheer volume of things to see and do, but I think Japan is slowly changing, insofar as tattoos are concerned. But hey - I'm just speculating!

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@AverageJer Regardless, sounds like a great trip. Looking forward to hearing how it all goes. My wife, who lived in Tokyo for five years, has been reading this thread over my shoulder with great interest. I don't know how important a visit to a bath would be, given the sheer volume of things to see and do, but I think Japan is slowly changing, insofar as tattoos are concerned. But hey - I'm just speculating!

Thanks. The friends I am going with aren't into tattoos. At least not like I am. One of them has a few but isn't really into them, the other has none. More and more I am thinking I want to try and make this work. My wife, who is being super cool just to let me go on this trip at all, is encouraging me to go for it. She's the one that got me into tattoos in the first place and I really want one the more I think about it. I guess time will tell.

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Thanks. The friends I am going with aren't into tattoos. At least not like I am. One of them has a few but isn't really into them, the other has none. More and more I am thinking I want to try and make this work. My wife, who is being super cool just to let me go on this trip at all, is encouraging me to go for it. She's the one that got me into tattoos in the first place and I really want one the more I think about it. I guess time will tell.

FYI it's usually not a problem to enter public baths "sento" with tattoos. Private hot springs "onsen" and hotel baths and pools are more likely to be a problem.

This site is only in Japanese, but it offers consumer-based info on establishments that accept customers with tattoos: タトゥー・刺é’を入れã¦ã‚‚大丈夫ãªæ—¥æœ¬ä¸*ã®ãƒ—ールã«ã‚µã‚¦ãƒŠãƒ»æ¸©æ³‰ãƒ»éŠ*湯情å*±å…±æœ‰ã‚µã‚¤ãƒˆã€ã‚¿ãƒˆã‚¥ãƒ¼ã‚¹ãƒãƒƒãƒˆ

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