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How a tattoo can get you banned from enjoying a Japanese spa

 

Never thought of that delicate butterfly tattoo on your back can get you in trouble? Think again.

 

Tattoos can be a large part of the mainstream culture, but not every culture shares the same view of body art. In Japan, the love of tattoos can actually be for us, banned from certain places, including the hugely popular onsens Japanese hot springs which are one of the main reasons why many tourists visit the country.

WOMEN ARE BARRED FROM THE REMOTE ISLAND IN JAPAN

More than half of the Japanese hotels will not allow visitors with tattoos give their public bathing, according to a government survey.

The survey, conducted by the Japan Tourist Agency in 2015, that 56 percent of the hotels and inns questioned about the country did not allow people with tattoos to enter public bathing areas.

Another study conducted by Japan Tourism Agency in 2014 found that a third of all foreign tourists indicated onsens were one of the main reasons for a visit to the country in the first place.

The reason for this radical stance against tattoos in public places is that, because in Japan, tattoos are associated with yakuza, or members of the Japanese mafia. Many public institutions ban people and use them as a way to keep gangsters.

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But the japanese Tourism Agency wants time to change, at least when it comes to foreign tourists. Last year, the government agency pleaded with onsen operators to pay more attention to the cultural backgrounds of tattooed non-Japanese tourists. For Japanese visitors, the ban may still apply.

With the number of tourists to Japan on the rise, Shogo Akamichi, a Japan tourism Agency official who is responsible for the promotion of tourism said that the agency hoped that it would mean that all the tourists “can enjoy onsen in Japan,” said the English-Japanese newspaper The Japan Times.

In 2013, the cultural clash has garnered a lot of attention from the media after a Maori woman turned away from a public bath in Hokkaido because her traditional face tattoos.

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Almost a third (31 percent) of the hotels and inns in the 2015 survey said that they would not ban tattooed visitors and more than one in ten (13%) said that they would allow guests with tattoos in onsens if their tattoos were covered.

This article originally appeared on the News.com.ayou.

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