I go to the gym in Japan as a tourist – but I have to keep a huge secret from them so they’ll let me in
A young European man has revealed how having tattoos made his visit to Japan more difficult and a little uncomfortable.
Speaking to a roving Japanese reporter, the unnamed man said he enjoys going to the gym but has to lie about his tattoos to be allowed in.
“I like to go to the gym every day, when I go to the gym I have to cover myself and lie to them. “I don’t like lying,” he said with a smile.
He said the person at the counter will ask him if he has tattoos before letting him go to the gym.
“Otherwise they won’t let me go,” he said.
A young traveler has revealed how having tattoos made his time in Japan more difficult
This means you have to wear long sleeves and pants to the gym – despite the warm 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 large frame also seem to make locals uncomfortable on the train.
“We use perfumes, we’re big and people don’t like it, I understand that, but I also know people don’t like it because of the tattoos,” he said.
The reporter asked him if he likes onsen, but he admitted that he had not been to the spas.
‘For me that is not possible. “I tried a few times but they don’t accept me,” he said.
He added that the onsens that will accept him are “far away” and that he has been too “lazy” to travel there.
“Even my hotel has an onsen, I can’t go there,” he said.
The video was posted to Reddit, where a thousand people responded.
Onsen’s are another place people often can’t go because they have a tattoo
“I have only positive memories of Japan and being heavily tattooed has not affected the few trips I have made there,” one man said.
‘I went earlier this year and as a white man with tattoos I experienced little discrimination. Honestly, I think they judge you more as a foreigner than as someone with tattoos,” said another.
Some revealed their experiences with tattoos in Japan.
‘I have a small tattoo and went to an onsen in Noboribetsu. I asked if it was okay and said I had to go to the onsen after 10pm,” one person wrote.
‘I had the whole place to myself, which was nice. Then a young man came in and saw me covering my tattoo with my towel and he said, ‘Don’t worry, they’re just old men who worry about things like that.’
“Every time I go, it gets a lot better. I just got back from a month long trip and ended up in 5 or 6 different onsen and sento, and I have full Japanese sleeves and chest. “Lastly, the attendant said he couldn’t say yes but would pretend he didn’t see it,” said another.
This confused many.
“I always thought they hated tattoos because of the yakuza, but who cares when it’s a foreigner who’s clearly not a gangster,” someone asked.
But people were quick and blunt with their answers.
‘Since Japan doesn’t like foreigners either, it’s an easy excuse to refuse them. “If you’re not Japanese and you’re not traveling to a place that has a lot of tourists, you’ll be surprised how many places refuse to serve you or let you in,” one man said.
This comment had 2,000 likes and was quickly followed by others.
“Do you see signs everywhere saying things like ‘No Westerners’, that’s really strange,” said another.
‘I have been to Japan several times. I am often far away from other tourists. The Japanese are surprised to see me. They say they are surprised to see me. On two occasions at high-end restaurants I was told they couldn’t accommodate my requests, but I didn’t even say anything when I got to the door.
‘My wife spoke on my behalf and they let us in. And deep in Japan, most Japanese people assume that you speak Japanese but I don’t and they get angry. “An old man got mad at me because I couldn’t talk to him on the ferry,” said another.