Visitors from Japan come looking for different things, from authentic Japanese food, cultural experiences, and shopping. Japanese hot springs, or onsen, are yet another popular activity for international tourists.
Though many tourists are interested in onsen, some are from countries that don’t have communal bathing customs. For these visitors, it may take a lot of courage to get naked and take a bath with your friends, let alone complete strangers!
Add to that the fact that most onsen aren’t tattoo friendly, and there are even more visitors who miss out on the opportunity to experience Japanese onsen. The reality is, there are historical reasons that people with tattoos have been banned from onsen in Japan. Despite the influx of international guests who have tattoos, many onsen still maintain this antiquated policy.
As you can see, this all makes for a terrible situation. Many visitors to Japan wish to experience Japan’s famed onsen, but they can’t because of superficial cultural problems. This is truly a shame.
We at Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan have a strong reputation on sites such as Trip Advisor. This is due to our dedication to making onsen accessible to all guests. We have had a “Tattoo Friendly” policy for many years, and we have several private onsen baths that are free for guests to use: three private baths open to all guests, and 2 rooms that include their own private bath.
Many of our guests post photos on Instagram from our private onsen as well. Search #privateonsen and #kashiwayaryokan to see what we have to offer here!