Finally, a super hot spring facility that accepts people with tattoos…on one condition.
If you’ve been reading our site for a while, you may have noticed that our Japanese-language reporter Go Hatori has been keeping a secret up his sleeve, literally, as he has a tattoo on his upper right arm.
While he doesn’t mind letting his ink see the light of day when he’s travelling overseas, here in Japan, where tattoos are still commonly associated with the yakuza, Go prefers to keep his hidden.
Despite not having any links to organised, or unorganised, crime, Go has made his peace with the decision to keep his tattoo concealed in Japan, but the one time it poses a problem for him is when he wants to visit a public bathing facility. Lots of these places don’t allow people with tattoos to use their facilities, given that it makes other bathers feel uneasy about having a possible gang member in their midst, so Go has been on a mission to find and rate the public baths that do allow people with tattoos to enter.
During his mission, Go has discovered that a number of public baths in big cities permit bathers with relatively small tattoos like his, but the places that are most likely to refuse tattooed bathers are super hot spring facilities, which is the name given to multi-floor establishments often taking up an entire building with a variety of different bathing experiences on site.
So you can imagine his thrill when he heard about a super hot spring facility in Osaka that accepts people with tattoos. The facility, called “Solaniwa Onsen“, is so big it’s known as the largest hot spring theme park in Kansai (the region in and around Osaka).
When he arrived at the facility, he saw a sign at the entrance listing things that aren’t permitted on site, and one of those things was people with tattoos, including “fashion tattoos” (outlined with a red box below).

“Fashion tattoos” is a term that’s becoming more common at bathing facilities to refer to innocuous everyday tattoos and delineate them from the larger ones associated with yakuza members.
Go’s tattoo would be classed as a “fashion tattoo”, and seeing as he’d done his homework before visiting, he knew better than to turn away after reading the sign, because the facility is currently conducting a trial involving tattoo “cover stickers” to keep up with the times and consider the “differences in overseas culture”.

According to the instructions outlined on the laminated sheets shown to him at the re…

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