Ever since it has become "fashionable" for men and women in the U.S. (and other countries) to sport tattoos, they have been having some perplexing difficulties in being admitted into Japanese onsens and spas.
The Japan Tourism Agency is conducting a survey of spas and onsens on how they deal with this.
According to an article in The Japan Times:
The Japan Tourism Agency said Thursday it has begun surveying onsen hot springs nationwide on their no-tattoo policy because many foreign visitors sporting body art have been perplexed by such restrictions.
Many public bathhouses have long denied entry to people with tattoos due to their traditional association with yakuza. However, the policy has baffled many non-Japanese, including people whose tattoos are rooted in their ethnicity.
Earlier this month, the agency started distributing a questionnaire to 3,700 inns and hotels with public baths, asking them why and how they turn away tattoo-bearers and whether they have run into trouble with guests over the policy, an official in its regional development department said.To read more, go here.