Website helps tattooed tourists in Japan

The Japanese aren't huge fans of tattoos due to their perceived association with the Japanese mafia

Japan has launched a new website to help inked visitors avoid unforeseen situations, such as not being allowed to enter hot springs or beaches for sporting tattoos.

The website, called Tattoo Friendly, aims at pointing foreign visitors toward tattoo-friendly hotels, spas, gyms or swimming pools in Japan, the website's administrator and former editor of the Japanese magazine Tattoo Burst magazine, Miho Kawasaki told EFE.

The website, which was launched on May 28 in English and has received more than 10,000 hits until now, allows visitors to consult a map, and with the help of filters view details of tourist spots, including their tattoo policies.

Kawasaki's aim is to combat the prejudices related to tattoos in the country, owing to its perceived association with the Japanese mafia.

She said it did not make any sense to continue with rigid and restrictive measures against tattoos.

More than half the spas in Japan do not allow the entry of people with tattoos, while 13 per cent have made it necessary to cover them up with bandages, according to a government survey in 2015, following large number of complaints from tourists over the restrictions.