Japan Beppu Hot Spring Resort Divided over Tattooed Visitors

Society Culture Sports

Beppu, Oita Pref., Oct. 2 (Jiji Press)--Hotels and bathhouses in the famed Beppu Onsen hot spring resort in southwestern Japan are divided over whether to accept tattooed visitors as the practice has a negative image in the country.

Some 400,000 foreign tourists are expected to visit Japan during the ongoing 2019 Rugby World Cup, the first quadrennial rugby competition hosted by the country.

Tattoos are widely accepted as part of culture, customs and fashion in many countries. But in Japan, the practice is often associated with yakuza gangs and other crime group members.

Oita Prefecture, where Beppu Onsen is located, hosts five Rugby World Cup matches, beginning with the one between New Zealand and Canada on Wednesday.

The city of Beppu has nearly 400 hot spring facilities, including about 300 private facilities such as hotels and "ryokan" inns. Most of the private facilities do not accept tattooed visitors at their hot spring baths, excluding special private baths.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press