Tattooed guests are often turned away at the door at many Japanese hot springs, but a Chiba-area hot spring location is explicitly allowing guests with tattoos, and it’s a multi-floor relaxation paradise to boot!

Tattoos have long been a cultural taboo in Japan due to their association with the Yakuza and various other unsavory groups, which can often lead to western tourists hoping to visit onsen hot springs being barred from entry. Japanese hot springs are world famous and a common tourist rite of passage, but many of those from the west – where tattoos are exceedingly common – sporting even the most innocent of body art can find themselves at a loss for hot spring options.


Increasingly, management at onsen have turned the other cheek for guests with body art not obviously related to organized crime, but it can be a crap shoot for foreign visitors, and locations explicitly allowing tattooed customers tend to be far removed from city centers like Tokyo. Earlier this month, we visited one onsen that has decided they’d rather their customers worry more about the spectacular view of Mt. Fuji that other people’s body art — but it’s not the only one of its kind!

Enter Yamato no Yu: A hot spring that welcomes guests with tattoos and also happens to be a ridiculously swanky onsen resort with multiple levels, numerous types of bathing pools and even a fitness gym. The only two caveats are that kids aren’t allowed in and you can’t smoke on the premises.


In addition to normal hot springs, Yamato no Yu also features rotenburo outdoor baths, a sauna and even something titled a “radiant bath,” consisting of chairs made from gently heated tiles. The venue additionally offers spa services, massages, aroma therapy and the aforementioned gym.

All in all, Yamato no Yu seems like a perfect piece of paradise for tattooed patrons hoping to experience Japan’s hot spring culture. Located in Chiba Prefecture, just a short train ride from downtown Tokyo, Yamato also offers rental yukata, so you don’t need to worry about bringing along a change of clothes and you are free to lounge around in style for as long as you’d like.


Whether you’ve just got a butterfly tattoo on your ankle or a full arm sleeve of a fire-breathing dragon who is also itself on fire, Yamato no Yu looks like a luxurious safe space to check out an authentic Japanese hot spring resort without the risk of being turned away or, possibly even worse, being given the stink eye by the stuffy old guy in the sauna.

Onsen Information
Yamato no Yu /大和の湯
Address: Chiba-ken, Narita-shi, Otake 1630
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Images: RocketNews24
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