Japan's premiere hotel chain, Hoshino Resort, has announced its trial program to allow tattoo travelers to take hot spring as long as their tattoo is small enough to cover, starting in October 2015.
According to its press release, they will start the trial program to allow tattoo travelers to enter their public bathes of "Kai Resorts" as long as their tattoo is smaller than 8cm x 10cm (3 inc x 4 inc).
During the trial period, they will provide the skin-color tattoo cover sticker for free upon request.
Tattoo Traveler Are Still Not Allowed to Take Public Bath in Japan
For a long time, Japanese public had been fighting against Yakuza (Japanese gangster). A short time ago, only the people who had tattoo were yakuzas. And there was a history that yakuzas were assaulting the public bath customers.
After a long fight between yakuza and public bath business owners, the Japanese resorts were finally able to win, and set the rules to prohibit tattoo travelers to take bathe.
In fact, there are still many Japanese who don't feel comfortable to take bath with the people with tattoo.
Accepting the Diversity among Japanese Tourism Industry
However, Japan become popular among international travelers. Some Japanese have started having tattoo as fashion. Tattoo is no longer the symbol of the violence.
Hoshino Resort has been known for its luxury style hotel. But also they are known to open up to the international tourists.
According to the press release, Hoshino Resort recognize the Japanese people with tattoo doesn't mean they are yakuza any more, and there are people in the world that having tattoo is their culture, such as the Māori people from New Zealand.
Slowly, Japanese tourism is open up its door.