Japan is undeniably one of the most beautiful places on the planet where people never run out of things to do.
So after you've seen the vibrant Sakura trees, and devoured the best Ramen in the country, you might want to try something else.
Travelers with tattoos sometimes don't get the full Japanese experience when they are visiting the Land of the Rising Sun.
In the country where people have to be nude to enjoy the Onsen (hot springs), and sento (public baths), these kinds of establishments including sports clubs, gyms, and swimming pools do not allow guests to enjoy their services if they have permanent ink.
However, for tattooed tourists who want to find places that welcome them, Tattoo-friendly has a solution.
Tattoo-Friendly is a new Japanese website which unlike its counterparts, has an English search option that helps travelers look for establishments that accept their skin art. The website has hundreds of properties in its database to fully help tourists find out the nearest place that suits them best.
The website has listed more than 600 ryokan (inns), onsen, sento, beaches, pools, and gyms on its database and rates them by how accepting they are to people with tattoos, Japan TImes reported.
"In recent years, the number of tourists has been increasing while at the same time, the more and more popular question 'Do you know of any onsen that will allow tattooed guests to enter?' is being asked. For this purpose, this site has been created to answer those questions. Many travelers become uneasy when they don't know whether it is possible to enter a certain onsen," according to its website.
The long and stigmatized tattoo history in Japan still continues until today. Although a significant amount of people has changed their mindset on tattoos in the country, it is still nowhere near how openly accepted tattoos are in the United States.
The undesirable stigma that tattoos bring in Japan springs from its history. Permanent ink is usually associated with Japanese organized crime gangs or Yakuzas whose full body tattoos indicate their allegiance to the group.
Additionally, the Osaka Court has ruled that only medical doctors are allowed to administer tattoos in Japan. Meaning, tattoo artists are committing a crime every time they tattoo a customer, according to CNN.
Miho Kawasaki, Tattoo-friendly's administrator has pushed the website because many tattooed tourists have asked her about hot springs that welcome tattooed people.
Due to tattoos becoming more popular internationally, Japan has been slowly recognizing tattoos as a form of fashion. This shift is expected to increase more because of the tourist influx that the 2020 Olympics would bring, Kawasaki said in an interview with Japan Times.
"Tattoo-friendliness should be one of the various individual preferences for amenities, just like pet-friendliness or wheelchair-accessibility," she added.