32 Tattoo Friendly Onsen & Hot Spring Ryokans in Japan

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan - Jozankei Onsen - Hoheikyo Onsen

Finding a tattoo-friendly onsen in Japan can be a hell of a task. Even with websites like Tattoo Friendly and Tattoo Spot, I could never be 100% sure if the onsen accepts tattoos, and most of the time I had no clue what the baths look like. So I decided to do my own research and write a blog post for all of you who go through the same struggles.

Beppu Onsen is the hot spring town with the most tattoo-friendly onsen in Japan, while Kinosaki Onsen near Kyoto and Osaka is one of the most picturesque onsen towns that allow tattoos. If you are looking for onsens that accept tattoos near Tokyo, you should visit Kusatsu Onsen.

This is a brief summary of my tattoo-friendly onsen research for this post. Below you will find detailed information about 33 different onsens in Japan that accept tattoos. We will start with tattoo-friendly hot springs near Tokyo, and Osaka & Kyoto. Then we continue with tattoo-friendly onsen in northern and southern Japan.

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Near Tokyo

1. Yamato no Yu (2h from Tokyo)

Yamato no Yu - Tattoo Friendly Onsen Near Tokyo

Location: Near Narita International Airport, Chiba Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Yamato no Yu (大和の湯) is a tattoo-friendly onsen near Narita International Airport about 2 hours away from Tokyo. In their FAQ section on their webpage, they clearly state “Yes, tattoos are permitted” and that they welcome anybody no matter the size or number of tattoos.

The gender-separated onsen facilities feature several beautiful indoor and 8 different outdoor baths. They also have 3 rooms with a small private open-air bath that can be rented for 1 – 3 hours for an additional fee.

Access: A 23-minute walk from Shimōsa-Manzaki Station on the JR Narita Line. Narita International Airport is less than 1 hour away.

Price: ¥850 (about $8 or 7€)

Website: www.yamatonoyu.com

2. Musashi-Koyama Onsen Shimizu-Yu (Near Shibuya)

Musashi-Koyama Onsen Shimizu-Yu - Tatto Friendly Hot Spring Tokyo

Location: Musashi-Koyama, near Shibuya, Tokyo city

No Official Tattoo Regulation: Musashi-Koyama Onsen Shimizu-Yu (武蔵小山温泉) is a directly fed onsen located in Tokyo’s Meguro ward not far from Shibuya. On their official homepage, you can not find any official tattoo regulations, however, one of my tattooed friends told me that you can enter the onsen as long as you are alone and not in a group. Since this is not an official statement, my recommendation is to check with them before you go just to be sure.

The water for the hot spring baths comes from 2 different springs and you can soak in several indoor and outdoor baths. They also have a so-called “Black Onsen Bath” or “Black Water Bath”. Yep, this is a bathtub filled with black water.

Access: 6 minutes on foot from Musashi-Koyama Station. From Shibuya, you can get here in about 18 minutes.

Price: 470円 (about $4 or 4€)

Website: www.shimkizuyu.com (Japanese only)

3. Akazawa Onsen Resort & Spa (2h from Tokyo)

Akazawa Onsen Resort & Spa - Hot Springs Tattoos OK

Location: Izu Kogen, Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Akazawa Onsen Resort & Spa (赤沢温泉郷) is a tattoo-friendly onsen resort hotel located on Shizuoka’s Izu peninsula which is famous for its onsen towns Atami and Ito. On the English version of their website they say that they “welcome guests with tattoos”.

This is definitely one of the most beautiful onsen with ocean views that you can find near Tokyo and I am totally in love with it. You can soak in a variety of baths including huge infinity open-air pools with panoramic views in each of the gender-separated bathing facilities.

Access: From Izu Kogen Station you have to take one of the spa’s free shuttle buses. Please note that the JR Pass only covers the fare until Ito Station.

Price: 1,600円 (about $15 or 15€)

Website: www.izuakazawa.jp

4. Ohtaki No Yu (3h from Tokyo)

Kusatsu Onsen (Gunma) - Famous Onsen Towns Near Tokyo Japan

Location: Kusatsu Onsen, Gunma Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: If you are looking for a tattoo-friendly onsen town to enjoy some hot spring hopping, Kusatsu Onsen is your best hot spring resort near Tokyo. Ohtaki No Yu (大滝乃湯), sometimes also written as Otakinoyu, is one of the many beautiful hot springs that are open to you as long as your body art is not gang-related.

Ohtaki No Yu has a rotenburo in each of the gender-separated bathing facilities but the real highlight is its indoor bath, in my opinion. You can start in one of the lukewarm tubs and slowly soak your way up to the hotter tubs surrounded by wooden pillars.

Access: 6 minutes from Kusatsu Onsen bus stop. The fastest way to get to Kusatsu is by bus from Karuizawa Station.

Price: 900円 (about $8 or 8€)

Website: www.othtakinoyu.com

5. Sainokawara Rotenburo (3h from Tokyo)

Sainokawara Rotenburo - Kusatsu Onsen Tattoos Allowed

Location: Kusatsu Onsen, Gunma Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Just as the aforementioned Ohtaki No Yu, Sainokawara Rotenburo (西の河原 露天風呂) is a tattoo-friendly onsen located in the extremely tattoo-friendly onsen town Kusatsu. So as long as you do not belong to a crime syndicate you are good to soak.

The onsen’s huge open-air bath is 500 square meters. One of the largest rotenburo in Kanto, if not all of Japan. If you come here in spring you can even enjoy the cherry blossoms and do some Hanami while soaking in an onsen.

Access: 14 minutes away from Kusatsu Onsen bus stop

Price: 600円 (about $6 or 5€)

Website: www.sainokawara.com

6. Daigoku-yu (Near Tokyo Skytree)

Daigoku-yu - Tattoo Friendly Onsen Near Skytree Tokyo

Location: Oshiage, Near Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo city

All Tattoos Accepted: Daigoku-yu (大黒湯) is a natural Hot Spring Sento located directly in Tokyo that allows tattoos. If you check their webpage you will see that they have an English FAQ section where they say “tattoo is ok”.

This Sento is located in Oshiage near Tokyo Skytree and you can see the tower from the rest area within the building. The bathing facilities are gender-separated but unfortunately, they only have 1 open-air bath. On odd-numbered days men can use it on even-numbered days women can use it.

Access: 8-minute on foot from Oshiage Station or a 12-minute walk from Kinshicho Station.

Price: 470円 (about $4 or 4€)

Website: www.daikokuyu.com

7. Kagoiwa Onsen Ryokan (3h from Tokyo)

Kagoiwa Onsen Ryokan - Tattoos OK Hot Spring Japan

Location: Near Nikko & Kinugawa Onsen, Tochigi Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Kagoiwa Onsen (かご岩温泉旅館) is a good option to consider when you are planning to go to Nikko, which I highly recommend you do. As long as you follow the usual onsen bathing etiquette every visitor with a tattoo is welcome.

The onsen facilities consist of an indoor bath and an outdoor bath overlooking the Kinugawa River. Maybe you have heard Kinugawa before since it is a popular onsen town near Tokyo. One thing you need to know is that day-trip bathing is only possible in combination with a lunch plan and that you need to make a reservation beforehand.

Access: 30 minutes from Shin-Takatoku Station. No public transportation, unfortunately. Nikko is about 1 hour away.

Price: From 1,500円 (about $14 or 12€) for a day-trip plan with lunch and onsen

Website: www.kagoiwaonsen.jp

8. Tenzan Onsen (1.5h from Tokyo)

Tenzan Onsen - Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan

Location: Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted But: Tenzan Hot Spring Village (天山湯治郷) is one of the most famous and beautiful onsen in Hakone and luckily it is tattoo-friendly. However, there is one requirement: tattooed guests have to visit the onsen alone. You can find this information on their official webpage but only in Japanese.

The Hot Spring Village consists of 2 separate hot spring facilities. Higana Hot Spring Tenzan and the slightly cheaper Kayoi Hot Spring Ikkyu. Both are just amazing featuring some of the most beautiful indoor and outdoor baths not only in Hakone but near Tokyo.

Access: From the nearest station Hakone-Yumoto Station it is a 7-minute bus ride to Oku Yumoto Iriguchi bus stop. From there Tenzan Onsen is just 2 minutes away.

Price: Higana Hot Spring Tenzan is 1,300円 (about $12 or 11€), Kayoi Hot Spring Ikkyu costs 1,100円 (about $10 or 9€).

Website: www.tenzan.jp (Japanese only)

9. Hottarakashi Onsen (2h from Tokyo)

Hottarakashi Onsen (Near Tokyo) - Beautiful Mountain Onsen

Location: Yamanashi City, near Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture

No Official Tattoo Regulation: Hottarakashi Onsen (ほったらかし温泉) is a tattoo-friendly onsen with views of Mt. Fuji. While there is no official regulation, the hot spring is renowned for its tattoo friendliness. One of my Japanese friends recommended me this onsen and when I googled it I found many, many comments saying that tattooed guests can enter without any issues.

If you are into Japanese animation you might actually know this onsen from the anime Yuru Camp△. From the open-air bath, you can see the sunrise and Mount Fuji and when it is getting dark you have a sparkling night view right in front of you. The only con is that there is no public transportation.

Access: 10 minutes by taxi from Yamanashishi Station

Price: 800円 (about $8 or 8€)

Website: www.hottarakashi-onsen.com (Japanese only)

10. Yudonburi Sakaeyu (Asakusa)

Yudonburi Sakaeyu - Tattoo Friendly Onsen Asakusa Tokyo

Location: Asakusa, Tokyo city

All Tattoos Accepted: Yudonburi Sakaeyu (湯どんぶり栄湯) is a Sento located in Tokyo’s Asakusa district that allows tattoos. On their English webpage, they say that tattoos are ok and you can also find a Japanese sign at the entrance saying that they allow tattoos.

This public bathhouse gets its water from a natural hot spring flowing underground but they have to use solar energy to heat it up to 40°C. Their indoor bathing facilities are pretty basic but their open-air bath looks a bit like an onsen as you can see in the picture.

Please just note that this is a Sento (public bathhouse) that uses natural hot spring water but not an official onsen.

Access: 20 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station or 11 minutes by bus

Price: 470円 (about $4 or 4€)

Website: www.sakaeyu.com

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Near Kyoto & Osaka

11. Kin No Yu Hot Spring (1h from Osaka)

Kin No Yu - Tattoo Friendly Hot Spring Near Osaka

Location: Arima Onsen, Near Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

No Official Tattoo Regulation: Located in Arima Onsen, which is one of Japan’s 3 ancient hot springs together with Dogo Onsen and Shirahama Onsen, you will find the tattoo-friendly onsen Kin No Yu (金の湯). While there is no official information on the webpage, even the staff at the info desk in Arima knows about its tattoo friendliness and will recommend this onsen.

The gender-segregated onsen is small but has 2 identical hot spring facilities on the second floor. Kin No Yu’s dark orange hot spring water comes from Arima’s famous gold hot spring.

Access: 6 minutes on foot from Arimaonsen Station

Price: 650円 (about $6 or 5€)

Website: www.arimaspa-kingin.jp

12. Gosho No Yu (2.5h from Kyoto)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Osaka - Gosho No Yu

Location: Kinosaki Onsen, Hyogo Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Gosho No Yu (御所の湯) or Goshono-Yu is one of the tattoo-friendly public onsen baths in Kinosaki. The official tattoo regulation for all of the seven public baths in Kinosaki is that guests with decorative tattoos and fashion tattoos are accepted. You can find the information here on the official English tourism website for Kinosaki Onsen Town.

The onsen features an indoor bath and an open-air bath with a small waterfall. The wooden architecture and interior design of this hot spring are remarkable and resemble Kyoto’s Imperial Palace.

Access: 15 minutes from Kinosakionsen Station. The onsen town is near Kyoto and Osaka and is just about 2.5 hours away from Kyoto and 3 hours away from Osaka.

Price: 700円 (about $7 or 6€)

Website: www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp (Japanese)

13. Ichi No Yu (2.5h from Kyoto)

Ichi No Yu - Tattoo Friendly Onsen Near Kyoto

Location: Kinosaki Onsen, Hyogo Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Ichi No Yu (ほったらかし温泉) or Ichino-Yu is another one of Kinosaki’s seven public onsen baths. Hence, tattooed guests are welcome.

This is a very popular onsen featuring a cave onsen bath made of natural stones. The onsen’s architecture is also really nice resembling a Kabuki theater.

Access: 8 minutes from Kinosakionsen Station

Price: 700円 (about $7 or 6€)

Website: www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp (Japanese)

14. Mandara Yu (2.5h from Kyoto)

Mandara Yu - Allows Tattoos Kyoto

Location: Kinosaki Onsen, Hyogo Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Mandara Yu (まんだら湯) is the oldest onsen in Kinosaki and allows decorative tattoos – just like the other two public onsen baths mentioned above.

Here you can bath in a slightly modern-looking black stone bath inside and pottery tub baths outside.

Access: 12 minutes from Kinosakionsen Station

Price: 700円 (about $7 or 6€)

Website: www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp (Japanese)

15. Saki No Yu Hot Spring (3h from Osaka)

Nanki-Shirahama Onsen - Famous Onsen Towns Near Osaka and Kyoto

Location: Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture

Tattoos OK (confirmed on the phone): You might remember that Shirahama is one of the 3 ancient hot springs. Saki No Yu (崎の湯) is said to be the oldest onsen in Shirahama and the oldest rotenburo in Japan. When I asked about their tattoo policy I was told that you are allowed to enter the hot spring with tattoos.

This is an onsen with spectacular ocean views and, in my opinion, also one of the most beautiful hot springs near Osaka and Kyoto. I mean just look at the picture and imagine yourself soaking in the hot spring feeling a gentle sea breeze while you can hear the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks. It is perfect…except for the fact that there are no showers.

Access: 18 minutes by bus from Shirahama Station. Get off at Yuzaki bus stop and the onsen is just 4 minutes away.

Price: 500円 (about $5 or 4€)

Website: www.nanki-shirahama.com (Japanese only)

16. Tsuboyu Onsen (4.5h from Osaka)

Tsuboyu Onsen - Tattoos Allowed Near Osaka

Location: Yunomine Onsen, Wakayama Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: You can debate if this is still close to Osaka but Tsuboyu Onsen (湯の峰温泉 つぼ湯) is the only hot spring that you can soak in that is registered as a World Heritage. Honestly, I don’t know if this is a tattoo-friendly onsen or not but since you are soaking alone or with a friend/partner it doesn’t matter.

This private onsen bath is in a stone and so small that no more than 2 people can bathe at once. The tickets are limited and sold on a first-come-first-serve base. Each ticket has to be exchanged at the counter for a number and an assigned bathing time slot. When it is your turn you can bathe in the onsen for 30 minutes.

Access: 32 minutes on foot from Watarase Onsen bus stop. The bus stop is 90 minutes away from the closest station Kii-Tanabe Station.

Price: 780円 (about $7 or 6€)

Website: www.tb-kumano.jp/onsen/yunomine

17. Funaoka Onsen (Kyoto)

Funaoka Onsen - Tattoo Friendly Onsen Kyoto

Location: Kyoto city, near Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto Prefecture

No Official Tattoo Regulation: Funaoka Onsen (船岡温泉) is a tattoo-friendly onsen located in the north of Kyoto. I couldn’t find any official information on their webpage but one of my friends from Osaka told me that tattoos are accepted. There are also tons of comments stating that tattoos are no issue.

It is called Funaoka Onsen but I am pretty sure that this is actually a Sento. There are gender-separated bathing facilities with a variety of baths including a wooden bath and a herbal bath, but be aware of the electric bath.

Access: 18 minutes on foot from Kuramaguchi Station on the Karasuma Line, about 30 minutes from Kyoto Station

Price: 430円 (about $4 or 4€)

Website: www.funaokaonsen.net (Japanese only)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen in the North of Japan

18. Attakayu Public Onsen (Fukushima)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan - Takayu Onsen - Attakayu

Location: Takayu Onsen, Near Fukushima, Fukushima Prefecture

All Tattoo Accepted: Attakayu Public Onsen or Takayu Onsen Public Bath Attakayu (高湯温泉 共同浴場 あったか湯) is a beautiful and extremely tattoo-friendly onsen. On their Japanese webpage, they say that tattoos as well as irezumi (Japanese-style tattoos) are OK. They also kindly ask to spread the word among troubled tattooed people who can’t find a place to soak.

The onsen has 2 gender-segregated open-air baths, a rock bath, and a wooden bath. They also have a private bath that can be rented for an additional fee.

And look how cheap the admission is!

Access: 38 minutes by bus from Fukushima Station. The nearest bus stop is “Takayu”.

Price: 250円 (about $2 or 2€)

Website: www.takayuonsen.jp/attakayu

19. Hoheikyo Hot Spring (Hokkaido)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan - Jozankei Onsen - Hoheikyo Onsen

Location: Jozankei Onsen, Near Sapporo, Hokkaido

Tattoos OK (confirmed on the phone): Hoheikyo Onsen (豊平峡温泉) is an onsen that allows tattoos not far from Sapporo. Since I couldn’t find any information on their official webpage I called them and they confirmed on the phone that tattoos are OK.

Hokkaido is often a winter destination for soaking in an onsen surrounded by snow. However, Hoheikyo is famous for its beautiful outdoor bath that has been designed by professional gardeners. So I recommend coming here in the months when it is not snowing.

Access: Get off at Hoheikyo Onsen bus stop. It takes about 1.5 hours from Sapporo and 10 minutes from Jozankei Onsen.

Price: 1,000円 (about $9 or 8€)

Website: www.hoheikyo.co.jp (English available)

20. Kotan Onsen Hot Spring (Hokkaido)

Kotan Onsen - Tattoo Friendly Hot Spring Hokkaido

Location: Lake Kussharo, Akan Mashu National Park, Hokkaido

Natural Lake Onsen: Kotan Onsen Hot Spring or Kotan Onsen Rotenburo (コタン温泉露天風呂) is a natural onsen bath located on the southeastern shores of Lake Kussharo. This is a natural hot spring and there are no tattoo regulations, so soak!

Officially this is a gender-separated bath because there is a rock that divides the onsen bath, but in reality, it is not.

Access: 19 minutes by bus from JR Mashu Station, but public transportation can be scarce so a car is recommended.

Price: Free

21. Zao Onsen Dairotenburo (Yamagata)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan - Zao Onsen - Zao Onsen Dairotenburo

Location: Zao Onsen, near Yamagata city, Yamagata Prefecture

Tattoos OK (confirmed on the phone): Zao Onsen Dairotenburo (蔵王温泉 大露天風呂) is a popular hot spring and is often considered one of the most beautiful open-air onsen and snow-onsen in Japan. I called them and the men on the phone said that tattoos are OK. However, it sounded like he had to ask another person before he could answer me so it might not be the universal answer.

This onsen has gender-segregated onsen facilities. In the women’s bathing facilities you will find 3 hot spring tubs while the men can soak in 2 different onsen baths. No shower facilities, though, and the bath is closed during the winter months from late November until mid-April.

Access: Take the bus to Zao Onsen Bus Terminal from Yamagata Station or from Narusawaminami bus stop (20 minutes away from Zao Station) and then it is a 17-minute walk to the onsen

Price: 600円 (about $6 or 5€)

Website: www.jupeer-zao.com/roten (Japanese only)

22. Ryounkaku (Hokkaido)

Ryounkaku (Hokkaido) - Beautiful Mountain Onsen

Location: Tokachidake Onsen, Near Furano & Biei, Hokkaido Prefecture

Tattoos OK (confirmed on the phone): Ryounkaku (凌雲閣) is a beautiful mountain onsen located in the small hot spring resort Tokachidake Onsen in the south of Hokkaido’s largest national park Daisetszuan. Online I couldn’t find any official statement so I called and asked them if tattoos are OK and the woman on the phone said yes.

From the onsen bath 1,280 meters above sea level, you have great views over the volcano and the surrounding mountains. As you can see in the picture it is also one of Hokkaido’s awesome snow onsens.

Access: 40 minutes by bus from Kami-Furano Station

Price: 800円 (about $8 or 8€)

Website: www.ryounkaku.jp

23. Tsubame Onsen Kogane No Yu (Niigata)

subame Onsen - Tattoos OK Niigata

Location: Tsubame Onsen, Near Mt. Myoko, Niigata Prefecture

Natural Mountain Onsen Bath: Tsubame Onsen is a small hot spring town with 2 secret hot spring baths. One of them is the gender-separated Tsubame Onsen Kogane No Yu (燕温泉 黄金の湯) sometimes also written as Ogon No Yu. There is no official onsen regulation so you are good to soak.

Kogane No Yu is a cute little forest onsen surrounded by green in summer and golden leaves in autumn. The natural onsen water has a distinctive milky white color. There are no shower facilities only a little changing hut so don’t forget your towel. Since the onsen is usually closed from November to May come here in autumn or summer. Nope, it is not crazy to visit an onsen in summer.

Access: 25-minute bus ride from Sekiyama Station to Tsubame Onsen bus stop and then a 15-minute walk up to the onsen.

Price: Free

Website: www.niigata-kankou.or.jp (Japanese only)

24. Appi Onsen Shirakaba No Yu (Iwate)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan - Appi Kogen Ski Resort - Appi Onsen Shirakaba No Yu

Location: Appi Kogen Ski Resort, Near Hachimantai, Iwate Prefecture

Small Covered Tattoos OK: Appi Onsen Shirakaba No Yu (安比温泉 白樺の湯) are the onsen facilities of the Appi Kogen Onsen Hotel (安比高原温泉ホテル) at the same-named ski resort not far from Hachimantai and Morioka. According to the official Japanese page, small tattoos that can be covered with an 8 x 10 cm tattoo seal are ok.

This onsen features one indoor onsen bath, 12 open-air onsen baths, and 2 outdoor pools with normal water. If you are into skiing or snowboarding this is your onsen.

Access: The nearest station Appikogen Station is 3.5 kilometers away from the Ski Resort. The best way to get here is by bus from Morioka Station (50 minutes) or from Iwate Hanamaki Airport (75 minutes).

Price: 1,200円 (about $11 or 10€)

Website: www.appi-japan.com

Tattoo Friendly Onsen in Southern Japan

25. Ebisuya Onsen (Oita)

Ebisuya Onsen - Tattoo Frienldly Onsen Southern Japan Kyushu

Location: Myoban Onsen, Beppu, Oita Prefecture

All Tattoos accepted (confirmed by email): Ebisuya Onsen or Ebisu No Yu (えびすの湯) is a huge tattoo-friendly onsen located in Kyushu’s famous hot spring town Beppu Onsen. When I sent them a mail and asked if tattoos are allowed they kindly answered that tattoos are accepted and that I don’t have to worry about it.

The onsen’s spring water is a unique combination of a sulfuric spring and a simple thermal hot spring that has many beauty benefits and is good for the skin. You can find any type of onsen bath including indoor baths, jacuzzis, open-air baths, pottery baths, and a unique mountain hut steam sauna.

Access: 27 minutes by bus from Beppu Station and about 15 minutes from Kannawa Onsen

Price: 1,200円 (about $11 or 10€)

Website: www.e-ebisu.biz

26. Hyotan Onsen (Oita)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan - Beppu - Hyotan Onsen

Location: Kannawa Onsen, Beppu city, Oita Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Hyotan Onsen (ひょうたん温泉) is probably your best choice in Kyushu if you are looking for tattoo-friendly onsen in Japan with a huge variety of baths. I nearly missed it but at the end of their FAQ page, they have a “How to enter Hyotan Onsen” section and there it says “Tattoo OK!”.

Hyotan Onsen is a unique hot spring theme park that features not only a large public bath, but also sand baths, waterfall baths, steam baths, open-air baths, and several private family baths. Some onsen enthusiasts might cringe because of the slightly touristy atmosphere, but it is quite authentic and especially a natural onsen.

And by the way, this is the only onsen that has received a 3-star Michelin rating.

Access: 8-minute bus ride from Beppu Station to Kannawa and then a 6-minute walk to the onsen

Price: 780円 (about $7 or 6€), 580円 after 20:00 o’clock

Website: www.hyotan-onsen.com

27. Dogo Onsen Honkan (Ehime)

Dogo Onsen Honkan - Tattoo Friendly Hot Springs Shikoku

Location: Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Dogo Onsen is an onsen town with a history of over 3,000 years making it the oldest hot spring in Japan. The hot spring resort is also famous for its majestic Dogo Onsen Honkan (道後温泉本館) which was one of the main inspirations for the onsen in Miyazaki’s anime “Spirited Away” and most importantly: there are no tattoo restrictions.

On the official webpage, you can find the frequently asked question section in the footer. The last question is about tattoos and their answer is that “there are no restrictions for Japanese or Western style (artistic or cosmetic) tattoos”.

Just seeing the onsen from the outside is already impressive and once you are inside you will immediately feel like Chihiro entering Yubaba’s bathhouse in Spirited Away. There are 2 gender-separated baths on the 1st and 2nd floor and a rest area on the 3rd floor. You can use the onsen facilities for up to 1 hour.

Access: 3 minutes on foot from Dogo Onsen Station, which is a 25-minute streetcar ride away from Matsuyama Station.

Price: 420円 (about $4 or 4€)

Website: www.dogo.jp/onsen/honkan

28. Asuka No Yu (Dogo Onsen)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan - Dogo Onsen - Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka No Yu

Location: Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Asuka No Yu (飛鳥乃の湯泉) is another tattoo-friendly onsen in Dogo Onsen Town and since it is quite new it is also referred to as Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka No Yu (道後温泉別館 鳥乃の湯泉). The tattoo policy mentioned above also applies to Asuka No Yu and so soaking with tattoos is perfectly fine.

The onsen facilities are spread over 2 floors. On the first floor, you have the gender-separated public bath with a rotenburo and on the 2nd floor, you have special private onsen baths that are a replica of Dogo Onsen Honkan’s Yushinden, which can only be used by the Imperial Family.  The time limit for the facilities is 90 minutes.

Access: 2 minutes on foot from Dogo Onsen Station

Price: From 610円 (about $6 or 5€)

Website: www.dogo.jp/onsen/asuka (Japanese)

29. Tsubaki No Yu (Dogo Onsen)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan - Dogo Onsen - Tsubaki No Yu

Location: Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Tsubaki No Yu (椿の湯), also written as Dogo Onsen Tsubakinoyu is yet another one of Dogo Onsen’s tattoo-friendly hot springs. Same as with the other 2 hot springs before on the English version of their homepage it is officially stated that tattooed guests are welcome.

Tsubaki No Yu is the smallest of the 3 onsens, but it is popular among locals. There is only one indoor bath in the segregated men’s and women’s bathing facilities, but it is a good choice if you are looking for a slightly quieter place to soak. The usage time is also limited to 1 hour.

Access: 2-minute walk from Dogo Onsen Station

Price: 400円 (about $4 or 3€)

Website: www.dogo.jp/onsen/tsubaki (Japanese)

30. Takegawara Onsen (Oita)

Takegawara Onsen - Tattoo Friendly Hot Spring in Kyushu

Location: Beppu city, Oita Prefecture

Tattoos OK (confirmed on the phone): Takegawara Onsen (竹瓦温泉) is the most famous onsen in Beppu. I read before that this is a tattoo-friendly onsen but I couldn’t find any official information online so I called and asked them personally. The men I spoke to said that tattoos are OK.

This onsen has a normal hot spring bath but you should come here for Beppu’s famous sand onsen bath. Instead of a soak in hot spring water, you will be buried in hot sand that has been naturally heated up in a hot spring pool. Definitely one of the more unique onsen experiences.

Access: 8 minutes on foot from Beppu Station

Price: 110円 (about $1 or 1€) for bathing, 1,050円 (about $10 or 9€) for the sand bath

Website: www.city.beppu.oita.jp (English Translation available)

31. Horita Hot Spring (Oita)

Tattoo Friendly Onsen Japan - Beppu - Horita Onsen

Location: Horita Onsen, Beppu, Oita Prefecture

All Tattoos Accepted: Horita Hot Spring (堀田温泉) is a tattoo-friendly onsen located on the outskirts of Beppu city near the Beppu Ropeway. I could ask the lady at the reception myself and she confirmed that tattoos even big ones are no problem.

The onsen has a small indoor bath and a beautiful open-air bath with rocks and a lot of green. Also, the lady at the reception is so so so nice. At first, she had so much trouble understanding my question but we laughed a lot and she kept apologizing for her bad ears. Just for the sake of this friendly lady, I will always visit this onsen when I am in Beppu.

Access: 15 minutes by bus from Beppu Station. The bus stop is “Horita Onsen Mae”.

Price: 220円 (about $2 or 2€)

Website: www.city.beppu.oita.jp (Japanese only)

32. Anayu (Kumamoto)

Anayu - Kurokawa Onsen - Tattoo Friendly Kumamoto

Location: Kurokawa Onsen, Kumamoto Prefecture

No Official Tattoo Policy: Kurokawa Onsen’s public bath Anayu (黒川温泉 共同浴場 穴湯) is a small mixed-gender onsen bath right next to the Tanoharu River. There is a signboard at the front with rules about swimwear and towels not being allowed inside the onsen bath but nothing about tattoos.

This onsen is one tiny cottage without amenities. There is a small covered place inside where women can undress at least. While this is definitely only an onsen experience for the braver ones among you if you dare to come here during the day you will most likely be rewarded with a small onsen bath all for yourself.

When I called the Kurokawa Onsen Ryokan Association the Japanese lady actually told me that small tattoos are pretty common nowadays and therefore probably no problem in Kurokawa Onsen. So there are probably more baths for you. However, “probably” is not good enough for me so I’m definitely going to check with each of the onsen and onsen ryokans once I write my Kurokawa Onsen post.

Access: 4-minute walk from Kurokawa Onsen bus stop

Price: 100円 (about $1 or 1€)

Last But Not Least

Please note that the information above about the tattoo friendliness of each onsen is from the time of writing or publication and that it may differ from the latest information. Overall, there seems to be a trend that more and more Onsen and Sento in Japan are open to guests with tattoos, especially foreign guests. However, I recommend you always check the official webpage or call the onsen before you go to avoid any confusion and disappointment.


Hey. I'm Alex. I've been living in Japan since 2015. Before moving to Tokyo, I traveled through Japan for 7 months to visit all 47 prefectures. Traveling and living in Japan has been so much fun and such an incredible experience that I decided to write about it. Hopefully, my articles help you to get the most out of your trip and to fully enjoy your time in Japan! Feel for free follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram.

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