A foreigner in Japan claimed during a man-on-the-street interview that he must conceal his tattoos and tell lies just to gain access to local gyms.
Hiding ink: The unnamed foreigner shared in an interview with YouTuber Takashii from Japan that he finds himself compelled to deceive gym staff about his tattoos just to gain entry into facilities. He added that he endures the discomfort of wearing long sleeves and trousers inside gyms even in hot weather just to maintain this fitness routine.
“I like to go to the gym every day, so if I like to go to the gym, I need to cover myself, and I need to lie to them,” he shared.
Avoided in trains: The man further claimed that his tattoos and physique seems to unsettle the local population, causing discomfort during train rides.
“On the trains, they don’t want to sit by my side,” he added. “We, from outside Japan, tend to use perfumes, you know. We are large, and people don’t like it. I understand, but I know some people, because of tattoos, they don’t like it.”
The elusive onsen: When the YouTuber inquired about his experiences with Japanese onsens (hot springs), the man replied that he has never been allowed inside one.
“It’s not possible for me,” he said. “I’ve tried many times. I know there are a few onsens that might accept me, but they’re far away, and I always get lazy to go there. I wish I could try. Even in my hotel, there’s our own Onsen, and I can’t go there even though I’m staying there.”
Varied reactions: While some commenters expressed empathy with the man, others found some of his claims unlikely.
“I get that tattoos are frowned upon in Japan but to not allow someone to work out because of it? Thats crazy” one commenter said.
“I wonder how Japanese people feel about tattoos when they visit other countries like USA or UK where tattoos are common,” another wrote.
Some found it absurd that someone would be denied access to a gym due to tattoos, noting that they had not encountered any significant issues during their own visits to Japan, even with visible tattoos.
“It’s weird hearing this because nobody avoided sitting or standing next to me on trains and busses, elderly people looked at me friendly and nobody treated me any different then they do here in Amsterdam, Holland,” commented one. “And I’m covered from my neck to my hands to my toes.”
“You get comments and looks, but I’ve never had any issues,” another chimed in. “None at the gym either, lots of guys at the gym here are tatted. I guess it says tourist for a reason.”
“I went to Japan a couple of months ago, because I have my whole arm tattooed I was expecting some treatment like the one this guy describes but everyone was always so nice to me, even in the streets people would get close to me and ask me things,” shared a commenter. “I didn’t get into an onsen or a gym where I might have had a different reaction, but I’m glad my time there was not as hard as I expected.”