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Tattoos as a fashion statement are slowly being accepted in Japan, but there are cases where you may be denied access to a hot spring, pool, or even public beaches. Here are different ways to cover your tattoos using body stickers.
Tattoos are still seen by many in Japan as being only something that criminals or yakuza have and as such there are many people still who are afraid of people that have tattoos. As a result, it is common for those with body art to be refused entry into hot springs and public baths, swimming pools or even public beaches.
While this is slowly changing, there are many institutions around the country that still have bans on tattoos in place in order to avoid any unnecessary problems that the aforementioned tattoo-bearing types might cause.
However, as tattoos are quite commonplace or part of traditional cultures overseas, and because the number of international visitors to Japan is increasing, the overall situation for those with body art is improving. In some facilities, visitors will be allowed to enter the bath or pool if they cover their tattoos with a seal, or skin-tone sticker.
In this article, we will take a look at three different popular ways to cover tattoos.
Photo courtesy of: ALAE Co.
Tattoo Cover AQUA is a tattoo cover that sticks to the body like a temporary tattoo: you moisten it with a wet tissue or cloth and paste it to your body.
There are four color variations to choose from; from left to right in the photo are extra light, dark ocher, pink, and light. The shade stripe at the top of the sheet indicates the color that it will become when applied.
These sheets are about the size of a postcard, so it is a good idea to cut them to fit the tattoo that you wish to cover. This time, we used the extra light sheet.
Remove the transparent sheet and lay it on the tattoo you want to hide.
Wet the overlaid sticker thoroughly with water. Make sure to press the wet cloth or tissue firmly to your skin in order to ensure that the cover transfers properly.
If you look at it up close, it almost seems like there is a thin layer of cloth over your skin, but, as a result of this texture, when viewed from afar, it doesn't stand out very much. Despite being applied with water, these transfers are water proof and can easily be worn in hot springs or even pools. After use, you can easily clean them off your tattoo by scrubbing them gently with a soapy washcloth or oil-based cleanser.
One package includes 10 sheets and costs 2030 yen with tax. They are purchasable online via the following website, and shipping to Japan is free. If you would like these covers shipped overseas, please refer to their site for details.
Photo courtesy of: CAXEL
CAXEL are an ultrathin medical grade film used to cover tattoos.
These come in two shades, ocher (left) and natural (right). In addition to the M size sheets (80x60mm) and L size sheets (120x80mm), there are also mini and finger sized sheets available on their website. Those that come in the black packaging are the film type, while the white packaging are a sticker type; the film type measure only 0.07mm thick, which is exceptionally thin.
Here are the instructions for the film type; we used the natural shade.
First, peel off the sheet labeled '1' on the back of the film,
and place the film over the tattoo you wish to cover up. As you press it down over the tattoo, peel off the '2' sheet.
Then, remove sheet '3' and you're done.
With the film type, it does not feel as though your pores have been blocked, and this breathability is what makes these films quite comfortable to wear. In addition, there is a gradation in shade towards the ends of the film, which helps them to better blend into your natural skin tone.
One of the main points of these films is that they can easily be peeled off by hand after use.
The M size package comes with 5 sheets and costs 1296 yen, with tax. The mini size package (6 sheets) and L size (5 sheets) cost 1620 yen, with tax. These can be purchased at Don Quijote. For details, please refer to the following website.
Photo courtesy of: LoginMyLife Co. LLC
With strong sticking power that is difficult to peel off even after several days, foundation tapes are said to be wearable for about a week in everyday life.
Photo courtesy of: LoginMyLife Co. LLC
These tapes come in four colors. From the left: tan ocher, ocher, beige ocher, and pink ocher.
Peel off the white mounting and place the colored portion of the tape over the tattoo. Hold the tape down with the palm of your hand and the transparent film will naturally peel off. When you want to remove it, lift up one edge of the tape and slowly peel it away from your skin like a bandaid.
The sheets are about half the size of a post; one package contains 12 sheets and costs 2376 yen with tax. They can be ordered online from the following site. Please refer to this site for more details.
Because all of the products mentioned in this article affix directly to the skin (and therefore the tattoo), they should only be used on tattoos that have fully healed.
In order to allow more international visitors to fully enjoy the various bathing and water attractions in Japan, the number of places where "hidden tattoos are OK" is increasing. If you can cover your tattoos with a sticker or tape, you too can enjoy your time in a hot spring or pool in Japan!
** For a specific location's policy on admission or tattoos, please refer to their website.