My Trip to Japan

As I’m sure not many of you know, I spent two weeks this past summer in Japan! It was an amazing experience and I want to share some of my thoughts and experiences with you over the next few weeks.

This was my very first time on an airplane so I was incredibly nervous as I’m sure you can all imagine. I have a screw in my knee from when I blew my it out in 2013 so I was terrified I wasn’t going to make it through security and we’ve all heard horror stories about TSA. Everything was fine though and 13 and a half hours later I made it to my first country outside the United States!!

I won’t bore you with a whole bunch of stuff in this post but I thought I’d talk about something I found really interesting. With tattoos becoming more and more popular (I just got my second one two weeks ago), Japan has a rather strange policy about tattoos in the community. 

Traditionally, tattoos have always been equated with the yakuza. Now, business and such can’t just come out and say no yakuza; no one wants to get on the bad side of that. However, what they can do is say no tattoos which in turn keeps their business mostly yakuza free. An example of this sort of thing is the onsens (public bath houses). You can’t go in a lot of them if you have tattoos.

This was really interesting for me because, here in America, sure we have a relatively large stigma on tattoos still, but you won’t be barred entrance somewhere if you have one. Granted I wasn’t too upset by not being able to go into the onsens as I’m not too fond of the idea being an intensely private person, but the idea of it was fascinating to me. Having nothing quite like it here, I thought it was odd but still a good way to keep your business out of any conflicts.

What do you guys think? Have you heard of this before? I’ll be talking about some more weird stuff from my trip in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

~ Jordan

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