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Tattoo-Friendly Hot Springs and Sento in Tokyo

Ikebukuro

Since long before foreign tourists were freely coming in and out of Japan, tattoos have been traditionally been seen as a mark of the more nefarious elements in Japanese society. While in many ways Japan is continuously adapting to the ways of the western world, the traditional views on tattoos as something “bad” is still very prevalent. Thus, it’s not very surprising that so many onsen (hot springs) and “sento” (bath houses) still forbid the entrance of those with tattoos. However, don’t give up hope yet, tattoo lovers! With the continued influence of western culture on Japan, the number of Japanese who casually sport ink has been increasing recently. In order to cater to the increasing potential customers with tattoos, more and more onsen and sento have been popping up around Japan. We want all of our readers to enjoy all of the wonders of Japanese onsen so we’ve prepared a small list of them that are worth going to that allow those with tattoos to enter.

3 Chill Cafés in Kiyosumi Shirakawa - Tokyo's Coffee Town!

Ningyocho / Monzen-Nakacho / Kasai Old Towns (Shitamachi)

A recently trendy area, Kiyosumi Shirakawa is a laid-back café-lovers paradise and answer to the mainstream coffee shops. Although its café heritage isn't necessarily new, the area garnered interest after Tokyo's first Blue Bottle Coffee opened its doors in 2015. Now, in addition to some of the popular chains when have since set up shop, a number of private cafés continue to attract coffee aficionados and tourists alike, becoming quiet spaces to relax while seeing sights on Tokyo's east side. We visited three popular private cafés and share what they're all about below!

10 Things You Must Do In Yokohama

Yokohama Other Sightseeing

It is a city which is extremely close to Tokyo, yet it seems to get overlooked by many tourists – this is of course the beautiful port city of Yokohama. A mere 30 minutes from Tokyo by normal train, and just 18 minutes by shinkansen to Shin-Yokohama, it is extremely convenient to get to and makes an amazing day trip. It is a destination which is included in the JR Rail Pass, the JR Tokyo Wide Pass and even the N’EX Round Trip Ticket!

Sweet Souvenirs: The Top 10 Sweets at Ameyoko’s Niki no Kashi

Ueno Gift Shops

Ameya Yokocho, or simply Ameyoko, is Ueno’s fun and lively shopping street that is on the must-see list of pretty much everyone coming to Japan. Among the many shops offering food, accessories, and clothes is the famous Niki no Kashi, known for its massive abundance of Japanese snacks and sweets for ridiculously low prices. From nostalgic candy to high-end confectionery, look forward to over 5,000 varieties of different sweets! Bulk purchases are made easy here, so if you’re planning to stock up on some delightful snacks for yourself and friends or family at home, you’ve come to the right place. However, with a selection as huge as Niki no Kashi’s, it’s easy to lose one’s head among the many colorful things. To help you find the absolute must-try sweets, we talked to Yasunori Nakagawa, the store manager of Niki no Kashi at Ameyoko.

How to Survive the Crowds during Japan's Golden Week

Other Sightseeing

In Japan people are not so hot on taking holiday, not in the sense that they don’t want to, but that there is a lot of pressure, for various reasons, not to take holiday. To combat this, the government designated a number of public holidays to make sure people take time to have a rest! The result is Japan’s Golden Week, a number of public holidays in a row (from around April 29 to May 5) which basically mean a long holiday for many workers.

[MOVIE] Character, Harmony, and Elegance: The Art of Bonsai

Ningyocho / Monzen-Nakacho / Kasai Culture Experience

The Shunkaen Bonsai Museum is one of the most pleasant places that I have had the chance to visit in Tokyo. After a 15-minute bus ride from the Mizue Station, it is an oasis of nature around a beautiful traditional Japanese house. More than a thousand bonsai can now be seen in the museum, including 500 worth more than 10 million yen.

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