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“No Tattoos are General Rules for All Onsens”
Review of LaQua

LaQua
Tokyo, Japan
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 325 helpful votes
“No Tattoos are General Rules for All Onsens”
Reviewed November 19, 2012

The facilities are okay. It has bubble bath, an indoor large bath, outdoor two pools one cooler, another hotter. Two saunas, one medium hot and another extra hot. The facility is kept clean and has a nice relaxing atmosphere. With pricey body treatment zone than usual for Tokyo.
The onsen hot springs water here is dug from 1,700 meters below ground, is a bit salty reflecting Tokyo's position, and brownish in color.

When you check in, you are thoroughly reminded that people in tattoos are not allowed in. This is a general quite strict rule concerning onsen places throughout Japan. It is related to organized crime gangs bullying on the institutions to sneak out money, by citing discrimination against foreigners with tattoos being allowed but locals with tattoos (a marker of being in a criminal gang) not in. It's nothing personal, and it should be pretty obvious as it's written in countless guide books to Japan and reminded at the reception of this facility.

So if you are with tattoos, you should go to another place, like Jakotsu-yu sento in Asakusa, which is significantly smaller but not bad, with similar onsen water. Local yakuza men and their apprentices are seen taking bath there, with remarkable tattoos.
Why tattoos are associated with crime in Japan is a long story, but it's just local culture to respect and not hurt your body which is given by your parents. It's understood that things aren't that way overseas, but here it's Japan.

Ignoring all this and going in without bandage over your tattoos would mean being politely asked to leave. Unlike some reviewers here, I don't think the institution is blamed for keeping a normal restriction so as to protect themselves. It's pretty decent.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
10 Thank Yobeekool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Johor, Johor, Malaysia
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great Japanese food here”
Reviewed August 7, 2012

The warm sake and the tempura was my favourite. The sake gives such a refreshing taste. The restaurant where I ate was Shanpu Banri.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank cindybiding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“average”
Reviewed April 28, 2012

I do think this sento is average although some people seem to have great things to say about it... I didn't get to spend much time in there or go to the roof because my friend had a tattoo which someone noticed and we got kicked out.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank Kelly E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saitama, Japan
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
92 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“Overated.”
Reviewed January 13, 2012

Much better places than this around - nothing wrong with it but no reason to go out of your way - good for kids if you are near the baseball stadium nearby.

Helpful?
2 Thank StewieTokyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Great experience - wish we had these in the US!”
Reviewed November 2, 2011

We visited LaQua during a 20 hour layover in Narita and ended up staying the night - great experience and plan on visiting again if we ever return to Tokyo. Some pros and cons below - background on ourselves, we are a young couple that frequently travel, we are current working our way through Southeast Asia and are generally staying in "3-star" hotels.

Pros:
-Immaculately clean - everyone somehow self-governs to not leave a mess behind and the staff is continually monitoring/cleaning
-Huge - Many different levels and therapeutic areas to be tried - I personally enjoyed the saunas with various color/temperature (in the top levels) and of course the large number of hot spring pools
-Sleep area is perfect for just relaxing or an extended sleep - everyone has personal tvs, blankets, pillows and the staff regularly patrols the areas

Cons:
-Would not recommend if you are uncomfortable with same-sex nudity (hot springs are gender segregated with no clothes allowed)

TIPS:
-Spa clothes (provided by spa and required upon entering) run small (womens size 4 = XXL)
-Parts of the spa (upper level) are closed to men at certain times (late night)
-People with any body ink are not allowed in

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank ofLeisure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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