February 9, 2020

Memoirs: Getting Inked in Tokyo

Back in November, I got a tattoo in Tokyo on my solo trip to this electric city. A permanent souvenir if you will. This is my getting tattooed in Tokyo experience. 

If you type in ‘Japan and tattoos’ into Google you’ll be inundated with articles about the stigma of tattoos in Japan.  In layman’s terms, the stigma around tattoos in Japan comes from yakuza – an organized crime organisation. Members of this ‘gang’ are known to be covered head to toe in in body art. And before you ask, no I am not a member. 

What I Got 

A dragon. I was inspired by this:

Why I Got It 

I got a dragon because it symbolises my love and appreciation for East Asian culture.

– Me

Even though dragons are mythical they are revered in several cultures worldwide, from Ancient Greece to the Middle East. Dragons are symbols of wisdom, strength and good luck. Let’s face it, we all need one of these at times.

Where I Got It

Tifana Tattoo in Shibuya.

Twitter is my favourite social media platform and of course before I am travelling somewhere I ask my followers to recommend spots they may have been. I find it much more useful than ask someone for a personal recommendation versus spending hours on Google. 

I had a great experience at Tifana and despite the language barrier myself and the tattoo artist managed to communicate. The needles were brand new, everything was sterile and I felt completely safe.

Tip: Tifana Tattoo is hard to find so either get a taxi from Shibuya station or get there early. 

Apart from the outline, everything was done freehand.

The Pain

This is my 10th tattoo (I always said I would stop at 7, but here we are) and the pain is what I would describe as a cat scratch or dragging a compass along your skin. The forearm isn’t the most painful place to get inked but if the piece is very detailed then you can forget it. This dragon took around 2.5 hours with a couple of breaks and on a pain scale of 1-10, it was an 11. What helped me was deep breathing, finding a focal point e.g looking at the ceiling and using my imagination. Tattoos are never not going to be painful but the best thing with pain is that it’s temporary.

My “meditation” face. Really I am in PAIN.

Just How Much? 

In order to secure my appointment, I had to pay a deposit of £70 via PayPal. When it was completed, I paid an additional £150. When it comes to getting a tattoo, remember it’s going to be on your body for the rest of your life so do your research. Quality comes at a price. 

You might read this and be like ‘OH I COULD GET IT CHEAPER’ but cheap doesn’t always equate to good. And good isn’t always cheap… 

The final piece

The land of the rising sun.

Would you ever get a tattoo abroad? 

Read more:

Char xo 

3 responses to “Memoirs: Getting Inked in Tokyo”

  1. I honestly can’t believe you got tattooed and it looks hella painful.

  2. Wow it looks beautiful, and so intricate. It looks so perfect it looks as if it could be a temporary tattoo if that makes sense, as the lines are so great! I wish my tattoo looked this good haha. Love your tattoo face xo

    Makeup Muddle

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About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.