Establishments that prohibit foreigners from entering

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There are establishments in Japan that you will likely come across a sign written: “Japanese only” or something like that. Don't worry, it's something very, very rare, but if anyone has seen it, it's already dropped on the internet.

The intention of these posters is to prohibit the entry of foreigners and keep them away from the establishment. Why does this happen? There are several pretexts that one hears about but all this can be summed up with preconception.

It is worth mentioning that Japan is not the only place in the world with these plates. In most countries there is at least some establishment of this type. I've come across establishments with really racist signs allowing only white people to enter countries like the USA.

Don't go judging Japan or the Japanese over 1 establishment in a million. Calling the Japanese prejudiced because of a sign from a random location only makes you prejudiced.

Establishments that prohibit foreigners from entering

Why ban foreigners from entering establishments?

There are several factors, it could be that the store employees are not adept enough to serve foreign customers in another language. Perhaps the service offered by the venue is exclusive, or it could even be some shady or yakuza-controlled business.

The few places that usually have these signs are accompanied by the +18 sign, which indicates that it may be a place of prostitution. Many places of prostitution do not accept foreigners. Probably Japanese women do not want to experience the “size” of foreigners.

I think it's unlikely that the owner of the place will put this sign up for some reason like "aah in a taste of gaijin“, because that ends up with his own profit and sale. We have already entered very Japanese places like some PUBs where the owners have never encountered a foreigner, did not speak any other language and were very happy to meet us.

There are places that also prohibit people with tattoos from entering. These places are common, mainly onsen and pools. 

A friend of mine who lives in Japan also researched a similar topic and made a video that you can watch below:

Is there bias on these boards?

There's no denying that there is an anti-foreign mentality in Japan, but that's not for nothing. Foreigners don't always keep a good reputation. Despite being something done by half a dozen idiots, we all know that the collective pays for what some individuals do.

Since the foreigner stands out so much in Japan, a badly behaved foreigner can make all foreigners look bad. Every now and then, such a story appears in the Japanese media. Also, there is still some beef between the older generation who fought in WWII and anyone who isn't Japanese.

An establishment's sign written in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. The sign warns that the store is for Japanese use only.
An establishment's sign written in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. The sign warns that the store is for Japanese use only.

However, times have changed and, frankly, no one deserves to be mocked or repressed just because you, coincidentally, are in the same group as those people who harm others. If you are a good person, why suffer discrimination for being a foreigner? Why pay the duck for what other people have done?

What to do in these cases?

Although it is difficult to find these types of establishments that prohibit non-Japanese entry, it is something that can be dealt with in a simple way. Go somewhere else. After all, you're not the one missing out on anything. In this case, they are the ones who are losing customers.

And generally, those places that have these signs don't have a very good reputation. These are places that even the Japanese themselves tend to avoid. Most of the time the service of these types of commerce is not of good quality.

So, if you go to a restaurant, bar, or something similar and come across a sign prohibiting the entry of foreigners, simply head elsewhere. You won't be missing anything.

If you think this trade has offended you in any way, think carefully before you try to waste time denouncing or complaining about it on the internet. Places like this are not exclusive to Japan, there are establishments like this in countries like Russia and South Korea.

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