If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo in Japan, a Google search will yield plenty of advice and tips. That’s all well and good, but how about a first-hand look at an actual session at a tattoo parlor in Japan? We dropped by Detroit Diesel Tattoo Works in Setagaya, Tokyo near Chitose-Karasuyama station. This area may not be known for much, but it should be known for this quality tattoo parlor.
Diesel is home to three artists, En, Mica, and Mukie. They all specialize in different styles from traditional, Japanese, anime, girly, neo-traditional, and cover up work, just to name a few. The owner, En, has a style that relies on thick lines and bold color. He also performs a style of cover up (designing a new tattoo over an existing one) where he basically just slaps a new design over the old, creating an almost graffiti-like effect.
En preparing for a session
En has been tattooing for over 20 years. The first time he picked up a gun was when he was 14 years old. The man takes great pride and care in his work. You can check out his past work, as well as the work of Mica and Mukie on the official website.
While many Western tattoo enthusiasts are interested in choosing a tattoo that has a personal meaning, En feels that the design is most important. Many of the people who come to his shop feel the same way.
It’s all about the artwork itself and putting a unique design on your body. The meaning becomes secondary, which is an interesting way of looking at tattoos from a purely artistic point of view.
Setting up a consultation was a simple process of using the contact form on the website. Detroit Diesel Tattoo Works has a fair amount of foreign clientele, and the artists do speak a bit of English. They’re a fairly in-demand place, so set up the appointment by email or phone instead of just walking in.
After the initial consultation, the wait for the appointment was 2 and a half months, which is standard for most tattoo parlors. So if you’re planning on getting a tattoo and don’t live in Japan, set up your appointment well in advance.
Check out the video above to catch a glimpse of the entire inking process. Be sure to keep Detroit Diesel Tattoo Works on your list of places to get a tattoo in Japan.