Hot answers tagged

47

Yes, TRUE. A good Canadian friend of mine had a Chicago cubs (u.s. baseball team) tattoo on his right arm. Kind of silly, but apparently any tattoo has yakuza (Japanese mafia) undertones, which makes many Japanese, especially older people, uncomfortable. Attitudes seem to be changing and I even knew a few younger Japanese with tattoos, but the perception ...


38

Tattoos or Irezumi as they are called in Japanese were criminalized in the beginning of the Meiji period (some time after 1868) as a way to make a good impression on the west. (A bit ironic in this case...) It was legalized again after the war in 1948 but still retains its image of criminality. For many years, traditional Japanese tattoos were ...


36

There are many long (and long-ish) distance swims known around the world. If you're looking for something medium distance (i.e. not English Channel), you can try International Swim Across Dnipro River in Ukraine - it's 10km, about 4 times the distance of Escape from Alcatraz swim and about 1/3 of the English Channel. Here's the link to the last year's ...


31

You can only pass through customs (or immigration) through designated ports of entry. This means that unless you have a special pass (for example, ship crews have special passes), you need to go through the customs and immigration process. This is a burden on you as the traveler. It does not matter where you start the journey. Your status in the ...


29

How about the Turkish Straits - the Hellespont / Bosphorus / Dardanelles ? (Photo is public domain as it was created by NASA).


28

The Freedom Swim is another "prison escape" swim from Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela and many other political prisoners of the Apartheid era were held) to Blouberg, near Cape Town, South Africa. The distance is 7.5km and the temperature is typically around 13°C. It takes place in the Southern Hemisphere autumn (around Freedom Day, 27 April) and is open ...


21

In Japan, tattoos are not a fashion statement, they are a visual mark of being a member of the yakuza and thus a social outcast. So "No tattooed people allowed" really means "we don't want the mafia on our premises". Most Japanese are probably aware that tattoos nowadays have rather different connotations in western countries, but they're not going to make ...


18

At least one onsen has recently (September 2013) refused a Maori woman with a traditional tattoo. From Tattoo ban at bathhouses raises concern in Japan: TOKYO: With the Olympics headed to Tokyo, Japanese government officials are raising concern after a New Zealand woman with a traditional Maori tattoo was recently denied entry to a bathhouse. ...


17

The simple answer is no! If you are thinking of the Caspian sea, there may not be any "police" watching you per se, but the people of the North are quite religious, and they police themselves. Bikinis are out of question. If her scarf flies away, they will give you friendly warnings. Don't be scared, they won't harm you, they just will tell you to keep your ...


17

"The Grotto" on the Bruce Peninsula (Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada) could be a good choice. The water's always cold (though it can be plenty hot outside), but if you take appropriate precautions it should otherwise match your criteria. It's pretty cool: You can actually swim through the hole in the bottom out into the bay. There are a lot of cool ...


16

According to the article in the Global Post it is possible as long as she's in a female only area and hence you can't be with her. This information obviously is a little dated but the only area that is known for laxer regulations would be the island of Kish but that information is even more dated. The most recent English news I was able to find is an ...


16

There can't be any exact dates for when it's safe because that depends on the (highly variable) water level in the river, which depends on rainfalls. Getting there requires taking a boat, a short rocky hike and swimming through a safe part of the river before you get to the pool itself (source: a TV show I saw). You should only do it as a guided tour, in ...


16

http://www.balaton-atuszas.hu/eng/informaciok this is a 5.2km swim in the biggest lake in Central Europe. Registration is 30 USD. Around 10000 people do this yearly, however very few from abroad, only a few hundred typically. There's a certain bragging right in that :)


16

Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. It's the oldest lake in Europe. There is a traditional marathon every year. It's beautiful, affordable, no sharks and lots of history. I was born there if you need any info feel free to msg me. The marathon is about ~30km and the best swimmers in the world come to compete. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohrid_Swimming_Marathon


15

In short, no. Even the Yrjönkatu pool is a bit of a historical quirk that has probably survived largely thanks to general conservatism (it's Finland's oldest and operated very much the way it did in 1928) and patronage from Helsinki's gay district Eerikinkatu (conveniently located right next door) — no, it's not a gay club or anything, but even ...


15

Of course, why not? Note that a somewhat related, and much more common, situation does happen regularly as people move around with private crafts. In that case, it's up to you to follow all relevant rules and to report to the authorities within a certain time (usually it's understood you can at least dock to the harbor and walk up to the relevant office so ...


15

As mentioned in other answers, the rules against shorts should be understood as rules against normal clothing, so you can't just jump in with the clothes you were wearing when outside the pool. But swim trunks are very common for recreational swimmers. An example of the dresscode of a random public pool in Belgium explains what I mean (these are the allowed ...


14

If you haven't had the chance to go to Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan, this could be a great reason for a first visit. It hosts an annual 3-km race across the lake, where swimming otherwise is forbidden. The lake is surrounded by mountains and the whole area is generally amazing. The only potential downside is how time-consuming it is to go there. The easiest way ...


13

Pools in Japan are usually divided in two sections: lanes running the length of the pool for "serious" swimmers, and a general section for everybody else (including children etc). In the "serious" lanes, all you're allowed to do is swim up and down the lane at the same speed as others in that lane, which are typically physically marked with lane ropes. ...


12

Swimming over a random body of water to cross a border may simply be illegal without express prior permission from the border authorities - the question isn't "do I need to pass customs and have all the ordinary documents" (yes, you do), the question is "under what circumstances is this allowed at all". Depending on the particular country, crossing a border ...


12

I think that ultimately it is up to you to do whatever you feel like is safer for you. Given a choice nobody, be it here on TSE or elsewhere, will (want to) make this decision for you. What I can do however is to give you a few pointers to help you make an informed decision. Sinking Might Be Hard, Drowning Not so Much First things first the Dead Sea is ...


11

Different European countries, and often pools, set different rules. I live in the Netherlands and in the pools here there are no rules on what you can wear, as long as it is swimming gear and not underwear. When I swim the competition team is also training and all of them wear tight Speedo and Adidas swimgear, male as well as females. As that is something ...


11

Acording to this surfing site, which claims to have up-to-date and historical statistics about water temperature, the water is supposed to be warm enough (according to your definition) from June to October. I'm linking below the image of the sea temperature range in Barceloneta (one of Barcelona's beaches) to save it for future readers:


11

Where I live on the border between Germany and Switzerland there is a big lake, Lake Constance. Well, it's big by our standards. The Rhine runs in one end and out the other end over the Rheinfall, so there is a fair current, and it can be cold, depending on the time of year. Occasionally intrepid people swim all the way along it (63 km, 39 miles) or across....


10

In France, the law puts the mayor in charge of securing bathing areas so all rules are indeed local. However, it's mostly about deciding where bathing is allowed or not and not so much on clothing and other details. While there are typically extensive rules for public swimming pools, I have never heard of similar rules for open-air swimming, whether they ...


9

I think that is very subjective as it is up to everyone to choose their style. Living on the Côte d'Azur, when I go to the beach, usually it is the older people that wear speedo-style swimwear, most of the young people wear shorts. The population is mixed so there are several people wearing speedo-style swimwear. But honestly, I don't think people care and ...


9

If your swim is official and publicized, customs officials will be waiting for you on the shore. I understand this happened for people swimming Lake Ontario from the US to Canada, and for channel swimmers. I saw this for the man who recently tight-rope-walked above Niagara Falls - even before his family hugged him, he got his passport stamped. I believe ...


9

As Willeke notes, the specific rules may vary between pools (and possibly regions), but in my experience, anything that clearly looks like swimwear, as opposed to underwear (or, worse yet, streetwear) will likely be acceptable. If in doubt, just go to your local pool and ask. I'm sure the staff can explain what they consider acceptable swim attire. Or, ...


8

There are answers stating that you can enter the given country only in the specified points. In the free movement zones, like Schengen, it's possible you can cross border anywhere (depending on the agreement between parties) but generally, you can't just enter the foreign country wherever you want. But your problem can start even sooner, because first you ...


8

There are some countries that allow for customs by mail for this type of crossing. For example, crossing into Canada via swimming or canoeing into the Quetico qualifies as a remote border crossing (link) because there simply are not customs offices in the middle of the wilderness. You still have to "pass customs" but you would not be arrested on site when ...



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