Japan has been an icon in the nail art world since the traditional era when women used color to signify social rank.Nail polish spread in Japan in the 90s and it has since evolved. Gel nail polish gained momentum recently with gel nails as they last much longer than the regular manicure.
Japanese Gel Nails are renowned for the many beautiful and intricate hand-drawn designs, and the outstanding techniques of the Japanese nail artists. The designs available at nail salons in Japan are countless. They include french nail, gradation, 3D designs, patterns, and many more.
If you’re in Tokyo or you’ll be visiting soon and would like to explore the outstanding skill of an experienced Japanese nail artist, take a look at these seven salons that can transform your nails:
ET ARS Nail Salon
Opened April 2015, et ars is a small studio located by Meguro station. The owner looked to create a nail salon where the nail artists could work closely with each customer one-by-one.
The salon is a private space where you can receive treatment in a relaxed, calm environment making it different from the conventional nail salon. This small salon specializes in offering quality gel nails in many colors, designs, and decorations which allows them to create original and unique artwork for each customer.
Price Range: Approximately ¥6,000 to ¥12,000
Appointment: Must book in advance. Sessions usually lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
Business Hours: 12:00pm – 8:00pm (morning appointments can be requested)
Disco was opened in May 2012 and is located in Shibuya. In this salon, nail art is taken to a completely new level. It is run by salon owner Nagisa Kaneko. One thing that makes her unique is how she creates abstract designs and paints these epic pieces in tiny details on UV-activated gel paints.
She switches between hands as she paints or draws any image or design selected from her sample album. Her illustrations depend on the image she has in mind and your budget.
Price Range: Approximately ¥9,000 to ¥16,000
Appointment: Reservations are required. Sessions can last for 1 to 2 hours. Reservations can be made online through the salon’s website: http://disco-tokyo.com/
- Monday – Friday: 11:00am – 9:00pm
- Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Coco Color’s has two branches in Tokyo. Coco Color’s Yellow is located in Akihabara while Coco Color’s Blue is in Shibuya.
This private salon is well known for giving you a well-detailed painting of your favorite anime characters known as otaku nails. So, if you are a girly otaku seeking beautification, Coco Color’s is perfect for you.
Price Range: Approximately ¥6,600 to ¥19,800 (charged 1,100 yen per 10 minutes interval. An appointment can last between 1 to 3 hours)
Appointment: Booking is required. You can call 03-6225-0343 for Shibuya or 070-6467-4693 for Akihabara, or you can fill out the Japanese form at https://ssl1.secure-sv.com/colors-beautysalon/reserve/
- 11:00am – 10:00pm at color’s blue (Shibuya)
- 10:00am – 9:00pm at color’s yellow (Akihabara)
Asian Nail & Hair Salon
Asian Nail & Hair Salon is a salon that offers you both nail designs and hairstyles. They offer high-quality gel nails with various designs at a fair price. They have countless designs for all four seasons of the year. Summer nails include watermelon, tropical, and beach designs, while winter nails include snowflake, Christmas, and holiday designs.
This salon has eight branches in Japan. Five are located in Tokyo — Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Nishi-Shinjuku, Roppongi, and Roppongi Tokyo Midtown. While they do have a English website, they do not have English speaking nail artist.
Price Range: Approximately ¥5,500
Appointment: Reservations are required. Call over the phone or fill out a Japanese form online: http://www.nailasian.com/contact/
Business Hours: (all Tokyo branches have the same hours)
- Monday – Friday 12:00pm – 10:00pm (last appointment at 8:00pm)
- Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays: 11:00am – 9:00pm (last appointment at 7:00pm)
Nail Salon Pinky
Nail Salon PINKY is a private nail salon located in Shibuya, Tokyo. The nail technician and salon owner Rie, is able to speak English. She happily welcomes foreign customers into the salon and responds to their requests.
It was established by Rie in 2008 when she decided to make a living doing what she loves, which had always been drawing and painting. Expressing artwork on nails made her happy and she has managed the salon since its opening.
The salon specializes in Calgel, a superior gel nail system that improves nail health. Calgel won’t peel or chip, and doesn’t harm your nails with harsh acrylics. She delivers any art request you have, either basic or character designs like Ghibli, Sailor Moon, and Sanrio designs.
Price Range: Approximately ¥9,000 to ¥18,000
Appointment: Reservation is required as she can only attend to one customer at a time. Call 03-6427-4403 or send an email to email@example.com. Appointments can be made as early as three months in advance.
Business Hours: Everyday 11:00am – 8:00pm
Nail Cottage is a Japan Nailist Association certified salon with two branches, in Yoyogi and Shinjuku.
This private salon has a space for small children to play while their mothers get their nails done. So, you can conveniently go to your appointment with your kids. The nail specialists offer quality gel nails and acrylic extensions at affordable rates. They also have English-speaking staff.
Price Range: Approximately ¥5,000 to ¥13,000
Appointment: Same-day appointments can be made. Call +81-3-3485-4222 for the Yoyogi branch or +81-03-6300-0483 for the Shinjuku branch, or fill out a form online at https://nailcottage.net/booking/.
Business Hours: Every day from 10:00am to 8:00pm (last appointment at 7:00pm)
This sophisticated salon located in Ginza has been open since 1996. The salon has a classy interior with spacious seats where you can relax quietly from the bustle of the city.
There are well-trained English-speaking staff that will give you elegant nail designs that go well with the seasons. They specialize in manicure, foot care, acrylic, and gel nails.
Price Range: Approximately ¥3,000 to ¥12,000
Appointment: Reservations can be made three hours before your desired time and it’s limited to one person at a time. You can call 03-3562-3777 or book online in Japanese at https://ethsete.resv.jp/reserve/calendar.php?xx=1
- Monday – Friday: 11:00am – 9:30pm
- Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 11:00am – 8:00pm