BEST Foreigner Friendly Nail Salons in Japan

July 22, 2019

Photo via TRU NAIL Shibuya Salon

As a person that's pretty girly, finding a great nail salon when moving to Tokyo is a necessity. Problem is, for the first 6 months in Japan, I only came across nail salons that were incredibly overpriced and didn't seem like they normally served foreigners. Though I speak a good amount of Japanese, I had not studied any nail salon lingo, so it was comforting to know that a salon existed with some workers that speak English and that is used to serving foreign residents or tourists.

Photo via TRU NAIL Harajuku Salon

I first visited TRU Nail in Harajuku after booking an appointment online in March 2019. If you are in Tokyo, there are many locations, but they also have locations in Okinawa, Kagoshima, and even Osaka so it is very convenient. Some locations do eyelash extensions as well.

In Japan, walk-ins are not so common, and almost in possible in Tokyo because it's so busy and TRU Nail is a well-known salon. I visited the website and they had options to book an appointment in Japanese and partly in English, so I love to recommend this salon to my friends. After visiting the website, I selected the "Hand" treatment that includes, taking off gel, reapply gel, and a selection of personal designs. See below!

After making the selection, you will be able to select a date and time that you would like to visit the salon. The price is ¥4990 which is about $50 in USD. It's a little pricy compared to America, but you will get excellent service, your nails will stay healthy, you get to pick from really cute designs, and it lasts for up to 4 weeks WITHOUT chipping! (At least for me) For Tokyo, this is a good price.

Once I entered the store I was greeted by the staff and my nail esthetician helped me take off my jacket and hung it up for me on the coat rack. Quickly after, she asked if I would like a cold or hot drink and went to get me an iced green tea. Some nail salons in America may ask if you would like water, but this salon asks every time what I would like to drink and I find that to be so refreshing!

Natural nails after removing gel from previous treatment at TRU Nail. Very healthy!

One thing that is a little bit different at this salon in particular (not sure about other salons) is that they don't soak your hands in water like the do in America. Typically the salons will ask you to go wash your hands in the お手洗い (washroom) and then they begin working on your nails. If you previously had gel on your nails, they will remove it and the begin starting on the new design. I once had gel nails in America, but the lady was so rough on my nails that it actually damaged my nails and really hurt. In Japan, my nails have become so healthy and LONG because of the gel -- I was so surprised!

At TRU Nail they have HUNDREDS of designs, so you are sure to find something that fits your style. For the ¥4990 options there are about 40 different designs that your can choose from, but if you select the ¥5990 or ¥6990 options there are even more. What I really love about the designs is that they don't only do one nail, it can be all of your nails, 2 or 3, depending on which option you choose from the tablet. The nail artists are very talented and will do each nail by hand and this doesn't cost extra. The Japanese nail designs are so cute!

The second time I visited TRU Nail my nails had grown a bit, so I went with this design. This was ¥4990 and I was very impressed with how this came out. I waited about 3 weeks until I came in the next time and only one of the pearls fell off by that time, besides that, my nails were still close to perfect.

Two of my favorite nail designs! The left was actually a ¥5990 set and my nail esthetician hand painted each nail to get an ombre effect and put on each individual crystal on to my nails. I loved that she asked me multiple times if I liked it and if I wanted more crystals. It came out just how I wanted it! On the right picture, I showed my nail esthetician a few photos from my phone of the shape I wanted and she got it perfect! This set was ¥4990. And also, these is not acrylics. These are my natural nails and natural nail lengths.

March 6th, 2019

June 7th, 2019
Lastly, I wanted to show some growth progress. These photos were taken 3 months apart and my nails have grown SO much. In the bottom picture (¥4990) she actually shaved my nails down a bit, meaning that they were longer than they even are in the picture which is crazy! Since getting gel nails, my nails rarely break and feel so much strong than the did in America. And again, they rarely ever chip. The bottom picture lasted for 5 weeks (I definitely should have went in sooner - LOL) but they were perfect until I got them done again (today).

I am now hooked on getting my nails done in Tokyo at TRU Nail and if you visit Japan, you should try it out too! If you come multiple times, you can use the point card that they will give you to get extra discounts. You can also get discounts (¥1000 I believe) for recommending your friends. My favorite location is Harajuku, although I sometimes visit other salons too based on convenience. I recommend seeing Miyu or Ami - They are amazing. But -- I've only spoken in Japanese with them. They don't really speak English, but I think they are very willing to do their best to satisfy your needs. If anything, just use a translating app and practice Japanese! It'll be fun :)

TRU Nail Website:
YouTube Video when I visited TRU Nail: Starts at 5:35
Harajuku Salon Address + Info:
FLEG Harajuku 3F, 1-9-29, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001, Japan
Opening hours
11:00~21:00 open all year round
4 minutes on foot from Takeshita Ent. of JR Yamanote Line Harajuku Station
4 minutes on foot from exit 5 of Meiji Jingumae station

Thanks for reading!
8:42pm July 22nd, 2019

Love, LeSweetpea 

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