Save for one experimental time, I’ve never had my nails done before I came to Japan. I finally got them done for the first time last month when the owner of GenkiJACS, Rie-sensei, invited me to come with her to a nail salon.
Nails are a big thing in Japan. There are many, many nail-art magazines and there are nail salons littered everywhere in the cities (almost as common as hair salons). Many women go once a month but some go as often as every week. The most common thing to get done is to get gel nails applied, along with many creative combinations of nail art (ribbons, jewels, Hello Kitties, etc.)
It was really fun to get my nails done! One place I went to gave out coffee and chocolate, came with a hand massage, and smothered my hands with a lotion of my choice at the end. However, it all comes with a price– gel nails will cost you at least 4000 yen and any additional artwork besides your basecoat will cost extra (for example, 80 yen per jewel). Getting the gel off with cost about 1500-2000 yen in total, unless you go to a shop that will take it off for free if you get your nails done again.
Despite the expensiveness, I think it’s really worth it if you’re a girl, to try it once in Japan! I’ve never seen such kawaii nail art at home!