Home Culture Hachiko Tattoo Opens in Hoboken, the First in Over 25 Years

Hachiko Tattoo Opens in Hoboken, the First in Over 25 Years

by Elena Gergis
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There’s a new tattoo shop in town and its opening was no easy task. For many years, Hoboken Body Art was the only tattoo shop in the Mile Square because of a law that banned new tattoo parlors in Hoboken since 1998. Recent changes, however, have allowed for a new tattoo shop, Hachiko Tattoo, to open in Hoboken at 1 Newark Street. This tattoo studio is now the first tattoo shop to open in Hoboken in over 25 years. Read on to learn more about Hachiko Tattoo in Hoboken and the man behind it all.

About Hachiko Tattoo

Hachiko Tattoo is owned and operated by Mark Harada, a tattoo artist with almost 30 years of experience. Hachiko is a private, intimate studio providing custom, one-of-a-kind personalized tattoos in a comfortable environment located at 1 Newark Street in Hoboken.

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Mark previously owned and operated a tattoo shop in Manhattan on the Lower East Side. Over the years he has built a loyal clientele and has gained new clients referred by existing clients.

The name Hachiko is inspired by the true story of a Japanese Akita dog remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner. Mark told The Hoboken Girl, “Hachiko is the symbol of loyalty and faithfulness which is what I try to embody, it’s one of the main aspects in my life.”

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The 1998 Ban

Shortly after the closure of Hoboken Body Art in January 2023, Councilman Phil Cohen created an ordinance to permit tattoo parlors to operate in Hoboken’s commercial districts. On August 23rd, 2023 Mark spoke at the City Council meeting to express his support for the change in the law banning new tattoo parlors in Hoboken. “I’ve been tattooing for a long time, it’s my job, it’s how I support my family and it’s my passion. It’s given everything to me and I’d like to give back here in the city of Hoboken,” he said, per TapInto Hoboken.

The amendment to Hoboken City Code Chapter 183 “Tattoo Parlors” to Permit New Tattoo Parlors in the City of Hoboken was adopted later that evening by unanimous vote.

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It took months for Mark to work out the city regulations for getting licensed to operate a business in Hoboken. But as of late March, Mark obtained his license and Hachiko officially opened for business.

Mark told HG, “It came as a surprise to me when I found out that tattooing was illegal in Hoboken, given its proximity to NYC. It seems that fate has determined that it was time to change all of that, so I guess I was just the lucky one to be in a position to open the way. I’m honored to be able to play a part, to be able to continue my career here doing what I love, and have devoted most of my life to and supported my family with. I think it’s important to start something new with positivity. Having a clean, open, and creative studio here in Hoboken is the best way I know to accomplish that.”

The Tattoos

Tattoos are done by appointment only. Mark specializes in Japanese-style tattoos but also does American Traditional, and Black and Grey. The time it takes to complete a tattoo varies and depends on the size and style. Larger body parts can take up to three hours of work at one time.

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Mark is half-Japanese and his culture has influenced his work as a tattoo artist. Mark says, “Tattooing is a very personal thing. For me, Japanese culture and Japanese art is very close to who I am.”

Mark can be reached via his website or social media. He is committed to providing exceptional service and takes the time to listen to potential clients to better understand their wants and needs.

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Hachiko opened in late March, so while the tattooing service is up and running, the interior space is still a work in progress. Mark has a lot of original art and prints that he would like to display around the space. In the coming months, Mark hopes to participate as a vendor at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival. He also plans to collaborate with local businesses including The Crafted Hand, a massage therapy studio owned by his wife Alexa Marie, LMT.

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