“All I can say is WOW! I am so blown away by the work That Masao has done for me in the past. He was the reason we came back to Maui for my second piece of work. We contacted him two weeks before our trip and got on the books. Came in at the beginning of our time on Maui and talked to him about what we wanted. His Polynesian designs are out of this world and he was very inspired by what I wanted. So He spent a week drawing up and “original” and I was so blown away I almost cried. (Both my Wife and I had work done by him the previous year)
He is a true artist that has fine attention, and out of this world detail. He took his time and was very focused while putting ink on my body. His steady hand and fine work are the best I have ever seen.
Just make sure you don’t pressure the man and give him some inspiration and you will get the best tattoo you have ever seen. We feel very fortunate that we were able to meet some of his family also at his shop.
Great staff! Also very positive and professional! I am planning my next trip to see him.
He is the only artist I will let ink my body.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
“Based on my last review.
I did go back and get another tattoo.
It was great to see the same staff there all relaxed and happy. This speaks volumes for me. No turnover?
That is a testament to the owner and the relationship between the owner and staff!
Hands down this is the best place on Maui to get a tattoo.
Thank you to all the staff at Zen!”
“Masao rocks! Not only is he a great artist, but he has good people working for him, and knows how to treat customers. I wanted something special to commemorate our Maui trip, so I checked all the shops in the Kihei area. For what I wanted, the price kept going up up up at the other shops, but Masao quoted a price and that was IT, no extra fees. His artistry is 2nd to none; you’ll not be disappointed with whatever you get some there. I’ll be paying him a visit on our next trip!”
“I love showing off my new tattoo! I love it! Got a turtle with a hibiscus flowering the center of the turtle. It came out beautiful! Thank you Kevin you are a great artist!”
“Me and my wife got matching foot turtle tattoos on the last day of our honeymoon here. Was my first tattoo ever, came out great. Staff was super friendly.”
“We went to another tattoo place across the street and it was mediocre at best. Then we came to Zen Tattoo and the staff was friendly, welcomed us, smiled at us, gave us their full attention even though they were busy. Very personable. The tattoo artist Kevin offered to open the shop for us to get the tattoo on a day they’re normally closed simply because it was the only day we could make it. How amazing. Beautiful job too with the tattoo, exactly what we wanted.”
“Great art done here. Have to say best on island. Masao has done several tattoos for me now and I will only go to him. He’s A+ work. Great atmosphere. Good music to listen too.”
“While on vacation on Maui I decided to get a little permanent memory. I checked out many local artists and none came as well recommended as Masao. He had recently opened his own place, Zen Tattoo, after several successful years at Maui Tattoo. His shop is bright, clean, and comfortable despite having been open only a week or so when I went in.
I had heard that he was light handed, but I was blown away! This is my 7th piece (a tribal turtle on my left foot) and I barely felt it! There was no redness afterwards and little to no swelling. He was clearly focused on the detail of his work, while at the same time engaging. Since I was traveling, I was looking for the whole experience…the quality ink, the quality artist, the memory of having the ink done.
This guy is impeccable. I am already planning another trip so I can have Masao work on another piece for me. I can’t say enough about the amazing experience I had here.”
Mountlake Terrace, USA
“Just came home from Maui with another beautiful piece from Masao!!”
“My girlfriend and I wanted to get tattooed for the first time when holidaying on Maui. We did a bit of research online before we decided on the Zen Tattoo Studio. We could not be happier with our choice! Right from the start everybody was very friendly and great to deal with. Kevin did a fantastic job on our tattoos and made it a fun experience that we will never forget! I will definitely be looking Kevin up next time I am there to get another tattoo.”
“Zen Tattoo Art Gallery is the only place you should consider if you’re in Hawaii, and the owner/artist Masao is an amazing artist. Everything about this place is professional, comfortable, and worthy of mention. I was fortunate enough to able to book an appointment with Masao for my wife and I while on our honeymoon in Hawaii/Maui. The tattoo’s we got are absolutely incredible with some of the best line-work, and shading I’ve ever seen. Masao, and the good folks at Zen Tattoo were nice enough to post a pic of my tattoo of a Tiki on their web page! Please check out this shop if you’re in Maui and you want phenomenal tattoo work done.”
South Weymouth, USA
“My wife and I both received tattoos… Masao and Kevin (owner and artists) were absolutely fantastic…. Masao custom designed a Polynesian shoulder/arm piece for me that was amazing… The atmosphere was professional and friendly…. I would recommend everyone who visits Maui to patronize Zen Tattoo… I left Maui feeling that I made some amazing friends… I will miss ya guys and will return for a custom chest piece…Kevin tattooed the most amazing turtle on my wife’s leg… She is in love with it and will cherish it forever…. Great job fellas…. MAHALO!!!!”
San Jose, USA
“My sister and I both got tattoos to symbolize our wonderful vacation together. I was so nervous I was nearly sick. I was able to lie back, relax and have a very gentle and pain free experience. I would definitely recommend Masao. My tattoo is a sea turtle on my ankle and I love it. Thanks!!”
Mill Bay, BC
“After searching and searching for a great place to get my tattoo work done, I came across this fantastic gallery, right here in Kihei. With the friendly staff to assist in the appointment scheduling as well as the light atmosphere of the shop it made it a necessary place for me to get my work done.
The process of the work was one of the better works I have received, with Masao’s light hand and great workmanship; the recommendations are surely high by me.
I am always searching for the next design to sit back in the chair to get more work done in this shop.”
“In 2011, I had Masao tattoo my family crest on my arm and he did an amazing job. He even offered to touch it up the next time I was in Maui but it wasn’t necessary and it healed perfectly.
2 years later, my family and I came back to Maui and my wife and I both decided to get some more work.
This year, I wanted to cover up my tattoo from when I was a young teenager. I didn’t have anything really concrete in mind, I just wanted to start a sleeve and cover up the old tat.
My wife, on the other hand, knew exactly what she wanted. She wanted script on her outer forearm that read “Per Sempre Con Amore” which roughly translates from Italian as “Forever with love” in honour of her Father who passed away 10 years ago.
This trip was very special to her as it was the 10th anniversary of his passing and Hawaii was somewhere he always wanted to visit.
A few days after arriving in Maui, we dropped into see Masao who happened to be away in Oahu and met one of his other artists Kevin.
Kevin was super kind and welcoming and was happy to throw a few different mock ups on my wife to see how it would look in different placements and sizes.
Kevin also explained how the lines of script would become thicker over time which was an important detail. He left the stencil on her arm so she could see how she liked the placement and size. This was a great idea because only by wearing the stencil did she realize that a) she liked the placement and b) she wanted the script a little smaller than the originally script that was designed for her by a friend.
A few days later, we returned to the shop and Masao was back and we discussed what we both wanted. My wife explained to Masao that she wanted the script altered a bit, the lines finer and the capitals not as big but wanted the same script style or look.
As for me, initially, we discussed a Phoenix wrapping around my arm but after a couple of sketches (which he sent me over the next few days) I could tell he was reluctant and I sensed correctly that he felt that it really wasn’t working and I felt the same way.
As a result, I asked him to forget the bird and start a sleeve piece in the traditional Japanese style with waves. He agreed that this was probably a better way to go.
A few days later, on Boxing Day we returned to his shop Zen Tattoo Art Gallery and Masao worked his magic. He even opened the shop extra early for us as we were leaving Maui that evening.
My wife was first and Masao showed her the revised script based on her request and he put the stencil on her arm again to double check size and placement. It was a good thing he did as my wife wanted a slight change to the spacing of the words. Less than thirty minutes later she was done and it looked great.
Then it was my turn.
First, he started out with a couple of felt pens and started sketching out the design free form right on to my shoulder. Then he had me stand up so we could see it from a different perspective; which is quite helpful as a tattoo can appear one way in one position and then totally change in shape and angle when the limb or any particular body part is manipulated.
Once we were both happy with positioning and design he began tattooing. What makes Masao so amazing is not only his professionalism but the complete mastery of his art.
Most tattoo artist would need to trace out a design on to transfer paper and then apply the outline to the chosen body part which they would then follow to accurately tattoo the image. Masao, on the other hand, was able to free form sketch with felt pens and still maintain beautiful lines in the correct proportions of the design. But above all what blew me away was his shading. How he was able to shade from darker to lighter evenly and so effortlessly; it truly amazed me.
Masao is a true artist.
There are a ton of tattoo shops on Maui but I am certain there a very few true artists of Masao’s level. I am not a tattoo expert but I do know artistry when I see it; and as a long time student of the martial arts I can recognize when someone is a master of their art.
As for my old tattoo, it’s barely visible and only if you knew it was there or what to look for. To anyone else…it never existed.
Thanks for another great piece of work Masao! I’ll be back to continue the sleeve for sure. You are a true artist.”
North York, ON