By Renee Josephine
We hope you enjoy this post by guest blogger Renee Josephine.
Despite its image and conservative government, Japan is quite progressive by Asian standards, and the country has a friendly attitude towards same sex couples and transgender people. According to a recent survey, almost 80 percent of Japanese people aged 60 and below support gay marriage, and active steps are being taken to legalize same-sex marriage.
Moreover, the local media has also improved people’s perceptions of the gay community, and this has led to the creation of more queer-friendly events and places in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and other major cities. If you’re planning a gay-friendly getaway next year, consider Japan. Here are all the reasons why the Land of The Rising Sun should be your gay holiday destination in 2021.
It’s where you’ll find a super fun gay district
Whether you’re going on a plane or by cruise ship to your chosen destination, safety precautions should always be taken to ensure that you stay safe and healthy while you’re in Japan. Staying well allows you to make the most out of your travels, giving you the energy to explore gay-friendly districts such as Shinjuku Ni-chome in Tokyo.
Known simply as Ni-chome to locals, this place is the largest gay district in Japan, and here you can find hundreds of bars and clubs that celebrate LGBTQ culture. If you’d like to engage in some friendly banter with the locals, head to Arty Farty or Dragon Men as these places are very welcoming to English-speaking visitors. Meanwhile, those who want to relive the days of disco should check out New Sazae. This Ni-chome institution has been around for over 40 years, and the decor and music will have retro enthusiasts disco dancing all night long.
Lots of quirky cafes and restaurants
Cafe culture is alive and thriving in Japan, but while you’ll see some Western big-name coffee shops here, it’s the quirky ones that you gotta check out while you’re in the country. If you’re into cute things, have some tea at an Alice and Wonderland-themed cafe, or pet a cat or a goat while sipping coffee at any of the dozens of animal cafes in Shibuya. For something a little more unique, go to the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku and enjoy the futuristic vibe of this place, complete with flashing lights and half naked cyborg cosplayers. If you’d like to browse some LGBT literature while drinking coffee, then check out Okamalt in Ni-chome. This book cafe is owned by To Ogura, a magazine writer and editor who is also known as Margrette in Japan’s drag queen community.
24-hour bathhouses and saunas
If you want a little action while you’re on holiday, visit any of Japan’s 24-hour gay saunas and bathhouses. Some saunas only welcome visitors who are under 40, but other places like 24 Kaikan, Club House, and Treffpunkt in Tokyo welcome gay men of all ages and nationalities. Remember to bring your identification, as well as protection, if you decide to go check out these places.
Japan is a fabulous wonderland for gay men. Plan on going there for your holiday next year and enjoy everything that this destination has to offer!