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Accommodations: JAPAN

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General Information

    There are many classes of accommodations in Japan, from the ultimate in luxury to novelty sleepover facilities. With more than the usual number of options, Japan provides all sorts of mix-and-match options for even the tightest budgets. Here are the basics, starting with the cheapest:

    • Gay saunas function as business hotels and even offer private rooms at a surcharge for those who want to be undisturbed during the night. With lockers, robes, bathing and snack areas, saunas are a real money-saving option.
    • Capsule hotels, sometimes more appropriately called "coffin hotels," are surely a novelty but function for those who have missed the last train home and want the cheapest accommodation available. For an extra surcharge you can use the sauna and bathing facilities which sometimes sees action between tipsy businessmen before they climb into their hive pod. Don't expect to be able to sit up or stretch your legs, but, surprisingly, you can easily read or watch TV.
    • Business hotels are no frills and tiny, but resemble normal hotels with scaled-down amenities.
    • Love Motels rent for short time as well as overnight after a certain time of evening (usually 11pm). You should really consider them for their cheap price, unusually large rooms, novelty decor (Christmas on Mars, anyone?), and amenities like karaoke, widescreen TV and giant tubs. Usually you choose from a grid of backlit pictures in the lobby since each room may be differently themed. Not all love motels allow same-sex couples, but there are always others nearby that will.
    • Ryokan are Japanese versions of bed and breakfasts and sometimes come with elaborate seasonal dinners and communal, Japanese-style bathing facilties. Here you may experience traditional rooms with sweet-smelling tatami matts, sliding paper screens, and futon that are laid out before bedtime. Great for tourists who want traditional charm, but not interesting for modern Japanese and so the price is usually reasonable.
    • Budget hotels, usually found around train stations, are less expensive than brand name chains and offer plenty of amenities like Net access, safes, and fridges.
    • Onsen (hot spring) resorts range from the mid-to-interstellar price-wise, but their seductive combination of traditional bathing facilities, usually outdoors or with a view of nature, and an incredible dinner of kaiseki-style edible art made from seasonal local ingredients served in your tatami matt room is something every Japan-bound tourist should experience at least once!



HIROSHIMA -- area code +81-82

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Accommodations

    • Hotel Flex
        7-1 Kaminobori-cyo, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi
        223-1000, FAX 223-5678

        Inexpensive and beautifully modern hotel perched on one of downtown Hiroshima's scenic rivers. The design and decor are clean and stylish. The rooms, like most in Japan, are on the small side, but cozy.
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KOBE

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KYOTO -- area code +81-75

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Accommodations

    • Hatoya Zuihoukaku
        802 Minami Fudo-cho, Seidouin Shiokojikudaru, Shimogyo-ku
        361-1231

        A traditional Japanese inn just a minutes' walk from the Kyoto Station. Exit north at the station and turn left and walk one block, it's on the opposite corner, a reddish brick building four stories high. Tatami matt rooms (your futon will be put out at night) with bathroom (there's also small communal baths for men or women on the top floor). No problem with same sex couples in a room. Very reasonably priced.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Jam Jar Lounge and Inn UTOPIA VERIFIED JAN 2017
        758-2 Higashi-imako, Kamigyo-ku
        075-204-8508, email

        Gay owned and run boutique style accommodation and café lounge housed in a 110-year-old traditional machiya (Kyoto townhouse), seamlessly combining modern design without compromising the integrity of its original Japanese ambience. Each room has its own private bathroom and has been meticulously finished to pay homage to this unique Kyoto style of building. Combined with an on-site English speaking café serving real espresso coffee and imported Australian wines, this is a unique opportunity to experience Kyoto life through the eyes of locals, while still enjoying everything this historic city has to offer. For bookings and further details please visit their website.
        Utopia Member Benefit: FREE GLASS OF WINE upon check-in.
        Add your review, comment, or correction



NAGOYA (Aichi Prefecture) -- area code +81-52

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Accommodations

    • Dai-Ichi Fuji Hotel

        Not to be confused with their Nishiki branch. This one is just a block away from the Nagoya Train Station. Although not as new as its Tokyo cousins, it has free Internet and hotel amenities. Reasonably priced.
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    • Nagoya JR Gate Tower Hotel UTOPIA VISITED APR 2017
        1-1-3 Meieki Nakamura-ku Nagoya

        Beautiful, contemporary hotel attached to the main train station and just above two huge shopping centers. All the amenities a modern traveler expects. Huge variety of restaurants nearby. No problem with friends visiting as long as you book a double room. Super convenient and plush at a reasonable price.
        Add your review, comment, or correction



NARITA (Chiba Prefecture) -- area code +81-476

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Accommodations



Nasu (Tochigi Prefecture)

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Accommodations

    • ITTAN guesthouse UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2017
        593-251 Takakuotsu
        +81 287-74-2548, email

        Gay-owned guesthouse located in the highland area of Nasu. They provide simple cottage accommodation surrounded by lush greenery where guests may enjoy many outdoor activities hiking, BBQ, onsen (hot spring) and snowboarding. Owner is a professional mountain guide and loves cooking, DJing, and meeting new people. Nasu area has many natural hot springs and beautiful mountains. Enjoy nature with them.
        Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT.
        Add your review, comment, or correction



OSAKA -- area code +81-6

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Accommodations

    • Hokuoukan UTOPIA VISITED APR 2017

        See full listing under Saunas for Men for directions and description. A cheap alternative to a hotel (if you don't mind being "bothered" throughout the night. Just leave your bags in a coin locker at the train station and take a small overnight bag. The overnight rate is inexpensive, from 6pm until noon the next day, and they also have more discount levels for those under 40 and those under 26. They also have private rooms if you want sleep mor soundly.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Osaka Tokyu REI Hotel UTOPIA VISITED APR 2017
        2-1, Doyama-cho, Kita-ku
        +81 66-315-0109, FAX 66-315-6019

        Excellent, moderate cost hotel right in the gayborhood, just a few blocks for the bars and sauna. No problem with friends visiting as long as you book a double room. Discreet and convenient.
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    • X Wave Umeda Hotel UTOPIA VISITED APR 2012
        1-12 Kamiyama-cho, Kita-ku
        06-6312-3200, FAX 06-6312-3111

        Bookable through Agoda. Nicely located a few blocks from the gay scene in Doyama-cho. Business inn with bright and clean modern rooms, free in-room LAN Net access and full hotel amenities. Take a double for a larger bed and if you plan to have a guest (ask your guest to register at the front desk).
        Add your review, comment, or correction



TOKYO -- area code +81-3

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Accommodations

      IKEBUKURO

click for our interactive map of Ikebukuro

    • Dai-ichi Inn UTOPIA VISITED MAR 2012
        Just north of the Ikebukuro Train Station, Utopia Map
        03-3986-1221

        Reasonably priced, with free in-room LAN Net access and full amenities. It's only four train stops from Shinjuku Station on the Yamanote Line and the Narita Express now has trains going to/from Ikebukuro directly. Jinya gay sauna is just a short walk away and there are lots of cheap and good eateries in the neighborhood. You can book it on Expedia or they do have a website as well where you can book via email in Yen. Rooms are small, but not too cramped. Take a double room for a bigger bed and if you plan to have a guest (register them at the front desk). No smoking rooms available.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Jinya UTOPIA VISITED MAR 2012

        See listing under Saunas for Men. Inexpensive men's sauna and inn. Keep your luggage in a coin locker at the train station (the lockers inside the sauna are only wide enough for a backpack). Take a more expensive private room if you want some real rest, otherwise expect to have adventures all night long in the communal rooms.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

      SHINJUKU NI-CHOME, SAN-CHOME

      The easiest way to get to the gay area is to take the underground walkway from Shinjuku Station's East Exit (down one floor after the train exit ticket machines) or the Shinjuku Sanchome Subway Station (Marunouichi Line) to Exit C5, C7, or C8 (see map):

click for our interactive map of Shinjuku Ni-Chome

    • 24 Kaikan UTOPIA VISITED APR 2017 UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2015

        See listing under Saunas for Men. Inexpensive men's sauna and inn right in the heart of the gay scene. Keep your luggage in a coin locker at the subway or train station (the lockers inside the sauna are only wide enough for a backpack). Take a more expensive private room if you want some real rest, otherwise expect to have adventures all night long in the communal rooms.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • APA Hotel Shinjuku Gyoemmae
        2-2-8 Shinjuku, Utopia Map

        Budget hotel just across the street from the gayborhood. All the amenities a modern traveler expects. Huge variety of restaurants nearby. Bonus points for the beautiful public bath in the basement, free for hotel guests! There's also a do-it-yourself-laundry in the basement if you are so inclined. No problem with friends visiting as long as you book a double room. Super convenient at a reasonable price.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Hotel Rocks UTOPIA VISITED MAR 2012 UTOPIA VISITED AUG 2015

    • Hotel S UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2012

    • Lone Star UTOPIA VISITED APR 2017
        Utopia Map

        Located in the heart of Ni-Chome's nightlife. Free additional amenities at the lobby and free hot coffee/Japanese tea from dispenser at 4th floor. They can store your luggage before/after check out.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Shinjuku Hotel Park Inn UTOPIA VISITED APR 2017
        1-36-5 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Utopia Map
        03-3354-9000, FAX 03-3225-4466

        Great location a few block's north of the Shinjuku Gyoemmae Subway Station (Marunouichi Line) and a short walk to Ni-Chome's gay district. This clean, inexpensive (around US$100 for a double) and convenient business hotel has small bedrooms (no closets, just two coat hangers) and is OK if you don't have a lot of luggage. Book a double room for a bigger bed and register your guest at the front desk (no unregistered guests in the rooms). Free in-room LAN Net access. No smoking rooms available (book in advance as they sell out).
        Add your review, comment, or correction

      UENO

click for our interactive map of Ueno

    • 24 Kaikan (Ni-Yon Kaikan) UTOPIA VISITED APR 2017

        See listing under Saunas for Men. Inexpensive men's sauna and inn. Keep your luggage in a coin locker at the subway or train station (the lockers inside the sauna are only wide enough for a backpack). Take a more expensive private room if you want some real rest, otherwise expect to have adventures all night long in the communal rooms.
        Add your review, comment, or correction


      OTHER AREAS

      A Mountain Retreat UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAY 2017, UTOPIA VISITED APR 2017
        163-1 Koshu
        +81 42-978-8284, email

        A beautiful gay-owned bed and breakfast tucked away in Saitama's verdant mountain greenery, north of Tokyo City and an easy train ride from the city center. Experience the real Japan, away from the crowded metropolis and standard tourist routes. Take a refreshing break and enjoy local temples, hot springs, hiking, or art galleries. Also, see their Facebook page, Bunny and Bears' Bed and Breakfast. Tetsu and Stewart are excellent hosts and their home is warm and welcoming. Perfect for nature lovers, active explorers, or those wanting to escape the bustle of the city for a quiet retreat.
        Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

        Comments from Utopians:

        "I found A Mountain Retreat here on Utopia and we easily booked our stay with them. It took us about an hour to get to their place from central Tokyo by train. Their house is located in an incredibly beautiful mountain landscape and Tetsu and Stewart turned out to be wonderful hosts. They did everything to let us enjoy our stay. We had great hiking right from their doorstep up to a mountain view from where we could see Mount Fuji, enjoyed the wonderful onsen (hot spring bath) near their home and had great dinner together in a local restaurant. My partner and I felt extremely welcomed and we were happy to meet some local gay people on our first visit to Japan. I highly recommend every gay traveler to stay with them for a weekend escape from busy Tokyo and enjoy their amazing hospitality." -- Greg, May 5, 2017

        "Staying with Tetsu and Stewart was an exceptional experience. We were very much treated like personal guests and they did everything to make our stay a memorable one. The area is easily reached from Tokyo and yet provides some great nature and onsen. The house is beautiful and extremely clean. Thank you very much for your hospitality. We will certainly come back next time." -- a German and Malaysian couple, Dec, 2016

        "I enjoyed my stay. Tetsu and Stewart are very welcoming hosts and did an excellent job in making me comfortable. It is easy to get to by train, not far from the busy Tokyo scene, and a nice peaceful place to stay. If you are looking for a quiet retreat, or to do some hiking in the mountain, or enjoying a relaxing visit to a typical Japanese onsen, it is a must place to stay." -- Canadian, Sep, 2017



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