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Travel & Resources: TOKYO
Recommended by Tokyo Journal, Badi, and Barazoku.

Please help us keep these listings current and correct. Special thanks to tokyofit, Yoshi, Yuji and Pine!

TOKYO -- area code (81-3)

General Information

    Flat-lined for more than a decade from Japan's self-induced economic slump, Tokyo has seen much of its luster worn away by a recession seemingly without end. Art museums and performance spaces, once the crowning jewels of any serious department store, have turned into handicraft supply shops or sales bins filled with last season's unsold dishware. Once splendid designer boutiques openly hawk second-hand goods and hair scrunchies in sad sign-of-the-times sidewalk sales.

    But there are also positive changes resulting from the doldrums. Bars are more mixed and friendly for foreign visitors (they need your business). English signage is now in common use, even on drink menus. With falling rental rates, savvy club owners have taken over neighboring venues, doubling or tripling the size of their once miniature premises.

    With prices having barely risen over the last 15 years and no tipping, Tokyo has become more affordable than New York, London, Paris or Los Angeles! Taxis, once pure luxury rides -- with their lace doilies and white-gloved drivers who open the door for you -- have become affordable, comfortable alternatives to packed trains. Any tourist in their right mind should take advantage of this golden opportunity to discover the world wonders in the heart of this fascinating and friendlier-than-ever Imperial city. Tokyo may never be this cheap again!

    The population of Tokyo is over 13 million (that's over half a million Utopians!).

  • Tokyo Journal
      Aside from being the monthly English-language guide to current events and life in the metropolis, they also list gay events and venues.


Organizations

  • AKTA
      2-15-13 Shinjuku Ni-Chome (see map), 3226-8998. This community center and gallery in the heart of Tokyo's gay district focuses on AIDS/HIV prevention and resources. Take the elevator to 3/F.
  • Gay Men's Hotline
      3203-9885, Sat 19:00-22:00. Run by AIDS Care Project who also place safer sex kits around the bars.
  • The Tokyo International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
      5-21-16 #601 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-0001, 5380-5760 FAX 5380-5767, email. Organizers of this annual festival which has been running for more than a decade now.
  • Tokyo Rainbow Pride UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2014

    Click here
    for scenes from the 6th Annual Toyko Pride Parade.

    Scenes from the 2014 parade:


Popular Spots

Accommodations

Bars and Clubs


Galleries

    • Tobin Ohashi Gallery UTOPIA VERIFIED FEB 2013
        1-1-4 Yokoyama-cho, Chuo-ku, 03-5695-6600, email. Near Ginza and Tokyo Stations. Gay-owned art gallery showing young Japanese and Asian artists. Paintings, prints, sculpture and ceramics from award-winning artists. Delivery worldwide. Utopia Member Discount


Massage for Men


Meeting Places

    • Facilities:
      • BYGS Building, Shinjuku Ni-Chome, Utopia Map, used to be cruise central, but now security has mounted cameras in all the facilities and cut viewing holes in the bottom of the toilet stall doors. Still, hang out here for a few minutes and you're bound to have eye contact from someone in the parade of men coming and going to the gay venues.
      • Hibiya Park UTOPIAN VERIFIED NOV 2013

          Comments from Utopians:

          "The bench on stone walls at the back side of the Police box. The famous old facility has been taken away, but cruisers meet near this bench and run into other facilities or elsewhere." -- tokyofit, Nov 16, 2013

      • My City, Shinjuku Station, B/1 shops & B/2 parking garage
      • Shibuya Station, near exits
      • Shibuya Station, Tokyu Toyoko-Ten Department Store, all levels from train station to the roof
      • Shinjuku Station, East Exit inside ticket gate
      • Shinjuku Station, near JR ticketing office 1/F
      • Shinjuku Station, West Exit near ticket gate
      • Ueno Station, near exits

        Comments from Utopians:

        "Facilities in the Ikebukuro Station, east side, Exit 26 at ISP (Ikebukuro Shopping Park), under Meiji Dori St, just outside Parco and Seibu dapartment store. 10am-8pm. Very famous among young Jguys." -- tokyofit, Oct 7, 2014

    • Health Clubs:
      • Gold's Gym
          Gold's has opened not one, but two gyms in Harajuku/Omotesando and so gay gym queens have made a bee line for these new and high profile clubs.
    • Parks and Gardens:
      • Sumida Park, at the river in Asakusa, fetish Japanese costume cruising and late evening action
    • Sekai Kessaku Gekijo Theater
        2/F 2-13-6 Taito-ku, Ueno, 3831-0158. Infamous. Crowd is mature Japanese men looking for the same.
    • Starbucks
        Shinjuku San-Chome Starbucks is very cruisy due to its close proxity to the gay scene.


Restaurants and Cafes

      SHIBUYA, HARAJUKU

    • Las Chicas
        Near Omotesando subway station. Fun restaurant, lively crowd, with many gays and lesbians. Favorite meeting place for activist lesbian gatherings.


      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

    • Cocolo UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2012
        1/F Daiichi Hayakawaya, 2-14-6 Shinjuku Ni-Chome, Utopia Map, 5366-9899. Popular gay and lesbian restaurant and art gallery. Gay-staffed. Reasonable prices. Always busy.
    • Funabashiya (tempura)
        3-28-4 Shinjuku San-Chome, 3354-2751. Located mid way between Shinjuku Station and Ni-Chome, south of Shinjuku-dori. This famous restraurant specializes in tempura of all sorts. Sit at the counter and watch the flame-retardant chefs do their crispy business. Order a set (vegentables, shrimp, etc.) which comes with salad, rice, miso soup, and tea.

      Also, here's a great guide to restaurants around Ni-Chome: Shinjuku East Restaurants


      OTHER AREAS

    • Kazu
        2/F Dai-Ni Kohei Bld, 3-34-22 Nakano, 3384-0423. Nice and friendly gay restaurant in Nakano (lots of gays live in this neighborhood as evidenced in the local Tipness Gym). Very good home cooking by owner Kazuhiko. A nice, drop-in feeling here.
    • Tha Chang (Thai food)
        3-27 Wakabacho (between Mami Mart and ENEOS), Kashiwa, Chiba, 04-7166-8900. Gay-owned "Thai resort style" restaurant in Chiba prefecture. 12 minutes walk from the east gate of Kashiwa JR Station. Popular among local Utopians. Reservations recommended. Open for lunch 11:30-15:00 and dinner 17:00-25:00.


Saunas and Hattenba


Shops

      HARAJUKU, AOYAMA

    • Condomania UTOPIA VERIFIED MAR 2012
        Utopia Map. Condom specialty shop at a major intersection. An easy-to-find landmark if you need to meet up with someone.
Harajuku teen fashion paradise and claustrophobe hell. Photo (c) 2012 by John Goss
    • Harajuku UTOPIA VERIFIED MAR 2012
        Utopia Map. Teen fashion heaven and claustrophobe hell. Part alive-action anime, part Turkish bazaar. Lots of hair dye, French maid and Alice in Wonderland outfits, mobile phone thumbing, and American pop culture. This mini-Melrose alley is worth a stroll down just to see hundreds of boy band wannabes and gothic-Lolita waifs who subsist on whip-cream crepes and Makudonarudo fries.


      NAKANO

Nakano Broadway, cult hobbiest and otaku shopping mall. Photo (c) 2012 by John Goss
    • Nakano Broadway UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2013
        Nakano, Utopia Map. This densely packed shopping mall is host to many dozens of tiny specialty shops catering to a wide variety of cult collecting manias, from mid-century J-pop culture, movie posters, manga (comics), vintage clothing, model trains, and massage from young women dressed in gothic-Lolita costumes in a kindergarden play environment. Easy to get to by train - just a few stops from Shinjuku Station. Lots of food choices as well. Plus, a constant parade of geeky otaku (ardent maniac fans). Nakano neighborhood is also heavily populated by gay men.


      SHINJUKU NI-CHOME, SAN-CHOME

    • Free Man UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2012
        Shinjuku Ni-chome, Utopia Map. Used gay videos and other novelties.
    • Lumiere UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        Shinjuku Ni-chome, Utopia Map. Name is in Japanese, but this gay shop is an easy landmark to locate at the very heart of the gay scene. Gay magazines, videos, pride gifts, toys, etc. Very busy and cruisy here.



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