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OSAKA: Bars, Cabarets, Clubs, Discos & Karaoke
Recommended by Tokyo Journal, Badi, and Barazoku.

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OSAKA -- area code (81-6)

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Bars and Clubs


      Instructions to the Doyama-cho gay nightlife area: from the JR Train Station, take the south exit, turn left and cross the street to the Hankyu Umeda Station building and continue through to the other side where you will find the large, red HEP 5 shopping center (with the huge red Ferris wheel on the roof) and to its left, adjacent to the elevated tracks, a shopping alley called EST St. Continue down EST St two blocks until it dead-ends at the main avenue with the overhead highway and turn right to the corner of the major intersection. Doyama-cho is now diagonally opposite from where you are. Cross left under the overhead highway, then turn right and cross the smaller diagonal street. You are now at the corner edge of Doyama-cho, a maze of late night bars and restaurants. Turn left at this corner and walk to the next alleyway and take a right. Take this alley straight ahead to find Lupu, Coco love hotel, and Hokuoukan sauna. Explore the alleys to the right in the vicinity for many of the bars mentioned below, which advertise their names on rows of small signs that rise vertically on the building exteriors. Exploring Doyama-cho is easy with our map:

    • Bar Bacchus
        3/F Daini-Shouei Kaikan, 6-14 Doyama-cho, Kita-Ku (see map, right around the corner from Explosion, just south), 6361-2366, email. The extremely friendly owner, Chanho, welcomes gays and lesbians to his bar. He's fluent in English and a great information resource for visitors. Super inexpensive drinks and snacks. 20-40yo, international crowd. Chances are you'll feel right at home here. 大阪市北区堂山町6—14 第二松栄会館3F
    • Cafe de Jumpin' Jumpin' (Cafe J)
        6363-3367. Friendly and relaxed place with cute staff.
    • FrenZ-FrenZY UTOPIA VISITED APR 2012
        1/F Nippo Higashi Hanku Leisure Bld (see map), 8-14 Kamiyama-Cho, Kita-Ku, 6311-1386, email. Walk past the end of the covered street arcade and look for the building with the sign for Bar Rise. The first gay bar in Japan to be owned by a gaijin (non-Japanese)! Vivacious owner, Sarichan, helms this fun and funky bar and dance club. On week nights it maintains the casual flavor of the original FrenZ bar and on weekends the energy whips up into a FrenZY! Regulars of all sexualities come here to socialize and party, along with superstars like Lady Gaga! 大阪市北区神山町8番14号日宝東阪急レジャービル1F
    • Hysterics
        Suite 6 Kuei Dai-Ni Leisure Bld, 16-10 Doyama-cho, 6365-9996. Mamasan: Iruka. Type: 20-30yo.
    • Jack in the Box
        (see map), 6361-3271. Young crowd. Closed Thu.
    • Kuro
        OK Bld 16-6 Doyama-cho (see map), Kita-ku, 6313-4665, email. Located very near the entrance of Doyama-cho gay area. Confusingly there is a another bar named Kuro with a green sign nearby, but you will be very unwelcome if you go to the wrong one, so look for Kuro's BLUE sign on the inner right-hand side of a small hallway off the main street. Since the sign is in Japanese, the easiest thing to do is to call the bar and have someone meet you in front of Explosion. This oldest gay bar in Osaka frequented by middle-aged and mature gay men (30s - 70s). Owner Seiichi is incredibly friendly as are his regular guests. Expect to attract a lot of attention in this warm, amiable, and cozy Japanese-style bar. Drink menu is more limited to traditional Japanese libations like shoju spirits. English spoken. 大阪市北区堂山町16—6 OKビル
    • Leibniz
        6362-0239. Same building as Motoba and Cafe J. Leibniz sign is clearly visible from the street in the first floor corridor. Master: Hiroshi. Type: 20-40yo.
    • Lupu (mixed) UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        Kansai-Chuo Bld (see map), Bekan 1/F, 101 15-2 Doyama-cho, Kita-ku, 6364-1357. This lesbian-run mixed bar welcomes visiting gays and lesbians. Owners Yu and Rika are extremely friendly and will quickly put you at ease. Yu speaks English and both are very helpful. Inexpensive drinks and snacks. Karaoke if you like. Relaxed atmosphere to meet old friends and make new ones. They are happy to host birthday events and will organize the cake and decorations. Open 8pm-5am, closed Wed. 大阪市北区堂山町15—2 関西中央ビル別館1F  101 Utopia Member Discount.
    • Marriage
        401 Kyuei Leisure Bld, 16-10 Doyama-cho, 6311-1588. Mamasan: Seiko. Type: 20-30yo.
    • Motoba
        6312-6363. 4/F in the same building as Leibnitz and Cafe J. Gets busy in the wee ours and stays open until morning when the trains run again. Japanese atmosphere, friendly, some English spoken. Crowd is 20-30s.
    • Nagasaki
        B/F, Doyama-cho (opposite Saiyamen, see map). Small, friendly Japanese style bar for older men and their younger fans.
    • Physique Pride Osaka UTOPIA VERIFIED JAN 2014, UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        8-23 Sanyo-Kaikan (see map), Doyama-cho, Kita-ku, 6361-2430, email. Always popular. Located at street level, the first bar just inside the building where Explosion disco is located. This casual, international gay bar celebrated its 20th anniversary in Sep 2013. No cover charge. Hideki runs a cheerful place, very friendly for foreigners, with the emphasis on fun. The music is never too loud to hamper conversation. Physique also supports AIDS/HIV awareness and human rights activities in cooperation with Osaka City and the local gay community. Younger, hip crowd, with many gaisen (Japanese who like foreigners). There are always special events planned. Ask for or pick up an event schedule flyer by the door. 大阪市北区堂山町8—23 サンヨー会館1F
    • Popeye
        3/F Daiichi Shoei Bld, 6-15 Doyama-cho, Kita-ku (right around the corner from Explosion, just south), 6315-1502, email. Same floor as Bacchus and right next door to Peach Pit. The sign on the street is in Japanese, so don't bother looking for it unless you read kanji, just look for Bacchus' sign instead. Master: Hiroshi. Friendly, well-established Japanese-style bar. Young crowd. Bar sponsors group activities. Type: 20-30yo. You'll be most comfortable here if you speak some Japanese.
    • Saiyamen
        B/F, Doyama-cho (opposite Nagasaki, see map), 6364-3633, email. Friendly. Some English spoken at this Japanese style bar. Cute bar captains. Crowd is 20-50.
    • Studio Grip
        A-323 4 Ysuruno-cho Kitaku, Nomura Umeda. Young, college, mustache, body builders.
    • WaaGwaan UTOPIA VERIFIED JUL 2015
        4/F Nippo Sunrise Town Bld (see map), 06-6365-1991, email. Lesbian-owned WaaGwaan is a small and cozy place to unwind and savour a little taste of vegan food. Straight, LGBT, black, white, Asian, Latino, mixed - no matter who you are - all are weclome. So, drop in, forget about your worries, and enjoy the moment!


    • Town Space H2
        4-3-16 Chuo-ku, Namba (on the street behind the big old Kabuki theater) 6644-0809. Close to Namba Station and Swisshotel. The master is named Hiroshi. Very friendly small bar with a family atmosphere. Customers will chat up foreign guests out of curiosity, at the very least. Japanese style bar so a nominal a "table charge" will be added to the bill and includes a snack. Karaoke available. Crowd is in their 20's and 30's, mostly Japanese with some foreigners, especially visiting Asians from around the region who are made very welcome here. Taiwanese and Japanese-speaking staff. Some English spoken. Open daily from 8pm until late. 大阪市中央区難波4-3-16 (GTタウン5F)


    • Caf Cordi
        3/F Hermanos Bld 3-23, Dotonbori 2-Chome, Chuo-ku, 06-7492-7310, email. Gay-owned bar and snacks. Revove your shoes and relax in a Japanese home style environment. They have bar counter seating, floor chair room and table room. All no smoking area. Free Wi-fi. International meals or snacks and home made adult cake. Vegetarians welcome.


    • Explosion UTOPIA VISITED SEP 2013
        B1 Sanyo Kaikan (see map), 8-23 Doyama-cho, 6312-5003, email. Large dance club popular with trendy gays, lesbians and visitors. Open nightly until early morning.

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