Tokyo’s Shinjuku District Emerges as a Popular LGBTQ+ International Destination
Progressive and positive changes for LGBTQ+ couples in Tokyo make it an increasingly hot destination for international LGBTQ+ travelers to visit, specifically the gay-friendly Shinjuku Nichome district, which is the largest gay district in Asia. There are other smaller LGBTQ+ friendly zones as well, in such places as Shinbashi, Ueno and Asakusa.
If you’re considering a trip to Tokyo, see below for travel information, including LGBTQ+-friendly places to stay as well as gay-owned restaurants and bars.
Where to Play
so bar Naruaki
As mentioned before, Tokyo has quite a few LGBTQ+ areas that are must-see stops for visitors, such as the Shinjuku Nichome, Shinbashi, Ueno, and Asakusa. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore food away from your hotel, then you should consider trying the gay-owned restaurant and bar, visit so bar Naruaki!
Climb the stairs of an old building to the fifth floor and you find a small Japanese buckwheat soba noodle bar. When you see outside through the restaurant’s window, there are a lot of trees. Try Japanese sake, beer and wine along with tasty dishes, where vegetables take center stage and become an important part of the restaurant’s menu. You can’t leave without trying the Japanese Soba buckwheat noodles handmade by the chef and owner, Naruaki! Before you go, just remember that a reservation is required.
Address: Shinjuku Building #1, 5th Floor 3-1-32, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
After you’ve taken on an authentic, gay-friendly dining experience in Shinjuku, it’s time to experience the District’s LGBTQ+ nightlife, including bars like the Tokyo Eagle, Bridge, and Chappy. But there’s one gay bar you definitely want to make sure you visit in the area – it’s USAGI and it’s open every day! This bar offers a collection of rare and unique sake from all over Japan. Don’t be nervous if you think there might be a language barrier. Why? The friendly English-speaking owner will keep you entertained, so, you don’t have to worry if you come alone. The bar opens at 8pm with no set closing time. And no set day when it is closed.
Address: Ebana Building, 4th Floor 2-10-2, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Bridge, a comfortable adult space where you can experience tranquil, reserved yet friendly conversation with everyone. The “Bridge” will be a bridge to connect you and undiscovered friends you are just about to meet.
Address: 6th floor, Sensho Building 2-13-16, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
EAGLE/EAGLE TOKYO BLUE
EAGLE TOKYO welcomes everyone to enjoy drinks made by the very handsome bear staff. You will meet amazing locals and other international friends and visitors. There are two locations, but a very short distance apart, check out the two addresses below.
EAGLE TOKYO Address: 2-12-3, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
EAGLE TOKYO BLUE Address: B1F, CASA VERDE, 2-11-2, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
CHAPPY is a Japanese style gay bar. The staff and the owner would like customers to have fun with everyone around you. It is a tiny place, but the atmosphere will fill you with feelings of warmth and comfort.
Address: 2nd floor, 4-15-3 Higashiueno, Taitoh-ku, Tokyo
Are you inspired to book an immersive LGBTQ+-friendly trip to Tokyo, Japan for an immersive visit in the Shinjuku Nichome district? Visit “Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New” Official Website for more information. You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. E-mail: email@example.com
Where to Stay
For LGBTQ+ vacationers looking for inclusive places to stay, CEN Diversity Hotel & Café and Tokyu Stay Shinjuku are recommended accommodations that are conveniently located near the Shinjuku Nichome district, the biggest LGBTQ+ district in Asia.
CEN Diversity Hotel & Café
As the hotel’s name suggests, the CEN Diversity Hotel & Café welcomes a diverse mix of guests as its website touts, “Japan’s first diversity hotel that breaks barriers of nationality, age, and gender.” Not only was an LGBTQ+ designer instrumental in the hotel’s design, but the hotel’s management makes a concerted effort to hire LGBTQ+ staff, and before its opening, provided LGBTQ+ training to staff. Located in a secluded area away from the busy side of the city, this hotel features 44 private rooms (41 double-bed rooms and three deluxe double-bed rooms), a café, and a terrace.
Cen Café and Bar, with 30+ seats on the outside terrace, serves up delicious dishes, including vegan pizza, pasta with shrimp, and fried chicken. The Bar offers patrons craft beer, wine, sangria, coffee, and an assortment of fruit tea made with fresh fruit and high-quality tea leaves.
Tokyu Stay Shinjuku
Tokyu Stay Shinjuku is the ideal hotel for guests who need to book an overnight stay or for extended stays for business or sightseeing. It’s located only minutes on foot from the nightlife of the Shinjuku Nichome district and it has a range of spacious rooms from a Casual Single Room to a Twin or Double Room.
The management staff of Tokyu Stay Shinjuku have a track record of training by LGBTQ+ experts, and they have created an environment that welcomes LGBTQ+ guests.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.