Gay Country Rank: 75/193

 

A city of vast contradictions, Tokyo’s gay scene is both of restrained and thriving.

Tokyo is separated into different wards, with Shinjuku being the most well-known and the most crowded. The gay community is continuously growing within the confines of Shinjuku Ni-chome (Area 2) neighbourhood. Seemingly straight by day, Ni-chome turns gay by night.

Ni-chome is believed to have the highest concentration of gay bars anywhere in the world because of its small, dense area – a few small blocks intertwined into Shinjuku’s busy business, shopping and nightlife centre. Though most bars welcome non-Japanese patrons, the scene primarily caters for its Japanese regulars.

Many gay men still feel restrained by Japan’s strict yet unspoken demand for social conformity that is only now beginning to soften when it comes to same-sex relationships. In a culture where homosexuality is ignored more than accepted, and where people are expected to marry into traditional marriages, many gay men choose to anonymously express their sexuality at Gay Bars in Shinjuku Ni-chome.

However, Tokyo’s gay scene is not limited to Ni-chome. A number of other areas have several gay bars. Such information can be found in the Otoko-machi map (boy’s town map), a countrywide guide to Japanese gay establishments.

 

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