It’s hard to find an openly gay Japanese person. If you ask an average joe Japanese, many have very little experience of gay people or have never met an openly gay person before.
In Tokyo, many know about Shinjuku Ni-Chome but few have been there.
Quite popular with expats and Japanese alike if you have an inner gay circle, or you stumble upon the area by accident(like I did the first time).
But unlike 20 years ago, it’s not so secretive nowadays. Anyone and everyone is welcome. I’ve seen straight couples on dates in Ni-Chome bars and girls who come because they want to be left alone when they go clubbing.
It’s the highest concentration of gay clubs in the world but it also has gay sex shops, saunas, love hotels/motels, bars,cafes and iconic ‘conbini’s’ (convenience stores !) Remember ! 24 hour convenience stores in Japan sell cheap alcohol and snacks to pre-drink before clubbing if you’re strapped for cash. There’s no anti-public drinking laws so go nuts ! I had a friend who drank ‘strong zero‘ outside conbini’s who nicknamed it a ‘conbini party’.
The two biggest or most well-known clubs are Dragon Men and Arty Farty.
Dragon men is not just for men and offers a good,compact dance floor, small stage, poll and good music.
Arty Farty is more secluded as it’s up a set of stairs beside a set of lockers. It has more poles but entrance sometimes is the price of a drink.
- Arty Farty
Address: 2F, 2-11-7 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Open: Daily 6 p.m.-1 a.m.
- Dragon Men
Address: 2-11-4 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Open: Sun-Thu 6 p.m.-3 a.m.; Fri & Sat, 6 p.m.-5 a.m.