There's gay life in Japan beyond Tokyo, not matter what those capital-dwelling naysayers might say. Osaka is the center of Japan's second biggest metropolitan area, with 17 million people or so... so, do the math and you'll see we've got plenty to offer the LGBT traveler! This experience shows you two distinct areas of Osaka with their handily bifurcated audiences.
What is included in the tour
- All guide expenses for the English speaking, well-versed guide from the LGBT community.
- A light meal and a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) at a local restaurant.
- One more drink at an LGBT-oriented bar.
- Transit while on tour.
What is NOT included in the tour
- Drinks and food beyond the provisions described above.
- Learn about LGBT culture past and present as it has transcended gender and generations.
- Explore Shin-sekai and see how the more closeted world of gay life continues among membership bars and other venues.
- Kick it up a notch and down a couple decades or so as you explore Doyama, the modern day center of Osaka gay culture, with all it has to offer.
- Add on optional services to make a bigger night of it, as we introduce you to further adventure as befits your interests.
We start your evening in the Shin-sekai area of Osaka, a place most visitors know of as strictly a place for Osaka style foods and garish sights. Behind the flash, however, lies the semi-fertile remnants of a secret society. Yes, it's The Men Who Do Things with Other Men. Back in the day (which was not quite as long ago as you may think, and is in some quarters not even in the past), gay men dutifully got married to women, thought sexy thoughts to make babies with their wives, and then proceeded to live secret lives in "membership" bars and gay saunas. Nowadays some of these more cellared Adonises do in fact live with at least one foot tentatively out of the closet, but the culture and camaraderie of the "our little secret" lifestyle lives on in Technicolor-hued reality here in the Shin-sekai area. We'll walk around, chat, peek, and depending on the crowd, may even stop by one of the bars.
While down yonder in Shin-sekai, we'll nibble on some tasty treats because, as it turns out, the food is pretty darn good in these parts. Our light dinner and drink here is included in the tour price. We've got some of that vaunted flexibility (and an undoubtedly healthy dose of innuendo), so we can choose what to eat based on your likes and dislikes. Popular options include "kushi katsu" (fried items on sticks) and also a series of small plates like miso-simmered beef tendon, or on the more straight and narrow, tempura, tofu varieties, grilled chicken, etc. We'll get you clicking your heels one way or another.
A fifteen minute train ride brings us to an entirely different beast of a scene: Doyama. This is modern, unhidden-but-not-quite-boastful gay culture in Japan. Here the gay youth, their admirers, and the young at heart frolic. There are most certainly over a hundred bars and other venues to add flash to you sass here, from tiny bars to full on dance clubs, with some genre non-sequiturs on tap as well. After a proper walkabout, we'll stop by one of the bars for a drink (also included in your tour price). Doyama pulses with a very different vibe than Shin-sekai, and there really is something for everyone up in here. With a Japanese speaker at your side, it also becomes very accessible. Let us assist you with your anthropological studies.
We're not the judgmental types, so as the tour ends, we're happy to point you in any direction you may want to go. You are on vacation, after all!