Out in Tokyo
In putting finger to smart phone screen, I’m reminded of a routine from Monty Pythons Flying Circus:
“So, you’ve… you know… you’ve done it.”
“You’ve… slept… with a lady.”
Which is nonsense.
Of course I haven’t.
But I was interviewed recently about being gay in Japan.
How to answer…? I’ve had ramen, tsukemen, tan-tan men — in effect, developing a whole new range of taste in men.
Seriously, though, life in rural Japan has been closeted for me, which I resent somewhat. Back home in Oz, I was as out as they get.
Meanwhile, on the streets of Tokyo, many know of ‘the gay area’ Shinjuku 2-chome. Not worth visiting if you’re not a ‘member’ of the team. People like their privacy. It’s not a zoo. There are about 300 bars there and I’ve been to about 7 (Kinsmen and Tac’s Knot were great). Most are tiny, some are host bars.
There are no great dance clubs. Some good dance parties held in bigger venues every few months.
The area is young, and I don’t feel so welcome there at 45.
Recently a mate told me about the scenes at Shinbashi and Ueno. These are apparently for a more mature crowd.
In terms of finding love (?), or trade, I think less happens in cruising clubs than online these days. Gaydar seems old school, Grindr more effective in central Tokyo. Japanese guys use Jack’d and 9monsters apps, and play just as many games as gay guys online around the world.
I deplore the lack of awareness of STIs here. Government policy doesn’t help matters.
On a positive note, I attended one of the rainbow pride marches last year at Yoyogi. Was lovely weather and a friendly, festive atmosphere.