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Tokyo

Japan

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Tokyo Gay Guide

Introduction

Tokyo, home to about 35 million people. That means at least one million sisters. Add fresh sushi, quirky fashion, high-tech gadgets, eccentric nightlife and you understand why gays love Tokyo. Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s overwhelming. But Tokyo is a trend-setter for so many things in Asia. So if you haven’t been to Tokyo, you can’t really understand Asia. Hyper-trendy shopping areas like Harajuku or Shibuya are part of Tokyo’s DNA in the same way as the ancient Meiji Shrine with its 1,700 year old cypress trees. It’s a diverse mix of old and new but no matter what the age, everything is so lovable Japanese. So start saving some money and book your trip to Tokyo, you won’t regret it. In fact, we are pretty sure it won’t be the last time you’ll visit.

Getting there

Tokyo Narita (NRT) is the main international airport of Tokyo, about 70km out of town. The airport is quite old but pretty efficient. Customs checks at arrival are quite strict so expect that you have to open-up your bag. Try to hide your dildos and poppers somewhere. Once you get this over with, you have several options how to get to town. Forget taxis, they cost about ¥30,000. A good option are limousine buses to drop you at majors hotel for about ¥3,500. But we think the best option is by train. There is the cheaper Keisei Limited Express that takes you to Ueno Station for ¥1,200. And the more faster Narita Express to Tokyo Station, Shibuya, Shinjuku for about ¥3,000. If you take the Narita Express, buy the Suica & N’EX combo ticket. It costs ¥5,500, includes a roundtrip ticket on Narita Express airport-city-airport as well as ¥1,500 to use on Tokyo’s subway system. And you get ¥500 back when you return the card at the end of the trip. It’s pretty good value and only valid for tourists, not our Japanese sisters.

The other international airport in Tokyo is Haneda (HND). It’s only 14km from Tokyo so if you have a choice to fly into Narita or Haneda, maybe you want to choose Haneda. Many airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways serve both airports. To get into Tokyo, use the Monorail for ¥470 to Hamamatsucho where you can connect to the city’s subway system. There is also a combo ticket Suica & Monorail available that’s good value.

Please note that Japan may require you to apply for visa prior to arriving in Japan. So plan early and check with the Immigration Bureau of Japan for all the required documents.

Getting around

Taxis are available but theyTaxis are available but they are super expensive. So try to focus on the subway. The good news is that it’s clean, safe and goes anywhere you want to go. There are 13 lines serving 274 stations. And fares are pretty OK, starting at ¥110. The bad news is that it can be a little confusing. Some lines are operated by Tokyo Metro, some by Toei. And the line which you will probably use the most is the Yamanote circle line operated by JR. But you can connect between all lines with one single ticket.

You can buy tickets with cash at all stations and instructions are available in English. You will probably use the subway quite a lot so it’s probably worth getting the prepaid fare card called “Suica” if you not already got one at the airport. You can add value to the card and the system will always deduct the appropriate fare when you use it. There is a ¥500 refundable deposit on it.

If you are enjoying the nightlife, note that the last train is usually around 01:00. So either take the last train or keep drinking until the sun comes up can catch the first train around 05:00. Also try to avoid rush hour unless you really want to get close to the Japanese people. But if you travel between 10:00 and 16:00 or after 20:00 when you shouldn’t have any problems.

When to go

Tokyo is fun all year round, although winters can get quite cold, especially if a snowstorm passes through. But even if it’s cold and snowing outside, there are fun things to do. Like going to the mountains for skiing or take day-trip to a hot spring (Onsen) resort. Summers in Tokyo are warm, 20-30°C from May to October. Rainfall is quite even throughout the year, without a particular rainy season.

A special event happens in early April. Sakura is when the cherry blossom trees all over Japan are in full bloom. In Tokyo this usually happens in early April and only lasts for a few days. It is difficult to plan a trip just to see Sakura because the exact date depends on the weather but if you happen to be there, you will love it. Ueno Park is one of the best places to enjoy this unique spectacle. Another event to consider when planning your trip to Tokyo are the regular gay parties called Shangri-La at Ageha. The annual Tokyo Gay Pride happens in April.

What to see

Imperial Palace

The main residence of the Emperor of Japan set in a large park

Meiji Shrine

Located in a quiet forest in the heart to Tokyo

Tsukiji Fish Market

Get up early and see the largest fish market in the world

Roppongi Hills

Tokyo’s new urban center, modern and very upper class

Harajuku/Shibuya

Crazy shopping area for trendy fashion and accessories

Stay connected

Tokyo is a city where you caTokyo is a city where you can get lost easily. So it’s not a bad idea to bring your smartphone. In case you are lost just check Google Maps or open Jack’d to get help from a friendly local sister. Buying a local SIM isn’t too difficult. It’s easiest to buy one at the airport as the staff speak English. Softbank is a mobile network operator and as shops at Narita Airport and Haneda Airport that sell prepaid SIM cards. Almost all hotels in Tokyo offer WiFi and many of them are free of charge for guests.

Gay life

Tokyo is a glitzy modern metropolis at the surface but old traditions run deep. While there is no law banning same-sex activities, gay life in Japan is fairly low key. There are just a few openly gay celebrities and politicians. Many sisters are not openly gay, at least not to their families and at work. Even the gay quarter of Shinjuku Ni-Chome is quite subdued. A couple of gay video stores and a number of gay bars, that’s it. Gay-rights issues are not really on the agenda so same-sex marriage won’t be allowed anytime soon. Gay life in Japan happens mostly behind closed doors. And behind these doors, it can get quite raunchy. Japanese gay porn is hugely popular and caters to all sorts of kinky sisters. Also on the web, there are countless Japanese-language gay porn websites that show all you could possibly want to see.

 



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