Gay Guide

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Other Main Cities/Resorts

Yokohama, Osaka, Ngoya, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyoto

Scene and Culture

The absence of legal codes forbidding homosexuality is somewhat illusory, because societal rather than statutory regulations are preeminent. Homosexual behaviours are neither forbidden not heavily stigmatized in modern Japan, provided they respect the prevailing framework of social and familial responsibilities. There remains no place in Japanese society for the exclusively gay or lesbian individual who is unwilling or unable to sublimate his or her sexual identity and pursue the charade of marriage.

There is a large gay community in Japan with huge numbers of bars and clubs as well as annual Pride festivals in cities like Tokyo and Sapporo. All the larger cities in Japan have a scene but Tokyo and Osaka are definately the gay capitals.

Japanese etiquette and customs are something that foreigners struggle with. You should be aware though that some Japanese establishments do not welcome foreigners so we would recommend you use the resources on this site to familiarise yourself with how the gay scene works in Japan making sure you go to the establishments which welcome foreigners.

Gay Age of Consent


Lesbian Age of Consent


Straight Age of Consent


Legal Notes

There are no legal prescriptions against homosexuality in Japan, nor any laws concerning the practice of sodomy. The age of consent in Japan is technically 13. However all prefectures have their own respective laws which prohibit adults from having sex with youths under 17. There is no specific anti-discrimination legislation in Japan but there have been cases where the courts have ruled against overt discrimination against gays and lesbians.There is no formal partnership recognition in Japan but in an apparent first two gays were married at a Shinto shrine in 1999. Gays can not join the Japanese army. Whilst certain types of prostitution is illegal in Japan because Japanese authorities don't recognize sexual conduct between same sex partners not characterizing it as true "sexual conduct" there is ambiguity as to whether gay prostitution is illegal or not.


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The best time to visit Japan is during the Spring months of March to May or late Autumn. The main summer months can be very hot and very wet.

The climate of Japan is quite distinct for each region, but it is generally of two major types. (1.) A marine or oceanic climate that is influenced by the Black Current and the Parent Current. (2.) A tropical climate that is regulated by the Asian monsoons while the Asian mainland climate also controls the temperature and precipitation in Japan. Two periods of heavy rains occur, the Plum Rains in June and the other in September. Between these two periods the country is hot, humid and rainless with typhoons occurring from the end of summer through to October. The cycle and length of the seasons also varies depending on each region. Average temperature ranges in Tokyo are from -2c to 8c in January to 22c to 30c in August

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