Visit the iconic capital city for your next unforgettable experience in Japan. Pop culture, endless stories and a large, but somewhat underground LGBTQ+ life. Here are some ideas for your first twirl through Tokyo.
Discover New Places
Visit the main kabuki theatre and Jingu-bashi bridge, just in front of Yoyogi Park in Harajuku. It’s the perfect place to see kids in cosplay, where people dress up as their favorite characters and is one of the quintessential Tokyo sights. Admire the Tokyo Station, its red-brick facade a prominent reminder of Japan’s rush to modernization in the early 20th century, or take a look at the three traditional houses in Yanaka, which include some rather innovative venues and eclectic shops.
Live Your Dream Story
The Imperial Palace is the official residence of the Emperor of Japan and the former location of Edo Castle. Much of the palace is closed to the public, but the area around Fujimi-yagura, best known as Higashi Gyoen, is a public park that’s free to wander. Bring your color spectrum and take a selfie at the city’s most famous bridge crossing: Tokyo Bay, the Rainbow Bridge. And then go to the most exciting bar in Otsuka, where you’ll see the space transformed into a very Japanese version of a famous French cabaret.
Taste Your Way Through the City
When you visit Japan, you can eat sushi delivered by a robot train! Yes, you can enjoy the chance to live in the future and order your food from a touch screen with your order delivered by a tiny robot train that parks directly in front of you with a cheery beep. You also don't want to miss a Totoro from the hit movie “My Neighbor Totoro." These amazing choux pastries come in seasonal flavors, which range from strawberry to peach to chocolate. Your final food adventure could be in Yoyogi Park at Path, which serves great breakfast and brunch, all with a French touch.
See Stunning Views
If you’re in Tokyo in the summer, grab a ticket to the volcanically active Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, home to huge resorts and theme parks, as well as one of the most popular starting points for hikers tackling the mountain. You can spend few hours enjoying the views or relax at Lake Kawaguchiko, which makes for a very memorable visit.
Explore the LGBTQ+ scene
If you want a serious taste of the colorful LGBTQ+ side of Tokyo, Shinjuku or Ni-chome will be the perfect places to get it. Also in terms of nightlife, Tokyo does not need to hide behind other gay-friendly cities all across the globe. Tac’s Knot or Home are the best ones in the city, but if you want to dance you can try Arty Farty or Vita Tokyo. If you want to experience Tokyo as a local, the city hast many gay-friendly restaurants and cafés. One of the most gay-popular is the CoCoLo Café and Restaurant. Also, immerse yourself in the Okamalt book café, the only shop in the city dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community. Here you can meet To Ogura, a Japanese gay culture pioneer, well known as Margarette, one of the most famous drag queens in Tokyo.
Giuseppe is an IGLTA member and LGBTQ+ tourism hospitality marketing specialist. Born in Naples, he can speak Italian and English plus basic French and German. He's worked with several global tour operators, tourism businesses and travel agencies as a specialist in Digital Strategy and Sales.
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