Just as is common in other countries, bars have served as a meeting place and safe haven for queer people in Japan. However, while big cities have more pronounced “gay districts” such as Shinjuku’s famous Ni-Chome, in other cities and prefectures, they can be nondescript, hidden, or indistinguishable from other neighborhoods.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to a website called “G Click”, which has handy search engines for finding establishments catering to queer clientele across Japan.
CAUTION: “G Click” occasionally has pornographic banner ads, so it is 100% NSFW!
Let’s get started!
Method 1: Search for Shop
First, let’s navigate to “G Click” → http://www.gclick.jp
Here’s what the homepage will look like. Today, we are going to focus on two methods of finding queer establishments, the first being “search for shop”. Click on it.
This is where some general knowledge of Japanese, as well as knowledge of gay terminology, would become useful. Likewise, you can also use the browser plugins “Rikai-chan” for Firefox or “Rikai-kun” for Google Chrome to help you out.
Let’s look at the options one by one.
① Insert keyword – This would be useful if you already know the name of a specific establishment, but want to search for more information.
② Search by prefecture – You can insert the name of a specific prefecture in kanji.
③ Search by town – This area allows you to select specific cities and neighborhoods with established gay districts to search. The selectable areas are as follows:
④ Search by type – You can select the type of establishment you are looking for.
ゲイバー ・Gay bar: A bar for queer men
ミックスバー・Mixed Bar: A bar that allows both queer men and women
ホストスナック・Host and Snack bar: A bar where you’ll pay for drinks, karaoke, and the company of a host
ショーパブ・”Show pub”: A bar with dancers
クルージング・A cruising spot
サウナ・ホテル・Sauna and hotel- A gay bathhouse with a place to stay.
マッサージ・A massage parlor
出張 売り専・Escort/ Rent boy services
ショップ・Specialty shops that sell sex and entertainment goods
レストラン/カフェ・Restaurants and Cafes (Not so sure about this one…maybe they have queer owners?)
⑤ Search by karaoke – Many gay bars have karaoke machines, but you can use this option to be completely sure.
⑥ Search by customer base – This allows you to search for an establishment that suits you or your “type”.
Handsome young man, reminiscent of the male idols of “Johnny & Associates, Inc.”asculine gay man who are mature in both behavior and appearance
⑦ Search by age group
⑧ Miscellaneous search criteria
After clicking search, your results will appear in the right hand column below.
I did an example search, checking off Hakata area gay bars catering to college students and men in their twenties that allow foreigners. And of course, I checked off karaoke for good measure. Here’s what I got:
The first three bars to appear are bar 元紀(genki), スナック先輩(Snack Senpai), and Bar Ravis. Let’s take a closer look at bar 元紀.
Here we have all the information about the establishment. It’s pretty new, having just been opened last September. It also seems to cater to everyone of drinking age and a wide variety of types. Foreigners are allowed, there’s karaoke, and Wi-Fi too. And as a fun bonus, it appears that every Thursday is ケツ割れ day, or “jockstrap day”. If we scroll down a bit, there’s also a google maps widget so you can find the bar easily.
Method 2: Search by Map
Next, let’s look at the “search by map” tab. This method of search is less specific than “search for shop”. It simply allows you to do a general search for gay establishments in the set cities and towns with well-known gay neighborhoods.
The grey tabs along the top list cities and well-established gay neighborhoods.
Your results will show up on the interactive map, and you can also click on the establishment’s information page in the right hand column.
・Host and Snack bar: A bar where you’ll pay for drinks, karaoke, and the company of a host
・”Show pub”: A bar with dancers
・A cruising spot
・Sauna and hotel- A gay bathhouse with a place to stay
・”Massage”- A massage parlor
・Escort/ Rent boy services
・Specialty shops that sell sex and entertainment goods
Happy searching, and as always, be safe!