For most foreigners, gay Tokyo means Shinjuku 2-chome, but for Japanese, and many Japanese-conversant foreigners, Tokyo's gay scene extends considerably further.
The biggest concentration of gay bars in Tokyo outside of Shinjuku Ni-Chome is in Shinbashi, just south of Ginza.
Unlike Shinjuku, the gay bars in Shimbashi do not form a tight enclave. They are also generally smaller and effectively reserved for (Japanese) regular customers. Also, Shinbashi is definitely for the more mature set, the average age group being 35-50 years old. This makes for quite a different vibe from the predominantly youthful Ni-Chome.
I was in Shimbashi on the weekend. It is easily accessed. The area is served by the following railway lines: Japan Rail Yamanote Line, the Ginza Subway Line, the Asakusa Subway Line, and, via the nearby Shiodome Station, the Rinkai Line, and the Oedo Subway Line.
With a group of friends, we called in on Town House Tokyo. Town House Tokyo has been a gay Shinbashi presence since 2003. It is big for a Japanese gay bar, cheap at 500 yen a drink, popular (especially on Fridays, when we went), friendly, has karaoke, and theme nights, including regular underwear-only nights. The staff is welcoming and attentive, making sure you always have a drink, and the free and easy seating/standing arrangement means the chance to chat up is always there.
As with most Japanese gay bars: no photo taking - thus our pictorial coverage (at top) being limited to the outside entrance - the stairs at right.
Read more about gay Shimbashi.
Like this blog? Sign up for the JapanVisitor newsletter
Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Tokyo Apartments Search
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Town House Tokyo