THE SECRET OF HAVING THE PROPER GAY NIGHT OUT (INCLUDING ILLEGAL DANCING)



Yes, the neighborhood called Shinjuku Nichome is the block with 100 gay bars (they say so), but as the foreigners are welcome in a very few and as I'd like to party together with them, there's only one way to do it. I've been to more - but was so NOT impressed. Oh and it only works on Friday and Saturday night. On other nights the bars are still open, but you will meet max 10 guys in a bar and they will be most likely be working there.

Every year I come back to Tokyo the trends change a bit, however the bars are always the same. If you wanna start early (8-10pm) you should go to DRAGON MEN. Thats a good place for a happy hour or if you wanna get wasted before the last train, right after midnight). I prefer to come later and stay the night, but with a better crowd (more international guys, less girls)! This place used to show porn on the screens above the bar - huge thanks to the managers for stopping that nonsense. Waiters are still only in their underwear - not as cute as you would imagine in a gay bar, but the good part - they do not expect the tip. Drinks are 600-700 yen. Make sure you don't ask just for vodka/gin with something - tell the brand you want - otherwise you will get the cheapest shit, that will ruin your next day. Sometimes you have to fight your way to the bar - but that's ok. By the way, this is also a good place to use the bathroom if you're just passing by - usually there are no lines.

Some men, most older generation or French (don't ask me why), start their night at AIIRO CAFE which basically means ordering your overpriced drink in a hole in the wall (the bar fits 6-8 persons) and drinking in the street. I never understood this phenomenon and I'd never recommend it. I will not even put the rating for this nonsense.

After you are done at DRAGON MEN, walk around the same block to ARTY FARTY for your only chance to (legally) dance tonight. Yes - in other places you are not allowed to dance (but guys still do that in one way or the other). Arty is never changing, every Friday and Saturday night this tiny (it is Japan!) place is totally packed by rice queens, potato queens, foreigners, tourists, cabin crew, Disneyland dancers - all the colors of the rainbow. Best time to arrive is between 11pm and midnight as before midnight the queue gets really long. All you need to get in is to buy one drink (but trust me one drink will not be enough as this crowd doesn't do anything without a drink in the hand). Even though the staff sometimes is rather rude, the visitors are extremely friendly. Just stay closer to the bar with all the foreigners, or dance after a few drinks. I used to go there alone knowing that it will not take long to make new friends. It's kind of oasis where expats meet, plus you can meet all the guys visiting Tokyo this weekend! All this colorful crowd goes pretty crazy till 1am when the venue closes and everyone moves back to DRAGON MEN or ANNEX (which is dying), but you can have a peek (the same stamp works) to see the signs saying 'do not dance'.

DRAGON MEN after 1am becomes pretty wild. Super busy just as I like it and everybody is dancing even though it's illegal here. More drink, more spilling of the drinks, more stepping on the feet, more drunk Japanese becoming friendly (or aggressive). I hope you are not wearing anything expensive, because you will have stains on it. Also, make sure you're hammered and everybody is shit faced around you. Around 3am the crowd that still has some money get into taxis while the others stay there and sleep on the sofas till the first train around 5am.

Just a side note - you will not see any Japanese making out with another Japanese - even in a gay bar PDA is a big no no. So only foreigners do that. It did happen to me a few times in these bars!

And now my fave part - the ratings:

ARTY FARTY 🍭🍭🍭🍭

hotness of the crowd ---------🍭🍭🍭🍭

friendliness of the people ----🍭🍭🍭🍭🍭

music quality ------------------🍭🍭🍭🍭

drinks --------------------------🍭🍭🍭🍭🍭

lights and sound --------------🍭🍭🍭🍭

coolness of the venue --------🍭🍭🍭🍭

DRAGON MEN 🍭🍭🍭

hotness of the crowd ---------🍭🍭🍭🍭

friendliness of the people ----🍭🍭🍭🍭

music quality ------------------🍭🍭🍭

drinks --------------------------🍭🍭🍭🍭

lights and sound --------------🍭🍭

coolness of the venue --------🍭🍭

ANNEX 🍭🍭

hotness of the crowd ---------🍭🍭

friendliness of the people ----🍭🍭🍭

music quality ------------------🍭🍭

drinks --------------------------🍭🍭🍭🍭🍭

lights and sound --------------🍭🍭

coolness of the venue --------🍭🍭

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