Osaka, the LGBTQ capital of Japan, and the new IGLTA Destination of the Year 2021

Osaka, Japan, has a thriving queer community with over 100 gay bars, ten lesbian bars, and a burgeoning trans nightlife scene!

Now, just in time for Osaka’s Rainbow Festa (Pride Festival) in October this year, the historic Japanese city of Osaka has just become an IGLTA Featured Destination and is launching the country’s first Destination Marketing Organization led Pride Month campaign!

The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau, has created an array of initiatives and celebrations to really showcase the diversity of Osaka to the global LGBTQ community, starting with a series of beautiful videos showcasing the city to the queer community.

The city has also created a portal showcasing LGBTQ+ friendly events, bars, hotels, tours and dining locations across the city. Head to to learn more.

The Open Arms Project is another initiative to promote LGBTQ+ tourism. This will see collaborations between local business and LGBTQ tourism professionals to develop new tourism experiences unique to Osaka. These unique experiences will be shared with the world to show how open and welcoming Osaka is to global visitors.  

Gay history in Osaka dates back to the 1950’s with the opening of the Takeonoya Ryokan in the Nishinari ward of Osaka, which was the original Japanese cruising spot. In 1989, Japan’s first, and also oldest and longest-lived, drag queen party, Diamonds Are Forever, started in Osaka, although it has now moved to Kyoto and still going strong. Pride is held in October every year, with the first event taking place in 2006. Osaka is also home to the first government district in the country to officially support LGBT human rights too.

No visit to Japan would be complete without a taste of Sake, and One Cup Rainbow Edition Sake from Ozeki Corporation has been developed and designed with the symbolic LGBTQ rainbow colors and will be seen across participating venues such as the W Hotel, Hotel It, Hotel Royal, and Zentis Osaka during the city’s Pride celebrations.

If you’re planning a trip to Japan, Osaka is a must for all LGBTQ+ travellers. For more info on what to do and see, as well as where to party, dine and shop in Osaka head to:

BWM Staff

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