In May 2015, Hiroki Inaba, vice president of Goldman Sachs Japan Co.'s legal department, came out as gay, after almost 13 years with the company and 10 yea
Special coming-of-age ceremonies catering to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people are growing popular in Japan, providing an opportunity for sexual minorities to celebrate and express their true selves.
A university student was among some 40 participants, including family members, who participated in an LGBT ceremony on Feb. 12 in the city of Saga to encourage and congratulate those who had reached the age of 20 over the past year.
Takahiko Morinaga, who started the Japan LGBT Research Institute, discusses the nascent state of LGBT marketing in Japan.
Let's start off with a few things specifically for LGBTQ travelers that are good to know prior to showing up at the onsen followed by a general step by step guide to the entire process. My goal is to make sure you're fully informed and can make a decision about whether onsen is something you'd like to try!
IT'S A BATHHOUSE BUT NOT A "BATHHOUSE"
Bathhouses are not a new concept to many in the LGBTQ community, particularly those in the G category. Gay bathhouses are a common sight in most major Western cities, though the arrival of the internet and smartphone may be curbing younger generations interest or need for such facilities. Please note that unlike their western gay counterparts, Japanese onsen are generally not a location where men go to meet one another for casual sexual encounters. Yes, there's an option for soaking in a hot bath. Yes, there's communal nudity. But the similarities end there. Going to an onsen with an expectation of sexual activity or even meeting other LGBTQ individuals will likely end at a minimum with your disappointment and at most with your involvement with the Japanese police force.
Since becoming the first municipality in Japan to declare support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in 2013, the Yodogawa Ward Office in Osaka has attracted attention from other institutions keen to learn from its approach.
The ward first moved to implement measures to help LGBT people after ward chief Masafumi Sakaki met former U.S. Consul General for Osaka-Kobe, Patrick Linehan, who is openly gay, to discuss the issue.