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Gay & Lesbian Travellers

With the possible exception of Thailand, Japan is Asia’s most enlightened nation with regard to the sexual preferences of foreigners. Some travellers have reported problems when checking into love hotels with a partner of the same sex, and it does pay to be discreet in rural areas. Apart from this, same-sex couples are unlikely to encounter too many problems.

While there is a sizeable gay community in Kyoto, the gay and lesbian scene is very low-key. There is a monthly 'Diamonds are Forever' drag queen event at Metro, but there is a more active scene in Osaka and many of Kyoto’s gay residents make the trip there. Lesbians are poorly served in Kyoto and Osaka and it’s difficult to find specifically lesbian-friendly venues.

Utopia (www.utopia-asia.com) is the site most commonly frequented by English-speaking gay and lesbian people.