Gay Travel: Tokyo
There are very few places on earth where you can spend an evening hopping among more than 300 gay bars, take a pop culture tour with a guide that’s dressed as a maid, and play 1980s video games on the original machines for which they were originally created. In fact, there is most likely just one place where you can do all this: Tokyo. One of the world’s largest and most sophisticated cities, it has nearly all the ingredients to become Asia’s capital of gay tourism. With its combination of history, tradition. and 21st-century razzle dazzle, it’s an excellent introduction to the wonders that await elsewhere in Japan.
A city of some 12 million people, Tokyo offers a mouthwatering glimpse into the technological future. A lot of it has to do with little conveniences. Taxis have doors that open and close automatically, and riders can pay the fare with their cell phone, using tap pads. Toilets, both public and private, often have heated seats and remote controls for things like courtesy flushes. Thoughtful planning and organization extend to personal behavior as well. Civilized practices like showing up on time and queuing for trains (rather than mobbing the platform) are the norm.