Gay-friendly Japan

Details

A gay-friendly tour to discover the Empire of the Rising Sun, a country based on simplicity that has left nature in the foreground. Japan is in fact a very tolerant country and Japanese culture prefers the harmonious unity of the whole to the value of the individual person. In ancient times in the Samurai culture homosexuality was never considered a sin, indeed anal sex practices (Shudo) were very common and these practices were considered the highest forms of love.

But what do they say about the life of the samurai?

One of the best-known stories linked to the homosexual practices of the samurai (Shudo) recalls the real-life characters of Tsunetomo and Mitsushige. Both faithful to the samurai code of life (damyo), according to which the death of their lord should be followed by that of the samurai himself. However, Mitsushige orders his beloved Tsunetomo not to follow him to the grave. Thus it was that Tsunetomo spent the last years of his life dedicating himself to the drafting of a new code of honor for young samurai, the Hagakure.

How was homosexuality experienced in the past and how is it experienced today in Japan?

Homosexuality in Japan is now better accepted than in the past, although same-sex marriage is still not permitted. The term 'homosexual' was born only 125 years ago, in Japan, as there was no terminology that distinguished hetero love from homo love.

Already in the 11th century, homosexuality between samurai and between samurai and emperors is told: in Genji Monogatari (The Story of Genji).

During times of war, danshoku became a common practice. With a lack of women on the battlefield, homosexual practice began to translate into a sign of nobility and pride. The male body that resembled female traits could only be a comfort to soldiers at war and 'danshoku' began to become normality.

Following the rules of 'shudo', i.e. the education of older samurai towards younger ones, it was common for their relationship to lead to love, especially because the discipline interpreted the relationship with women as 'feminizing'. Hetero relationships were just a 'must' for procreation. In reality, virtue, honor and discipline could only be learned through homosexuality as an expression of esteemed and honored life.

It was with the advent of Western culture that 'Danshoku' became immoral. With the Meiji Restoration, male sexuality becomes taboo. Today it is tolerated and there are no traces of homophobia or sexual abuse.

The figure of the Geisha originated around the year 794, when playing, singing and dancing were considered female professions. The women, often prostitutes, were called Shirabyoshi, very popular in that era. From 160, women entertained men visiting religious places or temples with songs and dances by offering them tea and sweets. Their performance in the 17th century theater, called Kabuki, made them famous and their fame spread to Tokyo. The dancers, called 'odoriko', were the ancestors of the geisha, as known today.

Sapphic love, in a highly chauvinistic society like the Japanese one, was considered highly destabilizing and there is no evidence, except in some illustrations.

Destination: Tokyo, Hakone, Takayama,Kanazawa Kyoto (ext. to Hiroshima and Osaka).

A gay-friendly tour to discover the Empire of the Rising Sun, a country based on simplicity that has left nature in the foreground. Japan is in fact a very tolerant country and Japanese culture prefers the harmonious unity of the whole to the value of the individual person. In ancient times in the Samurai culture homosexuality was never considered a sin, indeed anal sex practices (Shudo) were very common and these practices were considered the highest forms of love.

But what do they say about the life of the samurai?

One of the best-known stories linked to the homosexual practices of the samurai (Shudo) recalls the real-life characters of Tsunetomo and Mitsushige. Both faithful to the samurai code of life (damyo), according to which the death of their lord should be followed by that of the samurai himself. However, Mitsushige orders his beloved Tsunetomo not to follow him to the grave. Thus it was that Tsunetomo spent the last years of his life dedicating himself to the drafting of a new code of honor for young samurai, the Hagakure.

How was homosexuality experienced in the past and how is it experienced today in Japan?

Homosexuality in Japan is now better accepted than in the past, although same-sex marriage is still not permitted. The term ‘homosexual‘ was born only 125 years ago, in Japan, as there was no terminology that distinguished hetero love from homo love.

Already in the 11th century, homosexuality between samurai and between samurai and emperors is told: in Genji Monogatari (The Story of Genji).

During times of war, danshoku became a common practice. With a lack of women on the battlefield, homosexual practice began to translate into a sign of nobility and pride. The male body that resembled female traits could only be a comfort to soldiers at war and ‘danshoku’ began to become normality.

Following the rules of ‘shudo‘, i.e. the education of older samurai towards younger ones, it was common for their relationship to lead to love, especially because the discipline interpreted the relationship with women as ‘feminizing‘. Hetero relationships were just a ‘must‘ for procreation. In reality, virtue, honor and discipline could only be learned through homosexuality as an expression of esteemed and honored life.

It was with the advent of Western culture that ‘Danshoku‘ became immoral. With the Meiji Restoration, male sexuality becomes taboo. Today it is tolerated and there are no traces of homophobia or sexual abuse.

The figure of the Geisha originated around the year 794, when playing, singing and dancing were considered female professions. The women, often prostitutes, were called Shirabyoshi, very popular in that era. From 160, women entertained men visiting religious places or temples with songs and dances by offering them tea and sweets. Their performance in the 17th century theater, called Kabuki, made them famous and their fame spread to Tokyo. The dancers, called ‘odoriko‘, were the ancestors of the geisha, as known today.

Sapphic love, in a highly chauvinistic society like the Japanese one, was considered highly destabilizing and there is no evidence, except in some illustrations.

Destination: Tokyo, Hakone, Takayama,Kanazawa Kyoto (ext. to Hiroshima and Osaka).

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Itinerary

Arrival at Tokyo International Airport. Meet and assist at the airport, private transfer to the hotel, check in and room accommodation.

After breakfast you will visit Tokyo city in a group tour, the tour will go through Tokyo tower, Meiji Shrine, Imperial Palace, Ginza, Lunch, Hama rikyu garden, River cruise, Asakusa, Kappabashi, Ueno, Akihabara.

At the end of the tour you can return to the hotel or do some shopping.

Around 9 PM, meeting with the English-speaking gay guide who will take you to one of the gay bars in Tokyo.

Overnight at Hotel.

After breakfast departure for Hakone.

You will have the Hakone Pass at your disposal to visit the city independently. We recommend you see the onsen, the Japanese spas. Later enjoy a Japanese-style dinner in a Ryokan.

Overnight in Hakone.

Day at leisure to explore the city. Return to the Ryokan for overnight stay.

 

*Additional guide to Hakone to see the city.

In the morning, send your luggage to the hotel in Kanazawa (you will be assisted by the staff) and bring what you need for the night in Kanazawa. Last day to explore the surroundings of Hakone and departure for Takayama by high-speed train. Arrival at the hotel and overnight stay.

Kanazawa is one of the most beautiful and appreciated cities for quality of life. It is located on the Sea of ​​Japan, a historically elegant city with traditional architecture.

It is the city where it is possible to get to know traditional Japan, starting from the Nomura Samurai House, residence of the famous Nomura family, a lineage of historic samurai, located right in front of the city’s medieval castle. The building presents a perfect example of a Japanese garden, one of the most beautiful in the world in a private residence.

Kenroku-en is one of the most important attractions of the city: one of the three most beautiful and harmonious gardens in the world. Belonging to the Maeda family, it is defined as “the garden of the 6 sublimities”, that is, of the six virtues that contribute to the perfection of a garden: space, intimacy, antiquity, artifice, waterways and panoramas. The atmosphere is that of constant architectural harmony, with tree-lined avenues, temples and typical, orderly and silent markets, such as the Omicho Market.

Not far from Kenroku-en is the medieval castle, classic Japanese and dating back to the 16th century, with sloping roofs and raised at the ends. Here there were numerous clashes in which the samurai took part in the defense of their lord.

Kanazawa is also the city of geishas. Higashi Chaya is the neighborhood of wooden houses where tea (chaya) is served, one of the three that historically welcomed women. These, playing instruments and dancing, entertained and entertained Japanese notables, local and international businessmen, in cultured conversations.

The figure of the Geisha originated around the year 794, when playing, singing and dancing were considered female professions. The women, often prostitutes, were called Shirabyoshi, very popular in that era. From 160, women entertained men visiting religious places or temples with songs and dances by offering them tea and sweets. Their performance in the 17th century theater, called Kabuki, made them famous and their fame spread to Tokyo. The dancers, called ‘odoriko’, were the ancestors of the geisha, as known today.

Sapphic love, in a highly chauvinistic society like the Japanese one, was considered highly destabilizing and there is no evidence, except in some illustrations.

Free day to explore Kanazawa further and review the places you liked the most.

After breakfast, transfer from Kanazawa to Kyoto by high-speed train.

Free day and overnight stay in Kyoto.

After breakfast, participation in the group tour of Kyoto and Nara, you will visit in Kyoto: Miyagawacho/Gion – Shirakawa River – Imperial Palace and in the city of Nara: Todaiji temple, Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara Nagomi-kan. Overnight in Kyoto.

*Supplement for private tour.

Free day to tour the city.

We recommend visiting the city of Osaka, Nara and other cities that are close to Kyoto.

Overnight in Kyoto.

 

*Supplement for private tour.

Flight back home.

Tokyo
Gay Area Tokyo
Kyoto

What's Included

Accommodation with breakfast
Escorted Tours
Professional gay-friendly guide
Ticketing
Train tickets
Transfers
Walking tour

What's Excluded

Everything not clearly mentioned on what's Included
Flights
Personal extras
Personal insurance
Tips

Additional Information

POSSIBLE EXTENSIONS


Hiroshima – the recent history of Hiroshima and visit to the ‘Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park’, commemorating the Word War II victims of the atomic bomb;

Osaka – famous for its dynamic gay district of Doyamacho and its special cuisine. Vibrant night life, where a new interpretation of ‘drag queen’ is to be unveiled in Doyamacho bars.

PLEASE NOTE


The quote specifically includes:

  • Shared Double room with breakfast.
  • Dinner in Hakone e Takayama.
  • Airport assistance in Tokyo.
  • Shared transfer from/to Airport in Tokyo.
  • One day tour in Tokyo.
  • Tokyo gay bar tour with English speaking guide.
  • Train to Hakone.
  • Train from Kanazawa to Kyoto.
  • Kyoto and Hakone Day tour.

Bus from Takayama to Shirakawago and from Shirakawago to Kanazawa is NOT included (Quiiky tours can take care of this).


Program may change for causes independent from the tour operator.

The Voice of Our Clients

Ian
Ian
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My husband and I booked the tour of the “Vatican in a gay light” for one morning during our trip to Rome. Our guide, Dario, was very knowledgeable of the historical significe of the art works as well as many of the anecdotes that provided context. We learned a great deal and truly enjoyed ourselves. This tour is too notch! Thank you.
Matt Berg
Matt Berg
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Excellent pre-cruise Quiiky tour in Venice. Great guide who had so much intimate knowledge of Venice. Besides being very handsome he is a local resident for more than 2 decades with so much intimate knowledge that you can’t get from a guidebook. This is my second time using Quiiky for tours and transfers; they’re my first choice in Italy!
Dan & Vince
Dan & Vince
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First I would like to thank you and your company and all involved for a wonderful trip. From beginning to end we continued to be amazed by all the wonder service we received from all of you. We had a fabulous time for our anniversary. All the guides were great and all better than we expected. It is hard to pick a best as they were all awesome, that being said, three stand out for being most personable and had a excellent sense of how to move us along our tours. Quiiky gets 5 out of 5 for all other ratings. Yes, we would positively reccommend for anyone considering travel to Italy. AND, Giovanna, you’re the best.
Tony & Joseph
Tony & Joseph
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We appreciate Quiiky incredible attention to detail. We didn’t have to worry about a thing. The drivers Quiiky arranged were always early, communicated with us very effectively and even called the hotels to inform them we were en route. The guides were all incredibly knowledgeable, kind, fun, and eager to answer our questions. The hotels were beautiful, spacious, and had lots of great amenities. Staff at each hotel were also immensely helpful. We’re happy to be a reference for anyone. We are grateful for all Quiiky did to listen to our specific requests and create an agenda that was perfect for us.
 John Bindlechner-Wigan
John Bindlechner-Wigan
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We adored our Quikky tour of the Vatican with our guide Claudio. We had been a little apprehensive about visiting the Vatican but this tour is the way to go! Claudio had an expert knowledge of the art collection and we enjoyed hearing the "other", more scandalous stories of the private lives of Michelangelo and the popes. We loved our visit to the museums, Sistine Chapel, grotto and St Peters - I recommend joining the queue and adding on the view from the dome of the basilica - well worth the stairs!
Denis Dallaire
Denis Dallaire
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The excursion to Capri was great! The headphone system worked really well and the guide Andrea was super nice and fun! He was a really good guide and would not hesitate to have him again. The food and drink offerings were very good. Thank you for a wonderful experience!
Richard Hurlbut
Richard Hurlbut
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Overall, we were thrilled with our tour with Quiiky. We were particularly pleased with our guides and drivers in Salerno, Rome, Florence and Venice. And given the crowds in some locations, the front-of-line privileges were particularly welcome. Money well spent!...... I would recommend any of the guides to anyone considering a similar tour. It was these private tours, and the guides’ depth of knowledge, that made all the difference.....Again, we had a wonderful time and would definitely use Quiiky again should we return to Italy.
Oliver Broad
Oliver Broad
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Thanks for a great alternative tour of the Vatican. Having visited back in 1999 I wanted something a little different to do with my husband who had never visited before. It is great to see Quiiky offering tours with a twist and can most definitely recommend this one for your next visit to Rome.
Greg Brady
Greg Brady
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First had a wonderful pre-cruise Quikky tour in Venice. Our guide was super friendly, knowledgeable, and a great deal of fun. Then I went on a tour of the Vatican and our tour guide was incredible. He is an expert on the Vatican and on the pertinent gay history (which turns out to be much more than you might even think). He literally made the Vatican come alive and provided one of the more fascinating tours I have taken anywhere. And the two wonderful owners of Quiiky picked us up and took us on a vehicular tour of Rome. Others got back from Rome complaining of the crowds and the heat... we got back energized, happy, and filled with fascinating information after an afternoon filled with fun and personalized care. Don't make the mistake thinking you will get an equivalent tour from a straight guide/company -- if you are gay, Quiiky is the way to go.
Auston Matta
Auston Matta
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I highly recommend Quiiky Travel for any guided visit to Rome or Italy. I was both surprised and entertained by everything GAY I learned about the Vatican on my tour. They are passionate about providing an excellent travel experience and I have no doubt that you would enjoy one of their tours or travel products.
Denis Dallaire
Denis Dallaire
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What a wonderful experience to Messina and Taormina. Antonio was a great guide with good knowledge and history-telling. Really enjoyed the history of the museum Cusena. Again the food and drinks on the boat were very good. Thank you so much!
Santiago Stanley
Santiago Stanley
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Our excursion to Messina and Taormina today was excellent. Antonio was amazing. Our food experience was on point … starting with the granita and Brioche in Messina and the arancini and cannoli in Taormina!!! The boat trip around the bays was spectacular and the food again!!! Eggplant Parmesan and the sardine dish and olives… Again Antonio was patient , knowledgeable sweet and always on time!! Excellent experience!!!
Adam Martindale
Adam Martindale
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We had a fantastic tour of the Vatican with Paolo from Quiiky. Paolo was knowledgeable, personable, fun and really gave us a different insight into the history of art and the gay artists that are part of the Vatican’s history and more! Highly recommended!
Theron Clark Stuart
Theron Clark StuartGroup Traveller
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It was easy to schedule our tour. Everything was explained in great detail, so there was no confusion on the day of the excursion. The vans were spotless and comfortable. Our guide for the Colosseum was exceptional in every way. He was cute, knowledgeable, witty, flexible and engaging. We met so wonderful folks and shared a wonderful lunch with the guys from our group. Could not have been happier with Quiiky.
Curtis Korchinsky
Curtis KorchinskyGroup Traveller
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Fantastic company to work with. Very easy and simple…..and good value. Will definitely book with them again!
Ron Davis
Ron Davis
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BEST TOUR COMPANY YOU COULD WISH FOR! I have done two tours in Rome with this amazing company and both times it was 20-30 people Expert process, memorable tours, top notch experience. We arrived by cruise ship and they handled everything. Regardless of how you arrive you will receive a tour that is personal and you feel like you w learned secrets and things you would never ever have heard or known. I wholeheartedly recommend them.
Bob Kobosky
Bob Kobosky
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Highly recommend Quiiky.com for tours/day trips in Italy. They did an AMAZING job on our tours in Palermo and Naples as well as arranging a wonderful beach day for us when we disembark in Civitavecchia before heading to the airport in the late afternoon.
Heinz Steinmetz
Heinz Steinmetz
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Interesting and entertaining! Well organized small group with an experienced and friendly guide.
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Departure:
Tokyo

Gay-friendly Japan

From € 4,500

Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Destination: Japan
Inspiration: Art & Culture

Why Book with us

100% LGBTQ FRIENDLY

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ITALIAN SPECIALIST

Offices in Rome & Milan

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Customer care available 24/7

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