The Top Bars in Doyama-cho, Osaka
Doyama-cho is a lively nightlife area near Umeda known as Osaka’s LGBT district. In fact, it’s home to the most vibrant gay scene of the entire West Japan region, offering a plethora of places in which to grab an ice-cold beer or a colorful cocktail in a safe, welcoming, and fun environment. Here’s our guide to the best bars for visitors in this exciting and eclectic neighborhood.
Bar, Restaurant, Japanese, Vegan, $$$
WaaGwaan is a friendly lesbian bar as intriguing and unique as its name. Jamaican slang for “What’s up?”, WaaGwaan is part homage to the island, part specialty cocktail bar, and all heart. It manages to evoke a wild urban dive bar and a chill beachside retreat all at once. Any and all people are welcome here, so drop by for tasty drinks and delightful company.
Jack In The Box
Jack in the Box is a compact, men-only karaoke club that attracts a young and stylish group of guys every weekend. It’s a hip place that manages to simultaneously serve as a boisterous club and a relaxing bar – the staff is committed to making it as comfortable as possible for the crowd, especially for newcomers. The drink selection here includes beer, cocktails and a number of whisky varieties
as well as soft drinks. There are themed party evenings every second Saturday of the month.
Bar, Gay Bar, LGBTQ Bar, Japanese, Wine, Beer
Frenz-Frenzy is Osaka’s most popular gay bar, owned and managed by longtime resident Paul aka “Sarichan”, an extremely friendly and beloved Japanese transplant. Frenz attracts a very mixed, international crowd thanks to the cheap drinks, free karaoke and free Wi-Fi offered nightly. Decorated in kaleidoscopic colours and always pulsating with the latest dance music, it is also known as a star-studded venue, having hosted the likes of Lady Gaga
and Perez Hilton.
Bar, Gay Bar, Japanese, Asian, Korean, Beer, Wine, Fast Food
Bar Bacchus, owned by a friendly and talkative Korean-Canadian named Chanho, oozes a warm, cozy atmosphere. The bar is brimming with inexpensive drinks (true to its namesake, the Roman god of wine
), but there is more to Bacchus than that. It offers a delicious menu, which varies but often features authentic Asian snacks, including noodles and dumplings. This is a great choice for anyone looking for a quieter venue to wind down or have a conversation.
Bar, Gay Bar, LGBTQ Bar, Japanese, Wine, Beer, Fast Food, $$$
Explosion is a well-established landmark in Osaka’s LGBT community. It operates as a bar on weekdays and as a lively club during the weekends. Twice a month, Explosion hosts Global Kiss
, a wild party featuring shirtless, muscular go-go dancers performing alongside extravagant drag queens. It is also a place to show off your dance moves – a typical sight here is an enthusiastic dance-off between excited customers, colourful cocktail in hand, of course.
Physique Pride Osaka
Gay Bar, Japanese
Physique Pride is one of Doyama-cho’s most popular bars for foreign tourists. The atmosphere here is energetic and friendly, and special events held weekly really draw the crowds. Don’t miss the karaoke competitions or shot nights. Choose from a wide variety of spirits, beer and wine. This establishment actively campaigns to increase HIV awareness in Osaka City.
Gay Bar, Japanese
Village is definitely one of the wildest nightclubs in the area, but also one of the most welcoming – though a gay club, the patrons includes all types of people, and that’s the way this bar wants it. Featuring free karaoke nightly and multiple stages where shows happen every weekend – including one behind the bar when the bartenders get up to perform – there is always something exciting happening at Village.
These recommendations were updated on November 1, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.