• 24 Kaikan Shinjuku Gay Sauna

    This sauna deserves an entry in our website simply because is by far the largest, popular and very best of all saunas in Japan.

    While old gay saunas -and even other saunas of the 24 kaikan chain- lack of hygiene and good facilities, 24 Kaikan Shinjuku is a must during your stay in Tokyo.

    Its 5 stories building and its ideal location makes it attractive for all sorts of crowds, from university students to business executives of the entire capital.

    On the 1st  floor, where the entrance is located, you may find:
        -  The lockers where you can leave your clothes and to pick up your bathrobe and a towel.
        -  A snack and pre-cooked food room (noodles, pasta, etc.).
        -  A large room where we can watch three different TV screens lying down in a very comfortable reclining armchair.
        -  Tons of vending machines filled with all sorts of hot and cold beverages.

    On the 2nd floor we find:

        -  A solarium with six UV units.
        -  Japanese style and Western style showers (some of them fitted with a gloryhole on it).
        -  Three jakuzzi pools at a different temperature.
        -  Sling and other devices’ room.
        -  Steam, humid and dry saunas.

    On the erd floor are located the wide rooms where the couples that Cupido has united go to consummate their love. Although there are bunk beds in most of these rooms, Japanese men prefer to sleep or to enjoy sex on the soft flooring.

    The 4th floor counts with a smoking room and a few open rooms with different lighting levels, one of them furnished with TV’s displaying porn movies.

    Once in a while the staff announces upcoming cleaning procedures during which it’s necessary to evacuate certain areas of the sauna to allow the maintenance works.

    For those who prefer total privacy, the 5th floor offers a wide number of hotel style private rooms fitted with bed, TV, air conditioning, telephone, private bathroom and the corresponding key so whatever happens inside remains inside.

    Tours that include a visit to 24 Kaikan Shinjuku:

        •  Essential Japan
        •  Medieval Route
        •  Special Momiji.

    Find these tours here!

    Homosexuality in Japan

    The perception of homosexuality in Japan has suffered drastic changes throughout time. In order to understand its evolution, we need to fly into the origins of Japan itself and the prevailing religion of the island: the Shintoism.

    Unlike other religions, Shintoism has never been critical against male homosexuality. Curiously, in its origins, heterosexual relationships were described as impure and contaminant. As regards Shintoism, the indifference towards relationships between same sex partners remains nowadays. 

    A thousand years later the Buddhism appeared with a similar message: the intercourse with a woman is an obscene and mean act since a woman is herself an impure being. However, sexual relationships between men are considered a mere prank. 

    Later on some branches of the Japanese Buddhism worshipped sex within their beliefs, assuring that it was possible to reach a certain spiritual level through the sexual ecstasy. This is a turning point because it defines sex as a separate act from the duty of procreation, therefore including implicitly homosexual relationships. By then, sodomy was a very common practice among Buddhist monks. People knew it and accepted it naturally.

    Then the samurai emerged and inherited the Buddhist monk’s tradition to establish an intimate and durable relationship between an adult and an adolescent boy. Such relationship was considered the ideal status of a samurai, and that is how it lasted during generations. The samurai would take the boy and would teach him his knowledge about life and how to handle a sword. If the boy agreed, they would lay together until his adulthood. Then he was free to choose his own way. In most cases, their friendship would be kept until the end of the days. 

    The fact to have an adolescent lover started to gain reputation among regular citizens and soon became a sign of high class status. The desire to feign to be in a higher social position made many Japanese men to pay for the company of young boys and the masculine prostitution raised. 

    At that time kabuki actors employed their spare time in prostitution and that linked the image of the theatre to such activity. 

    For many, the period between 1650 and 1750 was the golden age of homosexuality in Japan. It is said that the first cause of murder at that time was the revenge among male lovers. 

    When Japan opened its borders to the foreigners on 1859, the normality in homosexual relationships started to decline rapidly. In its eagerness to emulate Western countries, the Japanese government began to condemn homosexuality declaring it unnatural. With this they made homosexuality to vanish from the public scene and to be practiced discreetly. 

    In modern Japan being gay, lesbian or transgender isn’t specially frowned upon. However, the Japanese society impose those who are different from most people to keep a low profile. As for the government, it continues to follow the Western trail approving new lays that protect against discrimination and recognizing some rights that so far don’t include the same sex marriage.