Ni-Chome’s LGBT Bars/Nightclubs Accessibility

  • Ni-Chome’s LGBT Bars/Nightclubs Accessibility

    Posted by Carlos on February 28, 2023 at 6:50 pm

    Not only do I have a physical disability and use a power wheelchair, but I am also gay.

    When I travel, I like to experience LGBT nightlife. I saw this video, https://youtu.be/PR55mcAzIy0 , and they talked about the LGBT nightlife in Ni-Chome, Tokyo’s LGBT area. While one or two were on the first floor, I saw that quite a few are upstairs.

    Do the buildings have elevators that go up to the bars and nightclubs? Also, are the “snack bar” type bars large enough for a wheelchair? In past videos I saw, they seemed pretty small.

    Carlos replied 1 year, 2 months ago 4 Members · 13 Replies
  • 13 Replies
  • Joan Pahisa

    Member
    February 28, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Carlos!

    Thanks for sharing the video! I may check some of the places the next time I’m in Tokyo, as I barely explored the LGTBQ+ scene when I was in Japan and I’d really like to do so.

    Anyway, as for elevators. I’d say that newer buildings usually have elevators and older ones, if they are more than 4-5 stories then they also usually do. Nevertheless, sometimes there are small steps at the entrance or in some corridors before accessing the elevators in older buildings.

    Also, most bars in Japan don’t have much leeway to move around. That’s why I didn’t go to many izakaya (traditional bars), as you really had to know the place and be in the right spot not to feel in the middle of the way with your wheelchair. So, I’d say it’s a bit of a hit or miss if you haven’t been to the place beforehand.

    Sorry, I don’t think I’ve helped you much. Maybe someone that has been in the area can be a bit more specific.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing the video and, if you go in the end, let us know about your experience and how accessible it was.

    • Carlos

      Member
      February 28, 2023 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks for the reply!

      You did help. Too often, the disability and LGBTQIA+ communities forget that people can be a part of both communities. For some, like myself, we’ve been LGBTQIA+ as long as we’ve been disabled.

      Japan is on my ‘bucket list’ of places to visit. Currently, my goal is to visit in 2025 for the Osaka World Expo. (If I do go, it will be my 2nd time to one, with the first being in the 80s in Knoxville, TN.) I hope I can save up by then.

    • Joan Pahisa

      Member
      February 28, 2023 at 8:38 pm

      Unfortunately, it’s as you say. It’s kind of contradictory, but, within the LGTBQ+ community there’s a lot of ableism and usually not much thought is given to its disabled members.

      True that many of the access issues may come from the time where it was better for LGTBQ+ places to be hidden and a bit inaccessible, but in countries where the situation is better, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in changing things accessibility wise in the community.

      Anyway, hopefully they reply to your question in the video and they can give us a better insight on the most accessible places. Thanks for asking!

      And, if you finally go to Japan in 2025, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy! I’m eyeing 2024 to go back : )

  • Josh Grisdale

    Moderator
    February 28, 2023 at 8:02 pm

    Unfortunately, most parts of Shinjuku look like that – a jumble of old buildings. As Joan pointed out, any building with more than 4-stories is required to have an elevator. And, as he also pointed out, sometimes the implementation of the elevators is… interesting. Up or down a few steps, or too small for a wheelchair.

    But, I’m sure there must be some. Will ask around.

    You may want to leave a comment re: this on the YouTube video you shared (feel free to link to this page) asking as well. If they do answer, please share your findings here too.

    • Carlos

      Member
      February 28, 2023 at 8:16 pm

      Thanks!

      I have posted a reply to this video and I’ll let you know what they say.

      You’d think in this day and age that LGBT places would know we exist. But, even here in the States, you’d see that many places don’t. Outside of CA, it’s ‘hit and miss’ regarding accessibility within the LGBTQIA+ community.

      Of course, there’s also the problem of ableism within different aspects of the community that is better discussed on other sites. *sigh*

  • Ally Hongo

    Member
    March 29, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Carlos, I asked a few friends around (sorry it took time to reply). Not much of a help, I’m afraid, but just a few notes for future consideration. They mentioned that Dragon is on the first floor, so access to get it is technically doable, but the restroom has steps, so it could be better to avoid that place unless you’re visiting for a short time. It’s also always very crowded too, so not sure if it’s recommendable. Another mentioned Bar Kaiser in Shinjuku, which has an elevator, but he said he wouldn’t recommend it because it’s basically a big ripoff. It’s a host club, which means visitors are asked to pay for the guys’ drinks, so you end up with a hefty bill. I’m sorry for the lack of good information. 🙁

    • Carlos

      Member
      March 29, 2023 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks for the info!

      While I do have bladder control, I don’t have much time before my body tells me that I need to go before it’s too late, so DRAGON wouldn’t work for me. As for crowds, I don’t mind. It’s just more that I can see at my eye level. 😉

      As for BAR KAISER, aren’t host bars the norm there? I wouldn’t mind paying for a cute guy’s drinks if this means he has to talk to me.

    • Ally Hongo

      Member
      March 30, 2023 at 10:42 am

      Haha Then maybe you should give BAR KAISER a try! 🙂 But be prepared that it may not be cheap. I’ve reached out to them to ask for more details re: their facilities. Will update you as soon as I hear from them.

    • Carlos

      Member
      March 30, 2023 at 10:59 am

      I do want to clarify that I’m not going anytime soon. It was more of an observation. My goal is to go in 2025.

    • Ally Hongo

      Member
      March 30, 2023 at 11:09 am

      Hopefully Japan will have more options by then!! Will keep you updated!

    • Josh Grisdale

      Moderator
      March 30, 2023 at 11:13 am

      Even if it is a long time off, this thread may help someone with the same question!

      But, yes, be warned of prices – host/hostess clubs are notorious for getting you in cheap and then laying on extra costs resulting in a huge bill when you are drunk and trying to go home… sometimes with scary guys marching you to an ATM.

    • Ally Hongo

      Member
      April 4, 2023 at 11:33 am

      Hi Carlos,

      Got a reply from Keiser! Here’s a rough translation of what they said:

      “Hi! Thank you for reaching out. There is one step in the store, so it may be a little inconvenient, but there are no steps in the restroom. We hope you can visit us.”

      Hope this helps! Will keep gathering info until you come in 2025 🙂

      Have a lovely day!

    • Carlos

      Member
      April 4, 2023 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks for that!

      Depending on how high that step is, it may or may not be doable. But, at least, they did reply to you. Other clubs aren’t professional about that.

      I’ll keep everyone informed about 2025. Thanks again!

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