As the world moves to create better, more equal environments for sexual minorities, many cities are considering the best ways to welcome LGBTQ+ visitors. One city that has made particularly strong progress in establishing a friendly environment for queer tourists is Osaka, which was named as a featured destination for 2021 by the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA).
The president of the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau, Hiroshi Mizohata, attributes the recent recognition to ‘Osaka's unique diversity and fashion, as well as the warmth and receptiveness of its people’. In Mizohata’s eyes, this is just the beginning for the city’s embrace of the LGBTQ+ community, and eight municipalities have implemented same-sex partnership programs so far.
With the goal of hosting Asia’s first IGLTA General Assembly in 2024, the city created the Osaka Open Arms Project, which invited local establishments to join in on efforts to ensure Osaka is an LGBTQ+ friendly destination. Countless businesses and local venues were eager to join and welcome LGBTQ+ patrons.
The list below is just a sample of the best and most appealing experiences and hotel deals to inspire you to visit the vibrant, diverse and welcoming city of Osaka.