Colloquial Japanese phrases for International Gay Tourists in Japan

Lady Gaga has been visiting Japan since last week to encourage her fans to visit Japan. Japanese media seem to be a bit puzzled by her out-of-the-blue visit and charity campaign. A couple of Japanese news reporters asked her, "Why are you doing this for Japan?" Her answer was "Why not?" Indeed, why not? I'm just pleased to see the worldly celebrity coming to Japan to promote tourism for Japan. Who else did it for Japan?

Lady Gaga encourages fans to visit Japan by CBS News

I don't have actual number but I have read somewhere the number of international tourists to Japan halved compared to the previous year. In a sense, this kind of "aftermath" or ripple effect is more devastating to people's life and Japan's economy over a long run.

In hoping that tourism in Japan will recover as soon as possible, I would like to introduce some useful Japanese phrases to international gay tourists!

If you're interested in traveling to Tokyo, you may have already heard nichome on your guidebook or on the Internet. Nichome refers to the biggest gay neighborhood in Japan (the picture above), such as Chelsea in New York and West Hollywood in Los Angeles though nichome is a much more compact area with many small bars and clubs. When you look up on Google, you'll get treasure trove of information.

Japan Visitor's Gay/Lesbian map to Shinjuku Ni-Chome

In general, the Japanese people are regarded to be shy. Gay Japanese are not exception. Especially with non-Japanese speakers, the Japanese are more likely to excuse themselves not to engage in a conversation. But that's not because they're rude but because they are not confident in their foreign language skills. So please forgive us...

Maybe these people are not that shy.

That said, there are quite a few Japanese who can command other languages. It's up to your luck if you stumble upon someone bilingual in Japan. Chances are that you'll meet bilingual/trilingual Japanese gays in Tokyo, especially in nichome.

A Japanese summer festival in nichome.

But if you are more curious about meeting domestic Japanese gay guys or cast the net wide, you should know some phrases in Japanese to initiate a conversation...

I'm not good at a creative pick-up line but when I recall my past experiences, common lines are like these.

"Konbanwa" (Good evening)

"Kokoniwa yoku kuru?" (Do you come here often?) -- if you are in a bar.

"Don'na hito ga taipu?" (What is your type of men?)

If you are asked the last question in return, "ikemen zuki des" (I like good-looking men) will definitely make him smile. "Ikemen" is a relatively new word for good-looking men as I wrote in my blog before and he will be impressed to hear that non-dictionary word from you.

Dialects will also ease unwanted tension and make him comfortable. Osaka dialect is especially known as funny, amicable, and unpretentious among the Japanese because there are so many famous comedians from the Osaka region.

"Mecha" means "very" in Osaka.


"Kore mecha uma" (This tastes so good)

"Mecha konderu" (It's so crowded)

"Mecha kawaii" (So cute)

The list is endless. If it's so extreme, you should say "mecha" twice.

"Mecha mecha oishii" (It's soooo delicious).

If you want to get to the point right away, these phrases may help.

"Ore wa tachi" (I'm a top)

"Ore wa uke" (I'm a bottom)

"Ore wa riba" (I'm versatile)

"Ore [oh reh]" is a masculine way of saying "I" in Japanese. If it doesn't resonate with your mannerism, I'd recommend "boku" or "watashi" alternatively. "Boku" makes you sound less masculine and definitely younger. "Watashi" could mean neutral "I" in standard Japanese but it could make you sound effeminate. The Japanese pick up your mannerism in your choice of "I." So be aware!

Even if it's a tough thing to verbalize, if you say it like Osaka men, you may sound like a nicer person...

"Orede eeka? [oh reh deh eh eh kah?] (Am I good enough for you?)

"Ore ja akan ka?" [oh reh jaa akan kah?] (Am I not good enough for you?)

If you are bold, you could try these:

"Ore mecha kucha eede" [oh reh mecha kucha eh eh deh] (I'm sooo good at it)

"Ore mecha dekai nen" (I'm so big)

If you can prove the last one, I bet you'll score high! (★ ̄∀ ̄★)

Any questions? Please post what you've got in the comment box below! (Click the lower left button to post your comment.)

4 件のコメント:

  1. 剛さんは関西人でしたか

  2. I'm not from Osaka actually...

  3. 日本人が海外で現地の人に声をかけるとき、日本でガイジンさんが大阪弁でしゃべるとウケがいいみたいに、日本人にオススメの表現は何かありますか?積極的な日本人だという前提で(★ ̄∀ ̄★)

  4. 返事が長くなったんで、今日のブログ本文にいろいろ書いてみたよ。



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自己紹介 About Me


My blog:

メインブログ:アメリカ・ゲイ・ライフ American Gay Life (since 2004)
サブ・ブログ:アメリカ・ゲイ・ライフ日記 American Gay Life Diary(since 2013)


 Born and raised in Japan, I decided to immigrate to the U.S. to pursue a more liberated gay life. I am mostly writing about gay-related news and gossip about male celebrities, LGBT issues in general, and sometimes personal bromance. Most of my posts are in Japanese, but I sometimes introduce Japanese television programs and gay-related cultural stuff in English. Feel free to leave comments in my blog. ;)