Does Japan embrace LGBT people?
Frankly speaking, it is difficult to answer the question. But it seems that Japanese people’s prejudice toward LGBT is not so strong in general.
Both Buddhism and Shinto, which have been widely worshiped in Japan, do not regard same sex love as a serious sin. Rather, it is said that homosexuality spreads in the monk’s environment where women are not allowed. Also, many Japanese don’t have a particular religion, so same sex love is not regarded as taboo just from a religious point of view.
In modern Japan, same sex marriage or partnership is not institutionalized and the same rights that different sex couples enjoy are not guaranteed. The adoption of a child provides almost same level of rights to a couple, so the adoption system has been used as an alternative for same sex marriage in a sense.
Public opinion does not loudly discuss gay rights, while some do have an explicit homophobic inclination. However, some comedians openly make fun of homosexual people or transgender people and in this regard the LGBT community is not well understood or there isn't enough awareness in general for the community.
Basically same sex couples will not be publically insulted or physically attacked while they are walking on the street. But Japanese people tend to refrain showing excessive affection in public, opposite-sex couples as well as same-sex couples need to be careful as basic manner.
Also Gay Pride Parade has been conducted on a regular basis since the middle of 1990s.
Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2014
This was held no April 27 Sunday, 2014 at Shibuya, mobilizing 15,000 people.
Hotels or restaurants embracing LGBT have been increasing in Japan also. Those hotel can be easily found through famous hotel reservation sites.
LGBT Welcome Café
- Gossip (Harajuku, Tokyo) http://gossip-cafe.com/english
- Timeout Cafe & Diner (Ebisu, Tokyo) http://www.timeoutcafe.jp/ / http://www.timeoutcafe.jp/ (English)
- Colori (Jokyokyo-ku, Kyoto) http://www.coloricaffe.com/about-1/about-english/