Naha’s LGBT nightlife options near Kokusai Dori may be few but are never boring.
Naha, Okinawa Prefecture’s capital city, doesn’t have the LGBT nightlife options of larger metropolises like Tokyo or Osaka. But in some cases, quality is better than quantity! 8men Okinawa, owned and operated by an adorable international gay couple, host hopping parties aimed at LGBT folk across the spectrum. Their motto: “A hideout which is not only English friendly, but LGBT friendly.”
Location & owners
Immediately upon walking in, you’ll be greeted by a chill atmosphere — a quaint bar counter surrounded by stools, a cozy corner with a squishy couch and chairs and even an outdoor patio for when space is limited.
But, that’s only half the welcome.
The bar is tended by a boisterous Japanese man, “Boo,” and his European boo, a man with a perfectly sculpted torso who Boo isn’t afraid to show off (for marketing purposes, of course).
The couple speak multiple languages and welcome guests from around the world, an atmosphere that is hard to find in smaller, local Japanese gay bars.
When asked what they offered to the Naha queer scene, the owners said they “want to make a place where customers feel welcome.” To them, that includes an “understandable system, reasonable prices, friendly and fun atmosphere, connecting and meeting other travelers…”
The bar also plays catchy pop music (mostly western pop) with a karaoke machine that patrons can make use of when their inner divas step forth. During parties (like New Years or Valentine’s Day celebrations) the music and conversation rise to a whole other level, with shirts flying off and glasses clinking.
A unique menu option at 8men is the Hungarian wine menu—in honor of Hungarian boo, we imagine. If you go between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. you can get happy hour discounts and ¥1,500 (about 14 USD) all-you-can drink special on weekends. They offer a variety of cocktail drinks, specialty shots, and local Orion beer, all of which go for between ¥500-¥1,000.
Another plus: 8men is very close to Kokusai Dori, where you can find major shopping and dining options after or before your visit.