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Photo By: WaaGwaan
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Osaka’s friendliest lesbian bar features vegan menu items and fresh fruit cocktails!

Located on a narrow but lively side street in the heart of Osaka’s gay district is a tiny bar with a big mission. WaaGwaan is a female-owned and operated bar that has become quite popular among both local and international visitors during its six-plus years of business.

Photo by: WaaGwaan The bar has tons of vegan options.

Though the bar is lesbian-owned and advertises as LGBT friendly, it is open to anyone and everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation or nationality. Nightly, the crowd is quite diverse. The bar is so cozy that the patrons usually end up mingling and drinking together whether they knew each other when they walked in the door or not.

WaaGwaan — which is Jamaican slang for “What’s going on?” — conveys this relaxed vibe every night. The many portraits of Bob Marley on the walls and reggae constantly streaming from the speakers further immerses visitors into this island-like mindset. Inside, it’s easy to forget you’re in the heart of downtown Osaka.

WaaGwaan — which is Jamaican slang for “What’s going on?” — conveys this relaxed vibe every night.

Photo by: WaaGwaan WaaGwaan helps supports local events like the Vagina Monologues.

The menu at WaaGwaan is affordable, ethical, and delicious. Drinks range from organic beers starting at ¥700 to amazing cocktails like the fresh Organic Fruit Cocktail and the spicy Organic Chai Tea Rum. (Don’t worry, there are plenty of other options, like Jäger and umeshu (plum wine), if you’re not invested in the whole healthy, high-minded living thing.) Food options include gluten-free muffins for ¥300 and vegetable curry served with brown rice or couscous for ¥1,000 with other nutritious choices in between.

Aside from being perpetually playful and laid-back, the bar is bi-friendly — bilingual that is! The owner actually used to live in Mississippi, U.S., and can speak both Japanese and English. Some of the staff can communicate in English, as well.

Photo by: WaaGwaan Booze and vegan food!

Whether you’re looking for a fun night out with friends or an intimate and delicious dinner spot with healthy options, WaaGwaan is an excellent nightlife locale. The bar owner also makes a point to prepare cruelty-free food and drinks, assist the local LGBT community whenever possible and welcome anyone. So, no matter who you are or where you’re from, stop by for a good time!

Editor’s note: GaijinPot Travel launched its LGBT travel section in 2018. If you’d like to contribute articles/photos, please let us know at editorial@gplusmedia.com.

Things To Know


WaaGwaan is open every day except Thursday from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

How To Get There


Japan, 〒530-0026 Ōsaka-fu, Ōsaka-shi, Kita-ku, Kamiyamachō, 8−7 日宝サンライズタウン

By train

WaaGwaan is located on the 4th floor of the Nippo Sunrisetown Building in the Kamiyama-cho district. This is near Umeda, a major downtown hub, so it’s accessible from many lines and stations.

It’s about a 15 minute walk from adjacent Osaka and Umeda Stations on the JR, Hankyu, Hanshin, and Midosuji lines and 10 minutes from Higashi-Umeda on the Tanimachi line. Ogimachi, Nishi-Umeda, and Kitashinchi stations are also short walks away.

Where To Stay

Hotel Wing International Select Osaka Umeda
  • 8-4 Kamiyamacho, Osaka-shi Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-0026 Japan
  • ¥8,160 - ¥15,640
  • 3.44/5 (332 reviews)
  • 0.0 km
Osaka Tokyu REI Hotel
  • 2-1 Doyamacho, Osaka-shi Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-0027 Japan
  • ¥10,977 - ¥19,645
  • 3.95/5 (4,284 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
Capsule Inn Osaka (New Japan Umeda)
  • 9-5 Doyamacho, Osaka-shi Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-0027 Japan
  • ¥3,800 - ¥4,200
  • 4.01/5 (2,546 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
Umeda Holic Hotel
  • 5-2 Toganocho, Osaka-shi Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-0056 Japan
  • ¥9,960 - ¥14,400
  • 4.37/5 (241 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Hotel Livemax Umeda Doyama
  • 8-15 Doyamacho, Osaka-shi Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-0027 Japan
  • ¥7,140 - ¥8,330
  • 2.63/5 (208 reviews)
  • 0.2 km

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