Essential Film Festivals: Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Films Festival

Established in 1992, Tokyo International Lesbian and Gay Films Festival is an annual event and the largest, oldest Film Festival of its kind in Asia. The festival is held each July and since 1996, the venue has been held in Spiral Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

This year the 2014 festival, headed by director Hideki Miyazawa and will run from 18 July to 21st July with an additional venue; Eurospace in Shibiuya, showing late screenings only, from 12th July to 18th July.

Gay films screened include short and full length films along with documentaries. Film Festivals Highlights include: Anita’s Last Cha-Cha, from director Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo telling the tail of girlhood crush between Anita and Pilar, which blossoms during Fiesta of Santa Clara; Hawaii, directed by Marco Berger, about a relationship between two men from different social backgrounds; The Case Against 8, from directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White, detailing the true historical story of two gay couples who took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court; 52 Tuesdays, a tale of desire, responsibility and transformation from Australian director Sophie Hyde and Coming Out, a Japanese film from director Kazutoshi Inudo.

Tokyo International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

Film Festival Location

Tokyo is part of one of the most heavily populated cities in the world and is quickly becoming a top LGBT tourist destination.  Home to Japan’s largest gay scene, the majority of Tokyo’s gay community and nightlife is found in Shinjuku and Ni-Chome, with Ni-Chome being the most popular.  Ni-Chome, in just a small area, has more gay bars than anywhere in the world.  Although some bars limit accessibility to the Japanese only, there are a great many that welcome foreign visitors. Some of the most popular are Advocates Café, GB Video Bar and Club Dragon.   In Shinjuku, there are many fantastic outdoor cafes, boutiques and restaurants as well as LGBT bookstores, saunas and hotels all catering to the gay and lesbian community.

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Film Festival Accommodation

Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo is housed in the Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building next to Tokyo Station. The prime city centre location also features fabulous views. This luxury modern hotel offers 200 spacious rooms each with amazing views of either Tokyo Bay or the local business district. The hotel provides a luxury spa with gym and swimming pool and two fantastic restaurants: Piacere serves exquisite Italian choices and fine wines set in a stylish location. Nadaman is a new signature restaurant offering local Japanese cuisine.

Another popular choice is the Park Hotel Tokyo, a sleek triangular skyscraper designed by French Interior designer Frederic Thomas is a modern hotel offering 273 rooms and suites. Located in the Shiodome Media Tower; Park Hotel Tokyo offers quick access to the city centre via the Waterfront Transit Station close by. The hotel’s restaurant Stella Maris serves Michelin-starred French cuisine by Tateru Yoshino.

Carmell Scarlett

Carmell Scarlett

Content Contributor at Gay Essential
Carmel is a freelance proofreader and content/copy writer. Writing experience includes policy, procedure, technical manuals, training material and web content writing. Carmel is an expert knitter specialising in fun knitwear and toys, ‘delighting’ her friends with her creative efforts.
Carmell Scarlett


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