Nope. The situation is way better than in the US. The law doesn't reflect that yet. I'm a European-looking guy (now 26-years-old) who mostly grew up in Tokyo as a kid, and I'm married to an Indian-looking guy... I visited my parents (who still live in Japan) for the first time with my husband this year. We took a tour throughout the whole country. I can say that we felt extremely welcomed. Showing some kind of affection as a gay couple is not at all a bad thing in Japan. We felt way safer than, for example, in The Netherlands. So. when it comes to that, Japan is perfect. When it comes to what do people 'think'. It's hard to say. It's my experience that most people are very accepting. I've never had even 1 bad experience about being gay in Japan. But. Japanese people are SUPER polite. So even if they are anti-gay, they'd be friendly to you.
The only thing I come across sometimes is that people don't seem to understand it immediately. My Japanese is semi-fluent, but whenever I say 'husband', people think I just don't know the word for 'Wife' or something. And when I ask for a Double Room in a hotel people sometimes think I mean Twin Room.
But.. both as an adult now and as a kid growing up in Tokyo before, I never experienced any negativity. I do believe that some japanese people 'accept it, but don't want their own kid to be gay' sometimes. So in that sense I might be lucky that I have European parents
@Tokyoningen @siokara: This question made me think of another one (and I ask this with all due respect, for I can understand that cultures are simply different): how do Japanese people regard showing affection in public nowadays? Whether it's a gay or straight couple, I've always heard that kissing or hugging your partner on the street is not considered correct. Is this still true? I've also observed in anime/manga that relationships usually grow and develop slower. Arigato :)
@Tokyoningen: Thank you so much for commenting about this, even though I am not gay myself, it really bothers me when I am surrounded by anti-gay sentiment all the time (I live in the midwest in America, very religious). I find it very strange that you dont see much talking about the gay scene or gay culture in Japan, so it was nice to here some actual feedback for once
@teainthemorning Japanese people don't really show affection in public; and people often talk about how they dislike it if other people do so. However, Japanese people are still generally too polite to act any differently if a couple is being a bit too kissy-huggy. I don't think there's any difference between gay or straight couples.
@moonpie469 . Anti-gay sentiment is actually very hard for me to understand. Even though I'm married to a man, I honestly don't feel 'gay'. When my friends talk about their girlfriends and I talk about my partner, I feel like it's the same thing. But apparently many people care a lot about someone else's partner's gender. I have to admit I am completely outside of the 'gay culture'. The only gay person in my inner social circle is my partner. Maybe people in Japan's gay culture feel differently about these topics. I do know that in Shinjuku, Tokyo, there is a huge gay clubbing area. I went there once, but I felt like it was a bit sleazy and there were more foreigners than Japanese people. I think Japanese gay people often prefer blending into mainstream culture (ex. going on a date in a straight club) rather than feeling the need for a special club. But that's just my guess.