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The district located between Shinjuku and Shin-Okubo in Tokyo is known as an area celebrating diversity. As Tokyo's first LGBTQ+ friendly hotel, CEN DIVERSITY HOTEL & CAFÉ is committed to providing a comfortable stay for every guest.

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Embracing Diversity: A Hotel Welcoming All

Walk twelve minutes from Shinjuku Station or head down the busy street from JR Shin-Okubo Station and go through a tunnel entrance. At the end of the tunnel, you will find an area resembling a secret base.

This is CEN DIVERSITY HOTEL & CAFÉ (hereby referred to as CEN HOTEL), an inclusive lodging for all sexualities, races, faiths, and languages.


The heart-shaped balloon painted on the white wall grabs your attention. Passersby often stop to take photos of this wall.

But this red balloon is not the only unique characteristic of CEN HOTEL.

LGBT in Japan

Picture courtesy of CEN DIVERSITY HOTEL & CAFÉ
Walk through the tunnel entrance and you will come across the hotel sign painted in rainbow colors. It symbolizes the hotel's commitment to being LGBTQ+ friendly. The entire staff of the hotel is educated about the LGBTQ+ community. As a result, customer service at this hotel does not discriminate based on sexuality.


A Place Where Staff and Guests Can Be Themselves

Shinjuku Bunka Seinen Hotel

We interviewed Mr. Kinoshita, an employee at CEN HOTEL, and he told us about their staff training program.

In Japan, it can often happen that, when two people of the same sex request one room, the hotel would either suggest a room with two separate beds or even refuse to book the room.

At CEN HOTEL, guests of any gender can book a room freely without being questioned. Guests can comfortably enjoy their stay without worrying about being discriminated against based on their gender or sexuality.

Additionally, the hotel employs staff regardless of the person's nationality or sexuality, and thus the staff is also very diverse.

gay-friendly hotel

Picture courtesy of CEN DIVERSITY HOTEL & CAFÉ
The name of the area where this hotel is located also speaks to the ideal of diversity.

CEN HOTEL is located in the Hyakunincho district of Shinjuku. About 400 years ago, the area had a mansion that housed one hundred troops ("hyakunin" in Japanese) led by General Kiyonari Naito. Home to one hundred troops, this mansion was a place where a group of diverse people lived together.

Hyakunincho also inspired the name of the hotel. The hotel was named CEN after centum, the Latin word for one hundred.

Open Communal Areas

A Cafe Open to the Public

Shinjuku breakfast

Picture courtesy of CEN DIVERSITY HOTEL & CAFÉ
After entering the facility, go to the left to reach CEN CAFÉ. Guests can enjoy breakfast here, and the outdoor terrace is open on clear days.

During lunch and dinner hours, the cafe is publicly open to anyone. You will often find locals and guests of nearby hotels enjoying food and drinks here during the day.

Captivating Artwork in the Lobby

Miwa Komatsu

Works by Miwa Komatsu (Photo: PR TIMES)

The stylish lobby of CEN HOTEL features art by Miwa Komatsu, a contemporary artist known for live paintings. The two paintings feature a pair of mystical birds facing each other.

LGBT restroom

The bathrooms at CEN HOTEL are gender neutral. Instead of using titles such as Mr. or Ms., staff refer to guests with the gender-neutral honorific -san.

Also, the elevator buttons are installed at a lower height with consideration for guests in wheelchairs.

Multilingual Check-In System

hotel with multilingual support

For those who don't speak Japanese as their first language, the language barrier can be a problem. At CEN HOTEL, multilingual check-in devices assist guests with check-in procedures.

Guests only need to type in or scan their booking information. No ID is required, and there is no need to handwrite personal information at the desk.

Minimalist Rooms wih Style

Shinjuku hotel affordable

Picture courtesy of CEN DIVERSITY HOTEL & CAFÉ
There are a total of 44 guest rooms at CEN HOTEL. All rooms are non-smoking. To ensure the guests' privacy, every room is at least a double room. Three rooms in particular are more spacious deluxe doubles that can accommodate two adults and a child (children under six can stay for free).

The rooms have the feel of downtown New York City. From the simple layout to the minimal furnitures, the rooms are minimal and inviting.


The amenities are made by Trussardi, a stylish brand known for their products' gender-neutral fragrance. Using organic ingredients, the toiletries are good for the body, as well.

Shinjuku accommodation
Yamanote Line hotel affordable

Picture courtesy of CEN DIVERSITY HOTEL & CAFÉ

The rooms only have showers, but if you have a physical disability you can request a bathroom to use for one hour.

A Classy Laundry Room

Tokyo hotel affordable
CEN hotel

The laundry room keeps the steel frames exposed and has minimal decorations.

While the act of doing the laundry is a chore, the classy laundry room at CEN HOTEL might help make it a more memorable experience.

vending machines

Some of the products available at the vending machines cannot be usually found at regular hotels.

A Hotel where Everybody Can Be Themselves

Shinjuku hotel

Picture courtesy of CEN DIVERSITY HOTEL & CAFÉ
CEN HOTEL is committed to providing a comfortable stay for all their guests. By being LGBTQ+ friendly, it is particularly committed to people of every gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation. Guests can stay without having to explain themselves or feeling discriminated against. As the name implies, CEN HOTEL values the diversity of its guests.


In cooperation with CEN DIVERSITY HOTEL & CAFÉ

Written by

Having left Taiwan for 17 years, I stumbled upon Tokyo and gradually fell in love with this rapidly changing metropolis that also holds onto its traditional culture. In between taking care of children, I enjoy finding solace in a place about a 15-minute walk from the station with a population density of about 30%. Although picky when it comes to food, I am passionate about seeking out delicious cuisine, love cooking, and enjoy feeding others. I also identify myself as a member of the Potato Chips Association.
The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting. Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We kindly ask our readers to exercise careful judgement when making a purchase or booking a service online.