At the time, I figured he was just trying to hand me a pamphlet for his club, and ignored him as I walked past.
However, I later learned that it was actually a secret signal used by homosexual men in Japan to indicate interest in a potential partner—a practice known in English as “cruising.” It turns out there are quite a few cruising techniques in Japan, most of which are naturally unknown to the average Japanese female or straight male.
They even made an appearance at my Tokyo orientation when I arrived in Japan as an ALT (assistant language teacher) and guided a group of us to the gay district, where I spent an incredible first night in Japan.
Speaking of ALTs, if you’re coming to Japan to teach, you might also have a look at resources targeting teachers.
But, if you’re hoping to spend your time in Japan enjoying your freedom as an LGBTQ individual as richly as possible, you’ll still face plenty of difficulties.