Gay Tokyo is mainly congregated in Shinjuku’s Ni-chōme (Area 2) where all the action happens.
Ni-Chōme is a small area in Shinjuku, forming the hub of the gay scene, which is famous for having the world’s highest concentration of gay bars with over 300 crammed together.
Gay couple Stefan and Sebastien visited earlier this year and give their 5 favourite not to miss gay bars of Tokyo. For more, check out their gay guide to Tokyo article:
1. Usagi Bar
Most of these 300 bars are in Shinjuk are tiny, squeezed into unremarkable blocks. For example Usagi Bar is located on the 4th floor of a block (address: Shinjuku 2-10-2, Ebana Bldg 4F). When you arrive on the 4th floor, it’s a corridor of doors – as if you’re going to your friend’s party in his flat. But go through the door and a tiny bar reveals itself.
These bars have a warm, friendly atmosphere, centred around the bar man, who is usually the owner (or mama-san in Japanese gay slang). Usually everyone knows everyone, and sometimes they bring home cooked food to share around.
2. Campy Bar
A super cool, colourful and welcoming bar going strong since early 2013 and run by celebrity cross-dresser, Bourbonne. The staff are all dolled up in drag and there’s hilarious shows throughout the evening. Campy! opens early at 5:30pm and goes on till midnight.
3. Aiiro Cafe Bar
AiiRo is an iconic meeting point in gay Tokyo, recognisable by the large red Torri Japanese Shrine outside.
They have a popular 1,000 yen ($9) Beer Blast all you can drink happy hour, daily between 6-9pm, which makes it the place to be! The same owners own Alamas club, which most head to after the happy hour.
Fuji is another small bar in one of the unassuming blocks and the perfect place to let your inner diva out and belt out a few power ballads in the karaoke.
5. Arty Farty
Arty Farty is another popular staple, open from 6pm-1am. Most come here for a few drinks than head to sister club Annex next door. It attracts an even mix of foreigners and locals in their 20s and 30s. If you get stamped in Arty Farty, you can get in here free without paying entry twice.