A night out in Shinjuku Ni-Chome with some rowdy queens.
Not for the faint of heart, Campy is one of the most flamboyant bars in all of Shinjuku Ni-chome. Amongst all the bars in Tokyo’s infamous LGBT neighborhood, it’s nearly impossible to miss in all its garish, multi-colored glory. Opening in 2013, Campy is one of Ni-chome’s most iconic landmarks thanks to the raucous drag queens that hang out there.
A full-on party from the moment you step through the door.
Run by local celebrity cross dresser Bourbonne and her gregarious gaggle of queens, Campy is as popular with straight people as it is with LGBT folk. Gawking passersby often loiter in front of the large glass windows attempting to understand what exactly is going on inside.
The regulars and staff here are not shy, so if you’re planning on visiting you’d better not be either.
Bourbonne, queen of the show
In addition to being the queen of Campy, Bourbonne is one of Japan’s most influential and interesting LGBT figures. Throughout her career she’s worked as a freelance writer, gay magazine editor, party promoter and performer.
Bourbonne considers herself as a josou (Japanese for cross dresser), distinguishing herself from the more restrictive boundaries of traditional drag culture.
Josou is the best way to describe the girls and sets a precedent for the attitude inside the bar. The girls aren’t serious pageant queens, but fun loving, gender-bending friends so if you’re looking for a song and dance drag show, this probably isn’t the bar for you.
With a name like Campy…
The tall, glamorous queens lounge around, entertaining patrons, and serving drinks mixed by Campy’s hunky bar staff. It’s a full-on party from the moment you step through the door.
The queens converse effortlessly with guests as they are well versed in cheeky one-liners and catchphrases in multiple languages. The bar is open to all nationalities, genders, and sexual orientations making it extremely popular. It’s also open from mid-afternoon, making it a great spot for day drinking.
Entry is free but you’re expected to buy a drink which costs ￥500 to￥800. If, however, you want a spot on the main sofa area you’ll have to pay a ￥1,000 reservation fee.