Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tokyo
Population
12,059,237

Tokyo Closet Ball

A monthly & foreigner-friendly drag show.

Tokyo Closet Ball is where people can go to express their “true authentic lives.” And the world definitely needs more of that! The drag event in Tokyo started in 2013 and continues to have monthly events. The ball’s organizer, Taylor Wanstall, an American living in Japan, started the show when he couldn’t find anything else like it in Tokyo.

“I wanted to have a drag show like the ones I enjoyed back home in Oregon,” he told GaijinPot Travel. “When I couldn’t find ones like I was used to, I decided to start my own.”

When I couldn’t find ones like I was used to, I decided to start my own.

The platform for queer voices, which is also inclusive of allies, has been growing a following and invites others to come join in on the fun. Acts and volunteer staff speak in mostly English at events, with a little Japanese mixed in.

Some of the performers and friends, including organizer Taylor Wanstall, bottom row and center.

Lip sync, sing, dance

The shows are held at two different bars: Gamuso in Asagaya and at Gyouen Sound in Shinjuku.

Tokyo Closet Ball has a dedicated group of performers that form quite the variety show. Most performers are mostly foreign plus a few Japanese. You come spectate tons of acts that include lip-sync artists such as Tatianna, Die Schwarze Frau, Erik Shawn, Sixxx and Emmanual Transmission.

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Then, there are singers like Triesste, Mix, Alex Ryder and Burning Bush and burlesque dancers like Dolly Tartan, Candy Martini and Marion Tigre. Plus, some performers that are hard to categorize like “D Whom” and Belgium Solanas. You’ll just have to comes see them for yourself to get the full experience.

While these acts are regulars, the show is also very open to new members.

Although Wanstall is the main organizer, members often do their own events such as a Valhalla and Majyo No Hanazono. (All can the info on that can be found on the Tokyo Closet Ball Facebook page.) While there is a cover charge at the shows, they do regular charity events, too, where proceeds have gone to Doctors Without Borders, Rainbow Railroad and Macmillan Cancer Support.

So, if you’re in the Tokyo area and are in need of a lively, inclusive and wild time, check out Tokyo Closet Ball and remember: “In a world that tells you to be ashamed, being openly happy is the greatest form of rebellion.”

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Trivia

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Grab your rainbow apparel and cruise on down to the biggest LGBT pride parade in Japan.

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Things To Know

Hours and fees

Cover charge: ¥2,000   | Times from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Day of the month varies, so check Facebook fo up-to-date info.)

Website

For more information about events, go to https://www.facebook.com/TokyoClosetBall

About TCB

TCB hopes to create a platform that celebrates queer voices. We are community run and volunteer support. We sincerely believe that visibility is an essential part of fighting for civil rights. Through sharing our artwork with the people of Tokyo we wish to promote Justice for LGBTs and people of all genders.

How To Get There

Address

Japan, 〒160-0022 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, 2 Chome−3−12 グレイスビル

By foot

Gamuso is juat a 2-minute walk from Asagaya station. Map

Gyouen Sound a 3-minute walk from Shinjuku-Gyoemmae station. Map

Where To Stay

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