Tucked away in a two-block radius of central Tokyo is a vibrant, gay district known as Shinjuku Ni-chome [Nee-chou-meh]. To many in Tokyo, hearing someone say “I’m heading to Ni-chome for drinks” instantly conjures associations with the famous gay towns. And it’s true, the area is the densest gay district in all of Asia. But while Ni-chome, which translates to “2nd city block,” is a small area geographically, it still boasts an estimated 300 bars! Navigating the world as a gay man or woman has a set of challenges. Now add to those challenges, a local gay scene with such incredible density in a country where there’s a significant language barrier.
Tokyo’s gay scene is segmented into specific types of gay subcategories. One bar doesn’t allow foreigners in while another will so long as the guest can speak some basic Japanese. But even clearing the language barrier only helps a little in an area with so many bars. Without guidance, it’s near impossible for a visitor to Japan to know where to go. But if you’re thinking of heading to Japan, don’t fret, there are a good handful of bars that welcome foreign guests.
Everyone all in
Visitors to Japan need look no further for a fantastic spot for drinks than Eagle Tokyo. This new gay bar is located on the first floor near the main intersection of Ni-chome. It’s a prime location with easy access to nearby train stations. What waits for you at Eagle Tokyo? A diverse staff of friendly people who can speak various languages including English, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, and, of course, Japanese.
Whether you’re gay, straight, foreign or native, Eagle Tokyo welcomes everyone. Eagle Tokyo’s inclusive policies is much appreciated by weary travelers who want to unwind without playing a guessing game of individual bar rules. And while Eagle Tokyo does welcome everyone, make no mistake, it is a gay bar of “bearish” persuasion featuring husky bodies and fuzzy beards serving up Japanese-influence cocktails.
Relax with a Drink or two
Eagle Tokyo is the perfect spot to kick-start a night out with shots of tequila or Jägermeister starting at 500 yen. For round two, take the night up a level with gin and tonic or draft beer for 700 yen. For drinkers looking for something new, Eagle Tokyo serves up some original cocktails. For 800 yen, “The Eagle Blackout” which mixes Cassis Liquor with Blue Curacao topped with soda water, will loosen anyone up for an exciting evening out on the town. A few of those will have you making new best friends all night long. A few too many and you might splurge on a bottle of Dom Pérignon, priced at 30,000 yen, as a perfect way to toast your amazing night.
Feel the Atmosphere
Eagle Tokyo is designed to be an inviting space, with a lounge vibe and bar that’s more familiar to American establishments than those in Japan. Wallflowers beware! Eagle Tokyo offers a standing bar concept. Instead of anchoring yourself to a bar stool, this locally uncommon concept maximizes your experience by encouraging interaction and mingling. Eagle Tokyo’s industrial esthetics features metal pipes, shelving accents, and coat hangers. Light fixtures and white tiles bring a New York City subway feel to the place. This gritty, urban style is unique for a gay bar in Japan which should tell you just how special a place Eagle Tokyo is.
Amidst the industrial look is a commissioned piece of artwork from the famous gay illustrator Jiraya. The master artist is known for his cute, but sexy, depictions of large, masculine, and hairy men. And at the heart of Eagle Tokyo is a centerpiece display of Jiraya’s work which is made for visitors to take selfies, tag themselves, and share their experience at Eagle Tokyo on social media.
The owner, Yuta, has opened several successful bars over the years, but Eagle Tokyo is the first one he’s specifically tailored for a foreign audience. A big reason for this is the coming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Yuta wanted Eagle Tokyo to stand as a symbol for Ni-chome’s vibrant, gay district.
Have a Great Night Out!
An inviting industrial vibe is washed in dim lighting and monitors cycling through current pop hits. The mood at Eagle Tokyo is perfect for a night out. But a DJ system provides the soundtrack for special events in Ni-Chome. These local events range in variety. Eagle Tokyo unleashes parties for holidays, spring Sakura events, sweaty summer firework seasons, and even leather and fetish events of all kinds. One thing is for sure, there’s an exciting event for people all types which serves to punctuate Eagle Tokyo’s policy towards inclusiveness.
Come on out and Visit!
If you’re visiting Tokyo and want a place with delicious drinks and locals to meet, then look no further than Eagle Tokyo. The gay bar is a mix of Japanese-influenced cocktails, a laid-back American style, and a staff waiting to serve you with a cuddly, bearded smile. Eagle Tokyo may be the new kid on the block, but it aims to be the landing point for visitors to Tokyo’s dazzling gay district.
Hours and Access
Sunday – Thursday 6pm-12am, Friday – Saturday 6pm-5am. Last call is 30 minutes before closing.
Access: From Shinjuku station Exit the east gate, go up to the main stairs. Cross the major street inform of the station, where you can see the Alta shopping mall. Head east until you hit a 7-11 convenience store. Proceed left of the 7-11, the Right at the ramen shop on the 1st floor. Lastly, make a left, and you will see Eagle Tokyo.
From Shinjuku San-chome Station, Exit C8 in front of Bygs building. At the corner of the middle intersection is a small bakery café, proceed to the left of it, turn right when you see the Lone Star Hotel, and you will see Eagle Tokyo on the left.