By day you’re just another hard-worker in your Japanese office, donning the same, typical business suit as every other salaryman in the city. But by night, once work is over, you need to shed that suit and all that’s associated with it, put on a dress and some makeup, and let the other you take over.

Well, if you’re living in Tokyo, there’s a place just right for your needs in the Shinjuku neighborhood – Josokko Kouishitu, a locker/changing room especially for drag queens and cross-dressers!

With Shinjuku’s prominent gay scene and the increase of drag shows and events in the area, Tokyo’s largest neighborhood is the ideal place for a changing area specifically targeted towards “new-halves”, as drag queens and transsexuals are called in Japanese.

Josokko Kouishitsu, which opened February 12, was designed to meet the various wants and needs of the cross-dressing men it caters to, from those who just don’t have the storage space for their clothes and accessories at home, to those who want a chance to dress up after work before heading home, and those who’d like to shower and refresh after their time out and about.

▼The changing facilities have a very home-y feel



The facilities are open 24 hours a day and are completely secure. They offer lockers for rent in addition to other amenities. You can rent a small locker starting at 5,000 yen per month (about US$50) or a large locker from 10,000 yen per month ($100). There are also shower rooms and laundry machines which can be used freely.



Located only a three-minute walk from the locker facilities is the drag bar Girls Club. The locker facilities are managed by the bar, and the staff is there to offer their advice and support to those new to the drag scene, in addition to clothes, wigs, and makeup that are all free to use. Girls Club gathers a large crowd of people of all ages on the weekends, so it is a great place to mingle and meet others in the scene, but the bar is also open to everyone, men and women, in drag or not. In addition, those with a locker room membership get a free drink each time they visit.

The Girls Club bar (which also has a branch in Osaka), was established by UNI Corporation, a company which also organizes the largest drag show event “Propaganda” each month in Shinjuku, an event which gathers up to 400 people.

Despite big names in the media like Matsuko Deluxe and Ai Haruna, many Japanese tend to still have a somewhat hush-hush attitude towards sexual minorities. But times are definitely a-changing, and it would be great to see more facilities like this, as well as bars and events like Girls Club and Propaganda, as people become more accepting of the minorities around them.

Here are the store particulars for those who are interested:

Girls Club
Address: Tokyo-to Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 2 Chome-13-16, SENSHO Building 4F
Hours: 7pm-5am
Nearest station: Shinjuku-sanchome (3 mins), Shinjuku (10 mins)
Phone: 03-5357-7875

Josokko Kouishitsu (Shinjuku)
Address: Tokyo-to Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 5-8-10, Shinjuku 5 Adoresu #303
Hours: Open 24 hours (Reception desk hours from 7pm-5am)

Sources: Girls Club, Jisokko Kouishitsu, Propaganda Party via SankeiBiz
Images: Jisokko Kouishitsu