Girls will be boys at Tokyo’s trendy cross-dressing cafés
One of the first danso cafes in Ikebukuro, B:Lily-Rose is home base to yaoi manga culture and the fujoshi who love it. It is a favorite rest area for shoppers, with a central communal table that ensures lively conversation. During café time, try the specialty teas and sweets, or in the evening sample the mixed drinks named after delicious moments of boys-love fantasy.
1-31-15 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku. Tel: 03-5957-7297. Open daily noon-9pm. All-male groups can enter from 2-6pm. Nearest stn: Ikebukuro. www.b-lilyrose.com
80 + 1
This is a slick new addition to the Ikebukuro danso scene. The name is slang for yaoi (8 reads “ya,” 0 reads “o” and 1 is “i”), so you know what you’re in for. In fact, the fujoshi atmosphere is so treasured here that men are refused entry before 6pm. Even when a man does wander in, the machismo of the cross-dressing staff rules the roost.
3-9-13 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku. Tel: 03-3984-7551. Open daily 3-10pm. Nearest stn: Ikebukuro. www.80plus1.net
The increasing popularity of danso cafés among men means that they can now be found in Akihabara. Queen Dolce and its girls-turned-beautiful-boys staff have survived in the heartland of the male otaku population for years by offering friendly, casual conversation and hosting lots of tie-in promotions for anime. You go, girls!
3F, 3-15-6 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3252-2031. Open Tue-Fri 2-10pm, Sat-Sun 1-10pm, closed Mon. Nearest stn: Akihabara or Suehirocho. www.akibakotower.com/queen-dolce
Good Rock – Boys:Style –
The costumes at this maid bar on the fringes of Akihabara are going increasingly male. Recently, the name changed to reflect the host club-like atmosphere, though the customers are still predominately male. Good Rock offers a wide range of alcoholic beverages, and the bartenders are fair at mixology. Not your bag? Try the sister nun café next door (and yes, they serve alcohol).
2-19 Kanda-Sudacho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3254-5300. Open daily 3-10pm. Nearest stn: Akihabara. www.barzoid.com/boys_style
Café B’s Prince “Little Brother Event”
You might have heard that the omnipresent little sister character in anime has inspired little sister cafes catering to so-called lolicon (Lolita complex) or moe otaku. There is a female equivalent, the little brother café experience catering to fujoshi with shotacon (Shota complex). The staff in danso welcome “big sis” home July 11 at Café Triomphe, just outside Akihabara.
5-6-4 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-6380-9540. Open 10am-10pm. Nearest stn: Suehirocho. Café Triomphe: www.sweettrip.biz. B’s Prince official site: http://bpri.ame-zaiku.com.