Enjoy night at Gion at female-friendly Okama Bar
Text: A. Sasaki / Photo: Kanako Takimoto
Gion Mako chan is a transvestite bar that you can drink and laugh with the ower very casually. It's one street to the west of Hanami Koji Dori that leads to Tatsumi Bridge, on the 5th floor of a building in front of Izuu Sushi restaurant.
The owner Mako chan is transgender who had converted the sex 15 years ago and the national registry 5 years ago. Women from the top of her head to the tip of her toes. She had worked in a takoyaki (octopus dumpling) stall before opening up the bar. 'People thought it was funny that a transgender like myself was delivering takoyaki. I built many networks during the 5 months I worked there.' She is actually from the eastern Japan, Kanagawa Prefecture. Working as an ordinary office worker, she came to Kyoto for holiday and had met another transgender who suggested she come to Kyoto and open a bar. With her bright character, she reached out to grab whatever that chance was.
Mako chan is full of hospitality. She just opened the bar at the end of March 2016. In just a few months, the place is full of people. The percentage of women is 60-70%, some even come alone. Her conversation full of wit entertains many people.
'I opened the bar without thinking much, and am doing it alone now. I don't know how far I can go but people support me and that is a great joy for me to go on.'
Hilarious costumes, party toys and decorations will surely blast the night. It's a great place to celebrate birthdays. She can make everyday a special day. Customers stop by after 2 or 3 places so the bar gets hot past midnight. Peek inside if you want something different from the traditional Gion taste.
ADDRESS: Sunny Building 5-A, 88-3 Oji-dori Shijo Agaru Futasuji-me Higashi Iru Sueyoshi-cho (map)
CLOSED: Sunday, public holiday (Possible to open upon prior reservation)