Tokyo Rainbow Pride Fest
Grab your rainbow apparel and cruise on down to the biggest LGBT pride parade in Japan.
Pride parades are one of the best things about spring, and Tokyo does not disappoint. Its annual LGBT Rainbow Pride Fest is a delightful experience for anyone who wants to see a more colorful side of the city.
Set in the event space next to Shibuya’s Yoyogi Park, Tokyo Pride is a two-day event that mixes progressive social activism with traditional Japanese festival culture. Munch on your yakisoba (stir-fried noodles) while chatting with anime drag queens. Cool down with your uchiwa (fan) and kakigori (shaved ice) next to Japanese in yukata (summer kimono) while listening to a speech about the fight to establish marriage equality in Japan.
While perhaps not as raucous as some other cities’ prides, Tokyo’s Pride’s homey and down-to-earth approach makes it quite an inclusive event.
What to do
Rainbow Pride is a chance to see and hear Tokyo’s LGBT community in full force.
Various embassies, organizations such as Equal Marriage Alliance and Akta LGBTQ center, as well as corporations such as Google, Alfa Romeo, and Toot underwear are clustered in the event area, handing out free gifts and willing to chat. Really, everyone there is in high spirits, so it’s a great way to meet some new friends, both Japanese and foreign.
In addition to the organizations’ booths, there is also an event stage in the same area. You can relax there and check out performances by local singers, dancers and entertainers, as well as speeches by politicians and local leaders.
The parade takes place on the second day of the Pride Fest. Starting at the entrance to the site closest to Shibuya, it snakes through the area’s main shopping streets before arriving back at the fest. Join in and celebrate being out and proud while enjoying the brightly colored floats, festive costumes and gay party music.
While the park event closes around sundown, don’t be fooled. The party continues in the streets of Ni-chome, Tokyo’s gay district, until the next morning!No matter your gender or sexual orientation, one thing is clear: , Tokyo Rainbow Pride is an inclusive, uplifting and fabulous way to spend a spring day in the city.