Rainbow Festival: LGBT Community at Tokyo

I stumbled on this event by chance when I was looking for some details on what I can find or buy at Nakano. Another blogger by the name of Tokyo Moe has posted the details of this parade and replied to my inquiry on where and how to reach the venue.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to see this festivity on a city where sex is not to taboo after all. I was thinking that sexuality or a person sexual preference should be well accepted here in Tokyo, the same way as the widespread selling of x-rated magazines, VCRs and  DVDs.

The celebration is called Rainbow Festival held at Shinjuku Ni-chome district from 3:30 to 6:00 pm following the permit provided.  The crowd is no more than 5,000 people and there is handful of police man patrolling the area. It is fairly a quiet event with few drag queens, guys and gals dress in yukuta and of course the highlight of the event – men in fundoshi (traditional Japanese undergarment, similar to cotton t-back).

There is the portable shrine paraded around which was carried by mostly women and fronted (I mean backed) by the healthy, white butts of fundoshi men.

Love is in the air and you can feel a sense of acceptance and respect. I saw a couple holding hands and shared a sweet kiss, I can’t help but smile and be genuinely happy for them. There is an old lady pushing another old lady on her wheelchair, I am not sure what are they doing in the festival. Are they just another eager crowd, maybe to support a family member or maybe they are themselves a member of the community? I don’t know and it doesn’t even matter, the festivity and the people are welcoming for anyone.

Back home, the LGBT community are the individuals very well known in the entertainment industry who never fails to make anyone laugh. They are mostly hardworking and successful individual who seldom ran out of jokes to crack but if you need them to be there for you during tough times, they are there no matter what the circumstances is. Some of my closest friends, my cousin and the one who somehow raised me as if I were her own kid are part of this community. I love them and very very very proud of them.


With everything that is happening in the world today, does it even matter what your sexual preference is? Isn’t it more important that you live your life without hurting anyone, without taking advantage of others and with suffice love to give.

The celebration is not enough to form a conclusion in my mind on how the Japanese perceive the LGBT community but one thing I am sure of, they deserve more than a once a year,  2.5 hours celebration.


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