With robot restaurants, maid cafes, and the notoriously bizarre penis festival, it is not hard to agree on the fact that Tokyo is a place that is very accepting of people from across all walks of life. It comes as no surprise that Tokyo Pride festival – a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) acceptance, accomplishments and rights – with its bright colours and its unconventional costumes and looks, is one of the most popular events in the metropolis.

Sadly, 2020 marks the first year that organisers have been forced to cancel the flamboyant event. In spite of the unfortunate yet agreeable decision to cancel, we can be sure that Tokyo Rainbow Pride will return next spring, and will possibly be the largest pride event in Tokyo’s history.

The Pride Festival first came to Japan over 20 years ago, with a pride march that took place back in 1994. The celebration is much larger nowadays, with the party lasting a whole weekend. The popular social shindig, which according to event organisers last year saw over 200,000 participants, starts off with a 3km march across Harajuku and Shibuya before ending up in Yoyogi Park where onlookers can enjoy a range of performances by drag artists and other non-conforming entertainers.

Even pets take part in the colourful rainbow fun. / Rosemary Ketchum | © Pexels.com

This year, with the current stay at home protocol, the event has had to come up with alternative arrangements in order to make sure the party goes on. With the majority of live events shut down due to social distancing measures, Tokyo Rainbow Pride, which was originally scheduled to go ahead from April 25th to May 6th, brought its festivities to the net this year.

To kickstart this year’s festivities, organizers of Tokyo Rainbow Pride asked partakers to tag their favourite pride costumes and looks on Instagram from both past events and home with the hashtags #TRP2020 and #おうちでプライド (pride at home).

In addition to all the weird and wonderful taking over Instagram feeds, Tokyo Rainbow Pride scheduled a number of live streams and talk shows that were relayed on the event’s official twitter account throughout Golden Week.

A great number of people took to social media to share past experiences and photos as well as express their love for the event.

Credit: @あおくんとあかちゃん

If you are the type of person who enjoys collecting memorabilia at events, there is no need to fret, as this year you can still get your hands on some Tokyo Rainbow Pride special items.

Along with a wide range of Tokyo Rainbow Pride goods, such as limited edition t-shirts, tote bags and stickers that are available on the official event website, Starbucks is also selling their own special edition #nofilter tumblers again this year.

Credit: @Yuito.A

This year's theme “Your Happiness is My Happiness” was coined with the aim of spreading love and respect to everyone's own version of happiness.

In spite of the gloomy circumstances we currently find ourselves in, love will always go around, so in order to explore this year’s special event just head over to Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #TokyoRainbowPride, #TRP2020, and #おうちでプライド.

From special rainbow-coloured food dishes and brightly coloured belongings to throwbacks of drag performances, drag queen DIY’s and How-to’s, and even photos of certain temples in Japan taking part in pride, there is no limit on who or what can take part in the event, and so, if you think it is worth sharing with the Tokyo Rainbow Pride Community, then the organisers invite you to do so.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.