It was a scorching 37 degrees in Tokyo on Saturday August 11, 2007. Yoyogi Park was bursting at the seams with a sense of excited anticipation.
Bottled water and canned beer sold like hot cakes never would have. Gay, lesbian and transgender Tokyo was in its Saturday best to show the rest of the city what fun and freedom were all about.
The milling carnival-like air of the lead up soon gave way to the full on jive of the parade. Led by a massive brass band, the Parade got underway at 3.30pm.
Following the band, outrageously decorated floats, and each other, the huge crowd of thousands began an hour-long loop of the streets surrounding Yoyogi Park, to Harajuku, through Shibuya, and back.
There were overtly political representations, floats provided and manned by bars and associations, sports groups and scores of others of people banding together for outrageous fun and friendship.
Many more thousands of supporters lined the streets of the route, waving and whistling from sidewalks and overhead bridges. There was the inevitable wonderment and stares of half-disbelief from some of the straight crowd of shoppers and tourists, but the infectious fun mixed with the equally irresistable beats from the DJs on passing floats carried the day - all the way.
Shinjuku Ni-Chome was as busy as ever on Saturday evening, as the party mood born on the hot sunlit streets of Tokyo burned far on until Sunday morning.
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Sunday, August 12, 2007
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