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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gay Shinjuku Ni-Chome Rainbow Festival 2009

レインボー祭り 新宿二丁目



2009 was a good year for Tokyo's gay community in that, unlike, last year, a public pride gathering took place - although unlike the very public Tokyo Gay Pride of 2007, this year's celebration was a little less "out" in the sense that it took place on the home turf of Shinjuku Ni-Chome, Tokyo's most popular gay area, part of the all day-all night Shinjuku station district.

This summer has been a cloudy, wet one, and, while the sun chose not to shine on August 30, the day of the festival, like a rainbow, the wet weather only brought out the fun ever more vividly - and it was thronged in spite of being a Sunday and work the next day.

Many bars, including the dance club most popular with both Japanese and foreigners, Arty Farty, the more Japanese oriented Arch, the chic party-animal Rehab Lounge, the causal Dragon Men, the cruisy GB, and the warm, friendly Usagi, among many others, all had special parties or happy hours for the Festival, and made sure the vibe stayed alive.

Unlike the Gay Pride Parade, the Rainbow Festival was not compartmentalized into scenes, but the various scenes were well represented all the same, from the femme to the butch, from the outlandish to the trad.

Ni-Chome buzzes everyday, but the Rainbow Festival brought out the spirit of togetherness more than ever.

2010: be there or square.

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