About 12,000 people joined a parade Sunday to kick off Tokyo Rainbow Week.
Revelers gathered in the “Pride Village” setup in Yoyogi Park, one of Tokyo’s largest parks which served as lodging for athletes during the 1964 summer Tokyo Olympics, before marching through the streets of Tokyo’s posh Harajuku shopping district in the Shibuya Ward.
The celebration continued afterward in Pride Village, where organizers had set up a performance stage and vendor booths.
Participating corporations included Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Phillips and UBS.
Kenji from IBM said: “IBM would like to improve the environment and the workplace for people who are LGBT,”
According to the AFP, the inclusion of a parade was a first for the week-long celebration of sexual diversity which consists of over 20 events through May 6.
“The parade is a symbolic event in the Tokyo Rainbow Week program,” said thirty-five-year-old Hiroko Mauhara, one of the organizers.
Tokyo’s annual Gay Pride Parade is held in August. Parade organizer Shin-ya Yamagata said Tokyo needed a parade in the spring.
“I have been working on various pride parades for the past 10 years,” he said. “Tokyo needed a new pride parade in the spring. So I started this one.”