In this seventh edition, we shall be presenting you with our snapshots, which were taken around our roughly one-week stay in the city. When the international situation settles down, you’ll definitely want to choose Amsterdam as your summer holiday destination.
ーーOne breath of fresh air and you’ll want to walk everywhere. Amsterdam is one of the most liberal cities in the world.
From Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam Central Station is a 20-minute train ride away. As it was during the week-long Pride event ‘PRIDE AMSTERDAM’, during which the station building was decorated with rainbow flags and many people from all over the world were coming to visit.
Dutch National Opera and Ballet is located next to Amsterdam’s Central District Office, where same-sex marriage was legalized for the first time ever in the world. As the name indicates, many operas and ballet performances are staged here.
The location along with the Amstel River is also excellent.
Since Amsterdam has developed on unsteady ground, dammed up by the Amstel River, you will notice that there are slightly tilted buildings everywhere.As you/one might expect, there are residents living inside of these slanted houses, but they don’t seem to be too bothered about it.
This is most likely due to the fact that the city has almost no earth-quakes.
In a city where canals are spread out, and people drinking in boats are part of a scenery that blends into everyday life.
The Ring Canal Area, inside the Singel Canal, is a World Natural Heritage Site, where you can slowly pass by many historic buildings while drifting alongside the canals. It is perhaps one of the most luxurious ways to spend your time in Amsterdam.
It is said that Beginhof, which is located in the centre of the city, had been the main base of operations for the women’s independence movement in the 14th century. Furthermore, rumor also has it that the first lesbian community was formed here.
Although entry is free, around 100 women still reside here, so as a rule it is important to refrain from talking when visiting the church grounds.
When thinking about the Netherlands, to many people windmills and tulips often first come to mind. This image is being solidified at the flower market along the Singel Canal, where a wide variety of tulip bulbs are being sold.
When bringing tulips into Japan, quarantine is mandatory in both the Netherlands and Japan. In some cases, they might even be confiscated, so make sure to check and prepare them beforehand
Is a generic term for buildings occupied by anti-government, anti-capitalist and anti-policy groups, which are scattered throughout the city. Attempts by the municipality to demolish them, have been proven to be rather futile, as they continue to exist and be used by members of these groups.
On Wednesdays, Moroccan feminists are holding an event in such a place called Queer Wednesday.
AUROLA has hundreds of different types of lights in its shop, from ready-made to vintage. AUROLA has been lighting up the lives of Amsterdam’s residents for more than 110 years since its establishment in 1909. One of the other city’s aspects that might attract you, is that you can find many shops with this kind of history.
Monuments in memory of persecuted homosexuals. Here it has been inscribed with the message ‘Unending Friendship’. The Pride Walk by PRIDE AMSTERDAM is also set to start here every year.
Flowers were placed by the nearby riverside where gay people were once sentenced, punished and hanged.
During PRIDE AMSTERDAM, various events were organized by drag queens at the Monument. The high heel race seemed to be the most popular event, attracting thousands of people and creating an atmosphere similar to that of a live artist performance.
This is probably only possible in countries where same-sex marriage has been legalized, and where a public and entertaining approach can further deepen our understanding of sexual minorities.
A trans parade organized by TRANS AMSTERDAM; an organization that aims to improve transgender rights, is led by a young trans man, who walks proudly without hiding the surgical scar on his chest.
Behind him, hundreds of people of all genders and ages line up and parade through the streets to the rhythm.
Residents peeked out from flats along the street to the sound of drums. They were cheering them on, waving large rainbow flags that they had brought out from nowhere.
When we spoke to an elderly lady who was quietly watching the parade, she replied kindly, “I think it’s very important to give people from different backgrounds and groups a chance to show themselves out in the open”.
THE STUDENT HOTEL, which houses the operational headquarters of PRIDE AMSTERDAM, will be lit up and turned into a rainbow for a limited period.
Here, they also hosted the first-ever Asian Pride Party and a queer art exhibition organized by Queer Currents, with many portraits of people from the LGBTQ+ community on display.
ーーWhat does not change and what must change. Amsterdam has chosen to ‘keep on changing’ while simultaneously respecting its history and the diversifying lifestyles of its people, in which there is a comfortable balance of tradition and freedom.
When you visit, don’t be too taken aback and make sure to enjoy strolling around to your heart’s content.
Interview and text/Haga Takashi
Interpreter/Kuwabara Karin (Saw Communications)
Cooperation/ The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan, Dutch Culture
Article produced by/ newTOKYO
※This interview was conducted as part of a visitors program organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan.