Coming of Age Day in Tokyo

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Coming of Age Day in Tokyo

Coming of Age Day in Tokyo

If the last few days back in the "real world" have been a bit rough for your family following the holiday break, we have good news for you:
Monday, 13 January is another public holiday!
Coming of Age Day, or Seijin no Hi (成人の日) is an annual celebration in honor of Japan's newly minted adults. Once you turn 20 in Japan, you're legally allowed to partake in many adult activities (like drinking and smoking) and are traditionally expected to transition to a more responsible adult mindset. Those who have turned 20 between April 2019 and April 2020 are invited to participate in the day's ceremonies.
coming of age day ceremonies

Coming of Age Day Ceremonies

Many wards and schools host ceremonies on Coming of Age Day. Usually inclusive of speeches from local government officials and sometimes a performance or two, these ceremonies are famous for the clothing honorees specifically for the occasion.
Young women wear colorful, intricate kimono, called furisode, that have long sleeves and fur collars. They will also spend hours in the hair and makeup chair ahead of the ceremony, many getting started as early as four in the morning. Young men are off the hook for anything too elaborate; while some do choose to wear traditional hakama, most instead opt for a western look: a three-piece suit.
The day's honorees usually spring for a professional photoshoot as well, to commemorate the moment and their outfits.
Following the ceremony, many participants will join their friends for a few rounds of drinks at local izakayas, as a de facto reunion and public display of their adulthood.
coming of age day celebrations

Coming of Age Day Celebrations

If neither you nor anyone you know is participating in Coming of Age Day ceremonies, there's not really anything special for your family to do to celebrate the occasion.
You can easily enjoy the many beautiful kimono (and the few hakama) that will be on display around your neighborhood as the new adults pose for photographs and make their way to the bar.
And of course, it is a day off from work and school, so you can take advantage of the time to enjoy all the Tokyo has to offer in the winter. Or, if you'd prefer to spend quieter time at home, we have tons of suggestions for indoor activities kids will love.
We'd also recommend steering clear of your favorite izakayas for the evening, unless you want to eat dinner alongside handfuls of joyous young adults celebrating their ability to drink legally!
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