The second Monday of January each year marks the Japanese holiday Seijin no Hi, known as “Coming of Age Day” in English. On this day, Japanese people who have turned 20 years old within the last year celebrate their graduation to adulthood. Those celebrations often include a ceremony at a local ward office, a trip to a local shrine, and late night parties with friends and/or relatives.

The coolest aspect of the holiday for Japanese fashion fans is that many young Japanese girls wear brightly colored furisode kimono to the daytime ceremony and shrine visits. That means that Coming of Age Day is one of the only days of the year that you are likely to see large number of young people in Tokyo wearing traditional kimono.

Coming of Age Day

This year, Coming of Age Day fell on Monday January 10, 2011. We always enjoy this holiday, because it’s so rare to see Japanese people in traditional clothing around Harajuku and Shibuya, the youth-centered neighborhoods where we spend most of our time. Of course we see yukata around hanabi time of year, but full-on kimono are just not a normal wardrobe item for young Japanese. As usual, we were delighted to see plenty of Japanese girls in brightly colored furisode kimono walking around Takeshita Dori and other areas of Harajuku – either in groups of friends or with their families.

Camera in hand, we headed for Tokyo’s most famous shrine, Meiji Jingu, to see if any of the beautifully dressed girls celebrating Seijin no Hi would be willing to pose for a few photos. Luckily, we found plenty of friendly smiling 20-year-old kimono-clad volunteers. Please enjoy these pictures of Coming of Age Day 2011 in Harajuku and remember that you can click any of them to see high resolution versions!

Click any of the photos to enlarge them.

On a personal note, we want to send a big congratulations to Tokyo Fashion team member Momo, who celebrated Coming of Age Day today as someone who turned 20 in the last year! Please follow Momo on Twitter to help her celebrate. :-)

If you want to see more pictures of girls in kimono, we also took some last year during Coming of Age Day 2010.

34 Comments

  1. BEAUTIFUL!!! this is why im dying to go to japan…

  2. wow! I’d really love a kimono like that! :D there so beautiful!!

  3. Beautiful! Awww I want to turn 20 again…in Japan!

  4. TokyoTrekker

    Thanks for uploading these amazing shots. They all look so beautiful !! Talk about the transforming power of clothing/fashion! For a few of them, though, this seems to be an exercise for tradition’s sake, and I think they can’t wait to get back into “gyaru” mode!

  5. Beautiful but what’s up with all the fur collars?

  6. Loved all the pics, cept the blonde curly haired one. There was no need for that hair or make up. It looks terrible, but then I guess I hate that look regardless.

    I want a kimono now :( Oh I’d also like to be 20 again please

  7. The Kimono is such a beautiful & elegant piece of clothing, I had the great fortune & honour to wear a Tomesode Kimono at my daughter & son in laws Temple Wedding Blessing last October, as a Westener I felt very privileged to wear this amazing outfit.

  8. Thanks for uploading these images.The kimonos are so beautiful ! i agree with Liz, i wanna turn 20 again in Japan.

  9. I love all the kimonos! They all have beautiful colors!

  10. this blondi with mega make up is not Japanese I suppose
    Some kimonos are intersting, some not at all…
    I f you guys see more of them, you can see a diffrence.
    Still, it is cool to be 20 not twice that old ;)

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  12. Thank you so much for these beautiful photographs. They really capture the charming, idiosyncratic details of each ensemble. Your blog is often the highlight of my day!

  13. Thank you for taking such amazing photos of things like this!! It might be everyday for some people, specially if you live in Japan, but for people like me who don’t and are obsessed with all things Japanese, this is a very nice treat!
    The 3rd photo of the three girls is my fave. Love how you’ve done the special effects. As always, looking forward to see what else you can show us.

    Keep up the good work guys! =D

  14. All the other girls seemed pretty and unique…
    Fur collar seems pretty cool accessory,specially when it is little chilly lately ^___^)
    They look really cute,yes yes… But I have to agree with Gem..
    The blond there was little bit over the top.. I mean her eye “makeup”, no need for that…

  15. Wow !! THe kimonos. Are so beautiful. …i can’t wait to turn 20 & go to japan. And wear such cute kimono >_<!!!

  16. non sibi

    Traditional kimono with traditional hairstyle is awesome!

  17. Ooh fur and Kimonos too cute, always love how Japanese girls style themselves.

  18. lovely photos. i like the 3rd to the last pic the most. nape is really the sexiest part for japanese girls especially when wearing kimono. the fur looks to classy and expensive. and the hair, omg!

  19. soo pretty! the white furry thing is totally my style hahaha. glad to see these girls having fun :) I didn’t get to dress up on my 20th birthday and now I’m years too old for that, ugh.

  20. i really liked those kimonos ,if i have the chance i-d like to turn 20 in japan but i think it;s quite impossible;now i ‘m 18 and i;m in my third year in highschool so when i will turn 20 it will most likely be in romania
    there are soo many nice traditions and festivities in japan that i feel i wanna learn them all

  21. I love the art of wearing a Kimono. To see so many young girls embracing this tradition is wonderful. Every one of them looks gorgeous. I would love to visit Japan around this time someday!

  22. kory christopher alexandre

    I’m really happy to learn that the 1991 generation will be
    In January 2012, because I have been forced to miss one this year.
    “I think these clothes are the best”

  23. My home-stay family rented a full dress Kimono set for me to wear even though I was already 24 when I studied abroad. They wanted me to have the experience when they found out that the only thing we really did to celebrate my 21st B-day by getting drunk It was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced! I still email them three years later…

  24. Can’t wait till I turn 20, I don’t care if I live in New York and we don’t celebrate coming of age day here, I’m still wearing a furisode on that day. ^.^

  25. Hikazuki_Dya

    Niceee… ^ ^
    Everyone girls in that picture looks beautiful when wear kimono…

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  27. wow i cant wait to go to japan and im only 13

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