Yesterday, January 9th, was Coming of Age Day in Tokyo. Called “Seijin no Hi” in Japanese, Coming of Age Day is a time for families and friends to celebrate the transition from childhood to adulthood of young Japanese men and women who have reached their 20th birthday within the last year. Coming of Age Day starts with “official” ceremonies at local government offices all over Japan. After that, many 20-year-olds visit a shrine with their families. The day usually ends in a more relaxed manner with young people gathering together to party with friends.

Kimono in Tokyo on Coming of Age Day

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of “Seijin no Hi” to fans of Japanese fashion is that it’s one of the few days of the year when you can see young people walking the streets of Japan in traditional dress. Young Japanese women celebrating Coming of Age Day dress up in beautiful furisode kimono and visit salons to have their hair and makeup done for the ceremonies. In between events, and after they are done with the official ceremonies, you can see groups of 20-year-old girls walking all over Tokyo dressed in colorful kimono. Guys celebrating Coming of Age Day dress up as well – but in suits, not kimono. Of course, the young men look handsome, but it’s the kimono-wearing young women who turn heads all over Japan on Coming of Age Day.

Because of the beauty of the kimonos – and because it’s so rare to see so many young people wearing them on the same day – we go out every year on Coming of Age Day to take photos. Our usual place to take pictures (and one that we can recommend if you are ever in Tokyo on Coming of Age Day yourself and looking for kimono) is Meiji Shine in Harajuku. Many young women and their families make a pilgrimage to Meiji Jingu on “Seijin no Hi”.

For a change of pace, this year we shot photos in Shibuya. It might sound a little strange at first to think of kimono-wearing girls walking around Shibuya 109, but on Coming of Age Day it’s a common sight. In fact, one of the girls we photographed was even carrying a shopping bag from TutuHA!

Please enjoy the Shibuya kimono pictures and join us in wishing all of these fine young Japanese women and men a Happy Coming of Age Day! Click any of the photos below to enlarge them.

Click on any of the kimono pictures to see them in even-more-beautiful high resolution.

Once again, we send out our best wishes and congratulations to each and every one of the Tokyo girls and guys that we met on Coming of Age Day. The future is yours for the taking!

27 Comments

  1. What a beautiful tradition! Are the Kimonos handed down through the family for this celebration? Everyone looks just stunning…especially the last girl with the historical hairstyle!! Very nice!

  2. Omo, That guy in the first picture is handsome ^o^, the one closest to the ground xd

  3. Omg these ladies, and gents, look so good! What a big day in their lives! It seems like it’s similar to the US claiming us as adults when we turn 21. Oh yes, the young man towards the bottom is very good to look at. :) Happy Coming of Age Day!

  4. That guy in the first pic, with his peace handsign is soooooooo Handsome <3333

  5. Kimonos are so pretty!

    I wonder when the idea to wear the fluffy boas started though ? I know it’s a common thing but I feel like it kind of takes away from the kimono.

  6. Wan!!!! Wish we had this tradition in America.. -3-… They are all very pretty.. i love the kimonos!!!

  7. @annalee orr
    Kimonos, if you own them, are indeed handed down, but most of the ones visible on these pictures have modern designs. Considering the fact most young girls don’t wear kimonos in the winter and hence won’t need them anymore (yukatas for summer festivals are a different story), most have likely rented their whole attire (save for tabi and maybe hairpins) just for Seijin no Hi. Can’t blame them – a real deal kimono is insanely expensive!

  8. Wow.. I wish we had something like this in my place.. : )) And all those kimonos are just stunning! Also what is the meaning of those furs on their necks? Is it just because it’s cold or does it have a meaning? :)

  9. woaaaah it’s just so beautiful *_____* i want to wear a dazzling kimono too when i turn 20 ^^ haha

  10. TsukiNoYubisaki

    This is so wonderful..
    The colours shining of the Kimonos shining so brightly and turning Shibuya into a even more beautful city…
    Would like to get the chance to make my own photos on this day…
    I just love Japan <3

  11. I’m pretty sure they are wearing the fur to keep themselves warm.
    Yes, the kimono are rented out usually. Buying a kimono is very expensive. It can be several thousands of dollars; even kimono rent is costly.
    But still, this is a lovely tradition! They look so beautiful. ^_^

  12. I wanted to go and dress myself in warm kimono and white fluffiness but I’m already 21 = ))))))))))

  13. Kaila, you can wear Kimono no matter how old you are. :-)

  14. non sibi

    Traditional costume with traditional hairdo is always the best!

  15. StephanieDenise

    they are all so pretty and the kimonos are amazing!
    really wish we had that tradition here as well!
    but I am 25 allready, so it’s way too late for me :’|

  16. Love Japan’s culture, its absolutely beautiful!! I love their kimonos!! I would’ve loved to have been here on this day to check out this tradition! The patterns on the kimonos are stunning and the girls look gorgeous! Wish you’d taken more photos of the guys too :) Nonetheless, thank for you for keeping us informed and for sharing these wonderful photos ^^

  17. The kimono’s are so beautiful. What an excellent way to ensure that kimonos will continue to be worn by the younger generation.

  18. Dreaded Queen

    Love all the pics!!! Especially the ones at end! Would love to see this in person

  19. Schezerade

    beautiful girls!
    I especially like the last one… so traditional and reserved. :)

  20. I’m 20 and I want a kimono so bad T.T Love all the pics, they’are very charming <3

  21. Princess Paris

    Omg those kimonoooooos.. I’ve been wanting to wear it ever since I was a kid..when that dream would be come true?! They look amazinggggg..me want itttttt… :(

  22. the Japanese kimonos are so damn creative graphic designer, they are so beautifully coloured, and it’s the traditional art.

  23. I was wondering what song was used for the Coming of Age 2013 video was ?

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