Seijin-shiki omedeto Gozaimasu!
Thousands of Japanese women dressed up on Monday in dazzling kimonos for the country’s annual Coming of Age Day – with some planning their look a year in advance.
The Coming of Age is an annual holiday, held on the second Monday of January, that marks teenagers turning 20 and so reaching official adulthood in the country.
Ceremonies are held nationwide at local town halls and offices, with many attending parties afterwards with family and friends.
The age of 20 is significant in Japan because that’s the age at which it becomes legal to drink, smoke and vote, so the day is seen as a threshold between youth and becoming a responsible adult.
Women have been known to book appointments a year in advance to have their hair and make-up done and to have a kimono fitted – a notoriously fiddly task.
Beauty parlours stay open all night in order to handle the rush for styling.
While most women wear kimonos, men tend to wear business suits.
The Coming of Age tradition – a celebration for those who turned 20 in the past year – dates back to 714 when a young prince kitted himself out in new robes and had a fresh haircut to celebrate leaving his teen years behind.
The number of people who celebrated their coming of age was 1.26 million this year, an increase of 50,000 from 2014.
Thousands of Japanese women dressed up on Monday in dazzling kimonos for the country’s annual Coming of Age Day
A Japanese woman in a kimono uses her mobile phone during a Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony at an amusement park in Tokyo
A Coming of Age ceremony at Tokyo’s Toshimaen amusement park on Coming of Age Day
Dazzling: Japanese women in kimonos ride a train after a ceremony celebrating Coming of Age Day in Tokyo January
According to a government announcement, more than 1.2 million men and women who were born in 1994 marked the coming of age this year, an increase of approximately 50,000 from last year
Twenty-year-old Anne Nakajima (right) looks for old school friends prior to a Coming of Age Day ceremony in Isumi city, Chiba province
Anne Nakajima (second right) poses for a photo with old school friends for the Coming of Age celebrations
Disney character Mickey Mouse greets 20-year-old women wearing kimonos during their celebration at Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu
Mouse about that: The famous Disney character proved a popular photo opportunity
Disney character Goofy brought a smile to the faces of those taking part in the celebrations
A Japanese woman in a kimono looks at a mirror as she checks her makeup next to an amusement park advertisement, on a platform of a train station in Tokyo
A Japanese woman in a kimono takes a selfie with her friends as they attend a Coming of Age Day celebration in Tokyo
Maho Yamaguchi, 20, wears a kimono with origami accessories on her hair as she poses after a ceremony celebrating Coming of Age Day at an amusement park in Tokyo
Bright idea: The colourful kimonos made for quite a sight on Monday as thousands dressed up for the annual festivities
Flower power: A huge variety of kimono designs were on display as 1.26 million celebrated turning 20
Anne Nakajima gets fitted into a kimono at 5:30 am at a beauty parlor in Isumi city, Chiba province. Many young women throughout Japan make appointments one year in advance to get their hair prepared and to be fitted into a kimono
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