When someone turns 20 years old in Japan, they are considered to be 成人（Seijin）, an “adult”. Coming of Age Day is one of the Japanese holidays held every second Monday in January. In Japan, 20 years old is special, like sweet 16 in America.
On this day, a ceremony, 成人式（Seijinshiki） is held in the morning at local city offices to bless, encourage, and congratulate all the young people who have become adults. Every district is a little different, but there are taiko performances, yosakoi dance, and government officials give speeches at the ceremony.
You will see numerous girls wearing gorgeous 振袖（furisode） around the city. Many girls would make an appointment at beauty salons to dress up and to set their hair. Girls wear furisode, a style of kimono with long sleeves, and zori sandals. Wearing furisode symbolizes a fresh start in your life. Men either wear a kimono with hakama, a traditional trouser, or a suit and a tie.
This was the furisode set and zori sandals I wore to seijinshiki last year. It is quite expensive so many people either rent one, or buy one and reuse it with your siblings. The store lets you choose full set, including furisode, obi, fukuro-obi, obi-jime, bag, hair accessories, and zori sandals.
Today, many people take 前撮り（maedori）, a pre-photoshoot for the coming of age ceremony at a studio. You have the opportunity to send your family and relatives the photo or you can even create a mini album to look back on in the future.
This is one of my maedori. The cameraman would hand you various props like the umbrella, hagoita, a bench, etc and they would take millions of photos from different angles.
After the ceremony, the young adults often go to after parties with their close friends or high school/middle school classmates.
I think it would be a great opportunity to come to Japan in January to see young Japanese people wearing traditional clothes. I would recommend you to visit the big cities like Shibuya, Harajuku, and Shinjuku to take photos, or come and visit when you turn 20 so YOU can wear a furisode!
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