Coming of Age Day in Japan

In Japan young people officially become adults at 20 (二十歳 hatachi) and every year there’s a national holiday held on the second Monday of January known as Coming of Age Day (成人の日 Seijin no Hi). Celebrations are held at local government offices as well among friends and family with many wearing traditional kimono or hakama.

Ginza Desolation

It’s a great opportunity for photographers to capture the festivities and I joined a bunch of folk for a photo walk around Ginza and Shibuya organised by ShootTokyo.


Ginza was pretty quiet at noon but at least the skies were clear.

Man & Dog

I’m not much of a photographer but this time I managed to stay away from auto-mode and shot everything RAW with my Panasonic GF2 & 14mm wide-angle lens (not ideal for portraits).


Our first subject was certainly turning some heads!

Metro x Kimono

Down in the metro, I got my favourite shot of the day – what a stunning kimono (着物).

Shibuya Poser 1

Shibuya is a well-known spot for young fashionista’s posers…

Everyday Salary Man

…and the plain weird to be seen.

Shibuya Poser 2
Shibuya Poser 3

Shibuya 109 is a famous department store which is a mecca for young women.

Kimono Couple

Most of the men prefer to wear western-style suits these days…

Purple Kimono

…although some still make the effort – I want this guy’s awesome purple hakama (袴)!


There was a street carnival going on at the same time in Shibuya – you might recognise the long-legged lady above from the Bikkuri Daidogei festival in Koenji.

Shibuya Troupe

A colourful troupe of street performers – check out the flowers sprouting from the guy’s head on the left!

Blue Mustache
Street Carnival
20 Years Young

Japan’s low birth rate and shrinking percentage of young people has led to a decline in attendance for the coming of age ceremonies (成人式 seijin-shiki) which has caused some concern among older Japanese.


This lot looked pretty happy though!

Odd One Out
Red & Gold

Red, gold and white were definitely in vogue.

Moshi Moshi

Moshi Moshi

Coming of Age Party
Photo Walkers

A final shot of the rather cold but happy photo walkers.

David avatar


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