Today is National Coming of Age Day. Anyone turning twenty in the past twelve months will be dressing up, attending official ceremonies to mark achievement of majority and then there will be a lot of partying undoubtedly without the parents present. Today is a day they have been looking forward to their entire lives. And they will celebrate in style.
So if you are in Japan today, grab your camera and head into town. This is a special day for these kids, the day when they officially become adults. Twenty is the legal age for drinking and now they no longer need to feel guilty even though it was their birthday that actually counted. By evening the streets of Shibuya will be filled with the giggling, slightly red faced youth of Japan.
The boys (men as of lunch of course) will don a black, slightly ill-fitting suit and join their friends feeling slightly awkward before entering the official venues. The girls though are a totally different story. They will spend the morning from the early hours preparing their kimono often covered with a winter wrap with warm, fur lined collar. At first they will join the ceremony and then, casually, walk around town with their friends. And they are a beautiful sight to see.