Today was the Coming of Age Day (Seijin no Hi) which is held to celebrate and congratulate all of those who have turned 20 this year in Japan. Despite being 21, I was very fortunate that I got to take part and wear a kimono.
The event is normally held on the 2nd Monday in January and we were very fortunate that the skies were clear and it was really sunny.
We met at the dormitory in Kunitachi at 8am where all these older ladies were ready to help us put on a kimono. There are so many layers that you have to wear and it was really hard to breathe.
It took over an hour to get ready as each layer has to be positioned perfectly otherwise it makes it hard to put the next piece of clothing on.
We were taken to the city hall where the ceremony took place. There were so many people there already.
The ceremony included some speeches and a short video quiz. It didn’t last very long which was good – I didn’t really understand much of what was being said!
After the speeches, there was a Cake Party. Yes, you heard me correctly.
A CAKE PARTY!!
It was amazing. The only downside was that it was a bit tricky trying to eat while keeping the kimono clean, which I just about managed!
After eating all that cake, that was more or less the end of the ceremony. But me and my friend Ana decided to take lots of photos outside since this was our first time wearing a kimono. I’m going to put the other photos into a slideshow at the bottom of this blog post!
Amongst the guys wearing the male kimono, there were some who were wearing rather fancy/lavish ones. We figured that these guys may have been Yakuza so I had to get a photo with one of them. I managed to get a photo with the guy wearing the most bling kimono – a gold sequin one!
We returned back to the dormitory to have lunch which was buffet-style. I now know why Japanese women are so slim, especially women in the past – the kimono are so tight that after eating a few pieces of sushi my stomach started hurting. The obi (belt) that goes around your waist is a physical restriction and you can’t fit any more food into your stomach because it can’t expand anymore! Hahaha
We also played Karuta, a Japanese game, and took even more photos afterwards.
It was an incredible experience and I’ll never forget it. Hope you enjoyed looking at all the photos!