Coming of Age Day in Kyoto

January 10th is Coming of Age Day (Seijin no Hi) in Japan. Every city and town holds a ceremony for all their 20-year-olds to signal their entry into society. All the girls wear kimono and a surprising number of boys do too. If you want to see a lot of bright kimonos, this is your day. The ceremony is held around noon at the Kyoto Kaikan in Okazaki.

Here are some of the colorful young ladies of Kyoto in their best kimonos (and, of course, it wouldn’t be Japan without cell phones):

One thing I just can’t understand is why the Japanese allow themselves to be victimized by appalling levels of noise pollution. Every year on Coming of Age Day, the various political parties pull up their buses outside the Kyoto Kaikan and proceed to beleaguer the kids, all of whom, I’m sure, would much rather be able to talk to their friends and families. The noise level is truly amazing – you can’t hear yourself think (let alone talk on a cell phone):

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