On a day of heavy snow that halted trains and grounded airplanes around the country, young men and women across Japan gathered to celebrate Coming of Age Day, a national holiday marking their transition into adulthood.
Coming of Age Day is held on the second Monday of January to honor those who have turned 20 or will turn 20 in the upcoming year. The ceremonies are held in city halls or other government buildings, where officials will congratulate the new adults, brief them on their responsibilities and present them with a small gift. Young women customarily wear long-sleeved formal kimono known as furisode and lacquered zori sandals while men wear their first business suits.
The first winter storm of the season dumped snow across eastern Japan today, prompting the country’s meteorological agency to issue a snow and gale warning for Tokyo and surrounding suburbs. In spite of the rough weather, many soon-to-be new adults set off for their ceremonies in the snow. “I’ve looked forward to to this day since I’ve been in elementary school,” 20 year-old Asami Nakano told the Asahi Shumbun. “Right now I’m cold and my feet are wet, but I vowed that nothing would stop me from attending.”