When Japan enacted the Happy Monday holiday system they generously made Coming of Age Day, which falls on the second Monday of January, a national holiday. On this day all of the 20-year-olds in Japan dress in their finest fur kimonos and head to the shrine (or Disney) and officially become adults before bellying up at the nearest izakaya to get blitzed.
In 2022 Japan will officially lower the age of adulthood to 18, allowing teens to get married without their parents’ consent and apply for credit cards. However, the legal drinking age will remain 20, which begs the question, how can one survive marriage without alcohol? In honor of the Coming of Age Day holiday, here is a list of events that might or might not require booze.
Furusato Matsuri Tokyo
This 10th annual New Year event attracts over 400,000 visitors to the Tokyo Dome, making it one of Japan’s largest food and traditional performance showcases.
New Year Ballet at New National Theatre Tokyo
Here’s a sophisticated way to celebrate the New Year: head to the New National Theatre Tokyo to watch two timeless classics and a brand-new work choreographed by Megumi Nakamura – the driving force behind contemporary Japanese dance.
Sunshine Aquarium: Exciting Deep Sea Creatures
Get up close with thrilling and mysterious creatures from the deep sea such as giant isapods and squat lobsters at Ikebukuro’s Sunshine Aquarium. For an additional fee guests can also experience the “Exciting Touch.”
Naoki Ishikawa: Capturing the Map of Light on This Planet
A phenomenal photographer and mountain climber, Naoki Ishikawa first trekked between the North and South poles at age 22, and by 23 had scaled the seven highest peaks in the world. This exhibition covers the incredible career of the intrepid adventurer.
Jim Jefferies: The Night Talker Tour
Groundbreaking comedian Jim Jefferies, one of the most prolific comedians working today, will perform in Japan for the first time. Hope you got tickets, or know somebody on the inside, because unfortunately the show is already sold out.
Japanese Dance Workshop
With the help of experienced teachers learn the simple movements of nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance) while wearing a yukata – the informal cotton kimono.
Nerd Nite #29: Learning to Fly
Start the New Year with some brain food! Three smart speakers explain the rush and the risk of skydiving, how to build an artificial language and the dark side of the cosmos.
Tobu Zoo Winter Illumination
Japan’s winter illuminations are still blinking, so if you haven’t yet, head to Saitama to be mesmerized by the same three million lights that are hypnotizing Tobu Zoo’s white tigers and penguins.
If you just want to see the animals, check out our list of best zoos within reach of Tokyo: hyperurl.co/Zoos