Coming of age celebrations in Japan look very different to the boozy 18th birthday bashes in Britain

IN the UK 'coming of age ' normally means a boozy trip to the pub you've been drinking in for the past two years, but in Japan it is a far more spectacular affair.

Seijin Shiki – the Coming of Age Day Ceremony – is a public holiday which occurs on every second Monday of January.

The special occasion is held in town and cities across the country and  honours every person that has turned 20 over the past year.

In Fujisawa, local young men headed to Katase-Enoshima beach to push a portable shrine into the sea to mark their special day.

Others headed to their local shrines, theme parks or just paraded through the streets in their finery.

When young people reach 20 they officially become adults in Japanese society and have responsibilities and newfound liberties like being able to drink, smoke, go to hostess bars, gamble and drive.

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Toi mark the occasion, the girls wear stunning and hugely expensive kimonos, although most admit to having rentals as the outfit is worth up to 1,000,000 yen (£7,000).

The boys usually wear a regular suit and tie but a many will still wear traditional Japanese dress.

Others take part in special 'cleansing' ceremonies -like the one pictured here in Fujisawa.

After the formalities many of the celebrants then head out for the night to have their first legal drink.

The long-awaited ceremony takes place in every city ward around Japan and everyone can attend the mid-day events.

Though the day starts much earlier for the young adults, especially the girls who spend countless hours fixing their hair, make-up and kimonos.

After many tireless hours of primping, they can then join up with others at a select location where dozens of photographers are normally waiting for them.

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