Today was the official day of Shichi-Go-San, but for weeks families have been dressing their 7-year-old girls, 5-year-old boys, and 3-year-old girls in traditional finery and taking them to shrines to wish for long life and good health.
No expense is spared. The 7-year-olds have been up since dawn at the hairdresser, being pinned and sprayed into their first grow-up hairdos and wrapped in their first grown-up kimonos with obis tied in traditional unmarried girls’ knots. Boys don formal hakama embellished with cranes and other auspicious motifs. 3-year-old girls wear a padded jacket over their kimonos, and are allowed to start growing out their hair.
Here are a few more pictures!
If you happen to be in Tokyo in the two weeks leading up to November 15, you can see children and their families dressed up at most big shrines and temples. A map to the Meiji Shrine (my favorite place to see them) are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.
Read a novel set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!