Coming of Age Day celebrated across Japan

Young people in the Japanese city of Osaka have marked a rite of passage by climbing steps to the top of the country's tallest building.

Monday is Coming of Age Day, a national holiday that honors people reaching age 20, the legal start of adulthood in Japan.

Ceremonies were held across the country, but the event in Osaka was one of the more adventurous. A group reached the top of the 300-meter Abeno Harukas skyscraper under the motto "Let's Step to Adulthood."

More than 100 participants wrote down their hopes for the future on a white sash and ascended the 1,637 steps, wearing kimonos or new suits. They made it to the top of the 60-story building in about an hour.

At an event that followed, two participants said the climb to the top floor boosted their self-confidence.

They expressed hope that they will recall the scenic outlook as they move on with their lives.

The municipality that is home to Tokyo Disneyland honored a tradition of hosting its Coming of Age ceremony at the theme park. Nearly 2,200 new adults were invited.

One of the young women who took part spoke about her experience visiting areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. She said the program, sponsored by Urayasu City, taught her some valuable lessons.

She said she wanted to get involved in efforts to create links within her local community.

Disney characters put on a special show for the attendees.