Motels in the Sinchon, Ewha Womans University, and Gangnam areas of Seoul are bustling with young people around the third Monday of May for the celebration of the Coming-of-Age Day.
Many who turn 20 this year go to motels for their own "coming-of-age" rituals. Ten out of 28 motels in Sinchon, Jongno and Gangnam were full on Monday and the rest saw the number of guests shoot up by at least 50 percent. One female university student who visited a motel near Ewha Womans University at 9:30 pm on Monday said, "Everyone comes to these places these days. Some of my other friends even booked a hotel room."
A short-time room in a motel costs W25,000-30,000 (US$1=W1,199), and a whole night about W100,000, which is a lot of money for university students.
Some observers warn youngsters not to get carried away. Kim Ae-sook of pro-family group Aoosung said, "Young people often mistakenly think they can become adults by doing what they had been asked not to do until they come of age. But Coming-of-Age Day should really be a day to think about the responsibilities of adulthood."