How to enjoy “Yukata” in Japan

Yukata is a typical kind of Kimono, worn during summer. The origin of yukata is said to be underwear called yukata-bira, which noble people in the Heian period (794 to118) wore during bath time. After the late Edo period(1603 to 1868), it transformed into a gown and gorgeous patterns of cotton were born.

2017-05-11   Culture, Seasonal, Kyoto,

The couple in Yukata.


【 CONTENTS 】

Yukata and geta

A summer-time Japanese tradition, “Yukata”

When thinking about traditional Japanese costumes, the kimono usually comes to mind, but the yukata is a summer tradition in Japan. Yukata was worn as room wear, however it is now more commonly worn as a costume for going to summer festivals, fireworks, and other special events. Many foreign visitors tell me that they want to wear it, so I’d like to introduce to how to wear yukata in Japan.

Strolling in Kyoto in yukata.

Change into Yukata when you arrive in Japan!

As it is becoming more and more popular, you will be able to find many yukata and kimono rental shops near popular tourist areas. Not only will they help you put on the yukata, they also offer services to style your hair, match accessories and even make-up! “Wargo”, the kimono rental shop in Kyoto rent both kimono and yukata. First, make a reservation on their website or by phone. There will be a variety of yukata with different colors, patterns, and styles for you to choose from. The whole process usually takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
*please bring your passport with you

obi and geta.

obi and geta.

You don’t have to bring anything! They’ll have everything you need!

What’s good about renting the yukata is that you can choose from a wide variety including the kanzashi, obi, innerwear, bags, and geta! The staff can style your hair for free. If you would like an elaborate hairstyle, there will be an additional fee. They also have services such as, storing and delivering your luggage to the hotel you’re staying at in Kyoto. Many visitors find it hard for them to walk in kimono and geta, but they soon get used to it and discover the fun in walking around and sightseeing. These kinds of services can be found in other areas of Japan, so why don’t you look it up?

The traditional yukata and Ai

The traditional yukata and Ai

Ai-zome and traditional yukata

The yukata nowadays have pastel colors or floral and geometric patterns, but the traditional yukata is actually dyed with Ai (Japanese blue) on white cloth or vice versa. Ai is believed to have a good effect on rough skin, sensitivity to cold, sweating, and repels insects. In that time there was no air conditioning and people could live comfortably. Popular patterns were Akigusa, Asagao, fans, and dragonflies. These patterns show how much Japanese people love the different seasons. I like the modern-day yukata, but I find the traditional patterns more attractive!

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AUTHOR

kyoami

kyoami

Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.

Information

Address 3F 721-1 Higashi Shiokoji Sagaru, Karasumadori, Gekyoku, Kyoto city, Kyoto
Hours 9:00~19:00
Access 5 min walk from Kyoto station.
Phone 075-371-2177
Website http://kyotokimono-rental.com/en/