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‘Yukata’, traditional clothes worn in the summer in Japan



2021.07.15 (Thu)

By Charlotte, long-term Tokyo resident & history-loving traveler

Every summer, fireworks festivals and summer festivals are held in Japan, and towns like Asakusa that are rich in traditional Japanese culture will have many people wearing Japan’s folk costume like kimono. Actually, the traditional clothes especially worn during summer are called ‘yukata’, and are slightly different from the more famous kimono although they look similar. This time, we would like to introduce you to ‘yukata’, the summer version of the kimono.

The origin of the word kimono is simply “something worn” and these clothes that were worn by the nobility in Japan's ancient past are still worn today as kimono while the origins of the ‘yukata’ were the casual form of the kimono called ‘yukatabira’ which people wore as a bathrobe. Thus, while we wear an undergarment called ‘nagajuban’ that is shaped like a kimono under the second layer for kimono, it is acceptable not to wear a ‘nagajuban’ under a ‘yukata’. Even now, kimono are often worn at formal events such as weddings, our children’s graduation ceremonies, while yukata are worn for casual occasions like a town's summer festival. Additionally, kimono are often made of better material like silk for better appearances while yukata are more often made from cotton and the like so that it dries quickly when we sweat and is gentle on the skin.

You can rent a ‘yukata’ at the kimono rental shop “Asakusa Aiwafuku” in Asakusa within Taito City. They always have staff who can speak English and help you with coordinating the look that you like. Check out the details of Asakusa Aiwafuku’s rental plan here!

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