How to Wear a Traditional Yukata for Summer Festivals in Japan

The yukata is a traditional Japanese summer dress worn during festivals, celebrations or just to cool off in summer. Wearing a yukata may seem intimidating at first, but with these tips, you can wear your yukata elegantly and authentically during Japanese summer festivals.


Choosing a yukata can be difficult, in fact, there are many different styles and colors. The choice of color is important because it must be in harmony with the season and the time of day when you will wear your yukata, therefore, for summer festivals, bright colors and floral patterns are particularly popular. It's also important to choose a good quality yukata as the texture and lightness of the fabric play an important role in how it sits on your body.

There are also different types of yukata depending on age and gender. women's yukata often have brighter colors and more detailed patterns with for example the Japanese crane pattern or the koi carp pattern, while men's yukata are often simpler, notably with the famous geometric pattern. There are of course also yukata for children, these are often made up of cute and playful patterns.


Wearing a yukata may seem complicated, but it's actually quite simple. First, put on a petticoat, called nagajuban , to help hold the yukata in place and prevent wrinkles. Next, place the yukata over your shoulders holding it across the front of your body, then adjust the length so that it reaches your ankles.

Make sure the yukata is centered on your body and that the sleeves are the same length. Bring the left side of the yukata over the right side of your body, then bring the right side of the yukata over the left side. Next, adjust the yukata so that it fits snugly and does not wrinkle. Finally, tie the belt (obi) around your waist, securing it with a knot.

There are different types of knots for obis , but the most common is the bow tie. Women can also add an under-belt called koshihimo to help hold the obi in place.



The yukata can be accessorized in different ways to add a personal touch to your outfit. geta, traditional wooden sandals, are a popular choice for summer festivals because they are comfortable and provide good grip on wooden floors. Women can also add a small handbag, called a kinchaku, to carry their essential belongings, it is also possible to add a fan made of folded paper ( sensu) to complete the traditional look and cool you down on hot days.

Let's focus a little on the famous traditional Japanese shoes, these are made from wood and are also made up of fabric straps to hold the foot in place. They are often worn with white "tabi" socks. However, you can opt for more modern sandals if you prefer a more casual look. When it comes to bags, fabric clutches are popular to complete the outfit, but you can also opt for a small shoulder bag for added practicality.

Finally, it's important to know some basic rules of behavior when wearing a yukata to a summer festival in Japan. First of all, make sure you tie your obi correctly to prevent it from coming loose while you move, also avoid wearing jewelry that could snag your yukata and distort it or worse tear it, finally, it It is also important not to smoke or eat fatty foods that could stain your yukata.


It's important to take care of your yukata so that it lasts a long time and maintains its beauty. Here are some tips for caring for your yukata :

  • Clean it regularly : The yukata should be hand washed with cold water and mild detergent. Avoid putting it in the washing machine or dryer as this may damage the fabric.

  • Iron it carefully : Use an iron on low heat to iron your yukata. Be sure to iron the folds carefully so it retains its shape.

  • Store it properly : After cleaning, fold it carefully and store it in a dry place away from direct sunlight. You can also store it in a bag to protect it from dust and insects.

  • Avoid stains : As mentioned just before, avoid eating or drinking while wearing your yukata to avoid stains. If you accidentally spill something on it, wipe the stain immediately with a clean, damp cloth.

To sum up, wearing a traditional yukata for a summer festival in Japan is a unique and exciting experience, it is important to choose a yukata that suits your style and wear it correctly to get the most out of it. By following these simple tips, you can fully enjoy the festive atmosphere while looking comfortable and stylish.


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