Buying A Summer Yukata in Tokyo

ByMichael Stigall
Aug 29, 2023

Buying A Summer Yukata in Tokyo

Now that festivals are back on the menu again, you may find yourself at one. Or perhaps, while taking in one of the restarted firework festivals, you may have noticed many people wearing traditional Japanese dress and wondered what was going on. Well, summer festivals are a time when Japanese and foreigners alike can wear yukata, an informal summer variant of the famous kimono.

What is Yukata?

The word ‘yukata’ means ‘after bathing’, as they are the clothing that is often worn after onsen or sento in traditional Japanese ‘ryokan’ hotels. However, in the hot summer months, these unlined kimonos are worn by men, women, and children particularly when celebrating hanabi.

Yukata are usually made of either cotton or synthetic fabric, being cooler than the silk of traditional kimonos, and are made up of three main aspects: a ‘juban’ cotton undergarment, the yukata itself, and an ‘obi’ belt that ties it together. On the feet wooden sandals called ‘geta’ are worn and to carry personal goods including cell phones, both men and women carry small bags called ‘kinchaku’.

Traditional: Chikusen

Having been around since the Edo era, Chikusen is the oldest yukata and kimono provider in Tokyo. Famed for their unique dying patterns that no other yukata makers are able to replicate, they are a beautiful, unique traditional maker in the city.

Traditional rental: Sakaeya

Sakaeya is a family business in the heart of Shinjuku and it is ideal for those of you who are looking for traditional yukata that won’t break the bank. Sakaeya deals in rental kimono and yukata, and prices tend to be around 6,000 JPY. If you spend 10,000 JPY, they will include dressing assistance and a tea ceremony. Appointments are required.

Second hand/vintage: Chicago

It’s pretty hard to miss the vintage clothing store Chicago in Harajuku. While its loud neon sign is not something that you would readily associate with the simple beauty of kimono, it has rack upon rack of secondhand and vintage yukata perfect for this summer’s festivals. There are also chains elsewhere in the city.


If you are unable to get to the shops to buy your summer yukata, these online stores have extensive ranges.

How to wear Yukata

Follow these simple guides for putting on your summer yukata.

For women:

For men:

Connie, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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