Rent a yukata   浴衣

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The yukata literally swimwear, was originally used in the hot springs.

The yukata literally swimwear, was originally used in the hot springs.

In summer, the Japanese wear yukata of all colors.

In summer, the Japanese wear yukata of all colors.

The obi, the belt used to close the yukata.

The obi, the belt used to close the yukata.

Dressed for summer

With an average of 26°C (79F) in the summer in Kyoto, yukata (light kimono) is the ideal clothing to prevent sweating profusely while still walking the streets dressed in the Japanese style.

This simple kimono consists of two parts: the yukata (a sort of lightweight cotton robe) that is cinched at the waist with the obi, a long, thick strip of cloth, usually decorated with embroidered designs. The yukata is a derivative of yukatabira, that the Japanese began wearing to onsen starting form the Heian period (794-1185), to dry off and for modesty.

With the proliferation of bathing facilities (for pilgrims exhausted by days of walking, or for samurai after a fight) and their popularization, the clothing changed from linen to cotton, much more appropriate and durable. This was the birth of the yukata that we know today.

Now extremely popular, it is worn everywhere: in the street, hotels, amusement parks, and during matsuri. Summer is the season for yukata!

In Kyoto, those dressed in yukata or kimono can get discounts on some transportation (on certain days), notably with the taxi company MK , and locations such as the amusement park Toei Uzumasa Eigamura!

Good choice

Before renting this summer clothing, it's important to pay attention to size. There are several for children, but for adults, Japanese sizes may be too small: sizes normally do not exceed 170 cm, and 90 cm around the bust for women, and 185 cm for men is generally standard. Sizes are marked with kanji on the label inside the collar (小 for small; 中 for medium, and 大 for large).

The return time is also important to note. To take advantage of Kyoto at night, some rentals include a return the next day. And with the popularity of yukata, it's best to book at least three days in advance.

Many shops offer options for rent. These services can range from hairstyling, offering geta (traditional shoes with wooden soles), and home delivery or return directly from your hotel.

Places

  • Yume Kyoto : (bottom of the Yasakajima shrine), bus 12, 46, 100, 201, 202, 203, 206 or 207, Gion stop, this shop offers clothing for men up to 190cm.
  • Yumeyakata : bus 5, 26 or 57, Karasuma Gojo stop, has a special discount for couples.
  • Kyogokoro : bus 9, 12, 50 or 101, Nijojo Mae stop; stroll through Nijo Castle in a yukata.

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