Yukata and jinbei: dressing for summer 浴衣と甚平

The yukata, the Japanese outfit you must have

For several years now, we have seen many Japanese women, but also foreigners from all over the world, strolling through Japanese cities in summer in a yukata. Previously reserved for summer parties, this outfit has become popular summer wear and a gift. Here's everything you need to know about yukata and jinbei!

This garment is also easier to wear since the heavy and complex obi (belt) of the kimonos gives way to a light obi, closed with a simple knot. Some obi already have a knot ready-made.

The cut of the yukata is similar to that of the kimono: five rectangular pieces assembled. It is therefore the patterns or the dye that give it its originality. Nowadays, most of these garments have industrial designs and are made in bright colors, especially the ones intended for children, which display floral or seasonal designs: bouquets of fireworks, dragonflies, goldfish. ...


couple wearing a yukata

couple wearing a yukata

mega_100921 Flickr

The obi, the belt used to close the yukata.

The obi, the belt used to close the yukata.


In addition to parades, concerts, animations, Himeji Yukata Matsuri hosts about 700 food stalls.

In addition to parades, concerts, and animations, Himeji Yukata Matsuri hosts about 700 food stalls.

_Corpse Reviver

How to put on a yukata?

The yukata is worn over an undergarment, such as an undershirt. Once you've put on the yukata, first wrap the right side around your left hip, then wrap the left side over your right. This is important: it is always the left side of the kimono that must close on the right (because the body of the deceased is covered with a white yukata whose sides are crossed oppositely). Keeping the yukata closed, wrap the belt around, two to three times and tie a knot. Make sure that the panels are at the right height: the bottom of the garment must be at ankle level and be of the same length on both sides.

Indigo yukata

Many yukata are dyed with indigo blue from Tokushima

masaaki Miyara

Geta, Japanese wooden sandals

Geta, Japanese wooden sandals

Dushan Hanuska, Flickr

Do not hesitate to shop in second-hand or vintage clothing stores (some specialize in recycling kimonos, yukata, and obi) or in flea markets.

Given the craze for this outfit, rental shops have flourished in many towns and cities. We rent a yukata and all the accessories for the day, sometimes extending into the evening (during festivals). These stores will even help you get dressed! Stroll through the streets in an authentic look!

Here is an article on where to rent a yukata in Kyoto where you can complement this activity with a night walk.

Kimono and yukata can also be found on flea markets

Kimono and yukata can also be found on flea markets


The jacket, which has the same cut as a kimono, closes on the side with two knots, one inside and the other outside. The short sleeves are separated from the rest of the jacket by a very loose seam that serves as ventilation. The jinbei is generally sober in color, often indigo blue with stripes.

Female versions also exist. The feminine jinbei is more colorful and has patterns often similar to those of the yukata.

It is a garment dedicated to relaxation: it is worn at home, as an indoor garment or pajamas, but spread outdoors as people began to wear it in their neighborhood or to go to a matsuri.

Also worn by children, it is extremely comfortable and pleasant to wear. There are versions for infants that are nice and light gifts to bring back.

The adult models can also be used as pajamas if you decide to take home in your suitcases. Visitors will find it in the summer in department stores or sometimes in Japanese souvenir shops, between 2,000 (16 €) and 10,000 yen ($61/53€) depending on the quality.

jinbei and yukata for kids

Children's versions of these clothes can be found everywhere. Isn't it cute?



Jinbei for men


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