When you visit Japan, do you want to see the girls and ladies who wear Kimono?
“Kimono” is the traditional clothing in Japan, however, there are not so many people wear Kimono as regular (western fashion).
Everyone wants to see Geiko, Maiko (Includes Japanese tourists), not only in Kyoto, but you can also easily come across women (and men) who wear Kimono on certain special days.
Coming of age day
Coming of age day, “Seijin no hi” in Japanese, is one of the national holidays in Japan.
The age of 20 is considered as “the adult” in Japan, Coming of Age Day is the celebration to welcome new adults into society. The biggest thing for the new adults is that they can drink alcohol legally.
Since 2000, it is on the second Monday of January.
Everyone who turned 20 years old who lives in different cities usually goes back to the birthplace to attend the ceremony in the local hall.
More than half of girls wear colorful “Furisode” which is the type of Kimono for unmarried women, and some men wear “Hakama” (men’s Kimono) on a special day.
The Furisode was used to be taken over from mothers to daughters, but today, more than half of girls use rental Kimono, and sometimes it is necessary to book the Furisode in one year to 6 months before for the ceremony.
The beauty salon (hair cut salon) get very busy in early in the morning on the day, because many girls come to get dressed Furisode (many girls can’t wear Kimono by themselves), hair style, makeup for looking the best.
Therefore, you can see many pretty Kimono girls on the second of January everywhere in Japan except for a very cold region.
The New Year’s day
If you visit during the New Year’s holiday in Japan, it is also a good chance to see women who wear Kimono when you go for “Hatsumode” to temples and shrines especially for three days from New Year’s Day.
For Japanese people, the New Year’s day is a traditional day so many women dress traditionally to pray the New Year’s aspirations.
When you stay at a “Ryokan”, the traditional Japanese style hotel, you can try on “Yukata” even more you can see staff who wear Kimono.
“Yukata” is a casual version of “Kimono”, and ancient people wore as the pajamas, thus the fabric of “Yukata” is much thinner and lighter than “Kimono”.
Today, the girls wear “Yukata” mostly in the summer festival, so Yukata became popular as the summer Kimono.
Yukata is provided to all guests at the Ryokan, but generally, it is an earthy (boring) color for girls and ladies. So there are Ryokan hotels where give the female guests more designs of Yukata as their promotion.
Popular Ryokans for foreign tourists where you can choose the fancy Yukata
- Shirahama Onsen; Kaisyu (Wakayama)
- Gero Onsen; Fugaku (Gifu)
- Gora Onsen; Setsugekka (Hakone, Kanazawa)
- Gora Onsen; Merveille Hakone Gora (Hakone, Kanazawa)
the Ryokan etiquette
The summer festival
Yukata is the summer Kimono, and more friendly to purchase and wear, especially Japanese girls and children enjoy to get dressed for the summer festival.
Yukata design has been changing from the original one to wear more easily and flexible, and it works to revival Yukata culture among Japanese people.
Summer festivals in Japan are held generally between the end of July through August.
Things you should be careful
If you want to wear Yukata for the summer festival, just keep cons in your mind these things that I learned from my experiences.
- Very hot while putting Yukata on, stay cool area and loosen the Yukata belt if you get too hot.
- Bring a handy fan and a hand towel
- Go to the restroom before putting on. It’s very hard to go to the restroom.
- Wear your comfortable shoes or sandals, even though it is not traditional. The traditional Kimono sandal often hurts your toe, and not so fun to walk like that.
- Don’t eat too much while wearing Yukata, anyway I guess you can’t. (The Kimono belt is too tight). You will get sick if you overeat.
- Watch out the sleeve when you try “Scooping goldfishes or balloons” at the summer festival. I always got the sleeve soaked in the water.
Yukata and kimono also have different situations to wear, and Yukata is generally for the only the summer season and also as room wear at Ryokan hotel.
Generally speaking, Japanese people wear Kimono (Yukata) only on special occasions today. Some women wear kimonos as the formal fashion for events such as wedding parties, New Year’s day, coming-of-age ceremonies, and ceremonies.
On the other hand, Yukata is a costume for summer festivals to feel more summer atmosphere.
Even it is very fun to see Japanese women dressed in modern colorful Kimono and their hairstyles.
Today, many foreign tourists want to have experiences to wear Kimono (Yukata) during their trip, and there are many attractions where you can wear Kimono for tourists. Just don’t forget to go to the restroom first.
What do you want to read next?
Even though it sounds fun to go to the summer festival, honestly you really need to know about the summer season in Japan.
Also, on this page, I don’t recommend to visit Japan at both times of the summertime and New year’s holiday.
However, I mention here the seasons when are still worth to visit Japan. (haha)