Translated by Jay Issei Karslake
How To Put On A Yukata By Yourself (Men's Edition)
Wearing yukata or kimono can be a great travel experience in Japan enjoyable for everyone. This article explains step by step how to put on a men's style yukata, and introduces yukata rental shops and places to buy one. Try on this traditional Japanese garments yourself for great memories.
Written by MATCHA
Wearing Yukata for Men - A Summer Kimono Enjoyable for Everyone!
It's many people's dream to wear a yukata (a lightweight kimono-like garment) and attend a Japanese summer fireworks festival. Many women wear yukata, but it isn't a gender-exclusive garment.
In this article, we will explain how to wear yukata typically worn by men. You will be able to wear it confidently even if you are trying it for the first time! After putting one on, head out to a festival or area like Asakusa and Kyoto with friends, family, or a special someone.
Where to Rent or Buy a Men's Style Yukata
You can buy men's style yukata in areas that receive many travelers. The traditional shopping streets in Asakusa have a few shops that carry a large selection of yukata, like Fuku Fuku, which has used yukata and kimono at reasonable prices.
For wearing yukata for a day or a few hours, yukata rental shops that offer styles for women will also have a selection of men's styles and fitting services. Yukata can be rented in many places in Japan, and especially in areas with a traditional townscape popular with travelers. Kyoto and Asakusa are popular, but there are less-crowded areas, such as Narita, close to Narita Airport, Kamakura, and Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture.
Asakusa Aiwafuku is a suggested rental shop in Asakusa, featured in this article. Wargo Yukata Rental (Japanese) has 19 locations nationwide, including in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kurashiki, Kamakura, and even Osaka. You can find modern and traditional patterns that are comfortable and flattering.
Most shops will offer fitting services for around 3,000 to 5,000 yen for men's style yukata. The process takes around thirty minutes, including choosing a yukata and putting it on.
Yukata Basics for a Men-Style Garment
From the left, under- sash, cloth string (2 pieces), bath towel.
Compared to a woman's yukata fitting, the men's style of yukata is a lot simpler to put on and doesn't require much preparation. Besides the yukata and the obi (hip waistband), all you need is the under-sash, two cloth strings, and one bath towel. We will explain how to use each one of them.
How To Put On A Yukata - Pay Attention To The Order
Below are instructions for how to correctly put on a men's style yukata.
1. Leave on Your Undershirt and Use a Towel For Shape
Generally, Japanese men wear the yukata without a shirt underneath. However, those who feel uncomfortable are free to wear a tank top or short sleeve shirt.
The classic female yukata silhouette is ideally straight, with no curves. For men, it's the opposite! You will need to show off your stomach (we are serious!). A plump body type with a slight belly bulge makes the yukata look cooler.
For this reason, slim men wrap a bath towel around their waists to add some thickness to their body. They fix it in place with the help of the first cloth string, creating thus a false "stomach."
2. Adjust the Yukata Length and Tuck the Left Side on Top
After wrapping the yukata around your body, adjust the hem so that the edge reaches your ankles.
Make sure the left side of the yukata is on top. The right side is on top is how deceased people are dressed in kimono, so don't let this mistake happen.
3. Adjust the Collar and Set the Length
After adjusting the hem, fix the collar area. In the case of men, the collar shouldn't be too open, or else the yukata will become loose over time, creating a sloppy image. Also, men shouldn't expose their nape. After fixing everything, tie the two cloth strings around your waist to have everything set.
Next, tie the under-sash where the second cloth string is.
4. Tie the Obi Waistband
There aren't as many ways to tie a man's obi as a woman's obi. In most cases, the "kainokuchi" method is used.
The male version of the obi is narrower than the woman's obi. First, fold the obi in half length-wise. Adjust the obi length so that the right side is shorter and the left one is longer.
When placing the obi at the height of the hips and tying it, let the right side hang around your knees. Next, fold the right part of the obi straight in half.
Next, place the crease at the center of your stomach and wrap the long part of the left side counter-clockwise twice. Fold it so that it overlaps the shorter side.
This time fix it in the upper part like in the picture above.
Then, fold the longer side to the same length as the shorter side. At this stage, if you fold the longer side inward and adjust it, it should become around the same length as the shorter side.
Overlap the obi you brought from the right side on top of the obi part you brought from the left side.
Next, tie the overlapping obi from inwards.
Tighten the obi.
Fold the hanging obi part in an upper-left direction.
This part is a bit complicated. Fold the longer obi part that's being held up top in a downwards direction. Place it in the gap between the shorter obi and the first knot.
After that, when you pull it out from the right side, you'll have made a nice knot.
Adjust it to make it tight enough and it will be ready!
If it's successful, it will look like this when you slowly flip over the bottom part of the knot.
5. Flip the Knot to the Back
Using both hands grab the center of the knot and the obi and turn them backward together. The knot should be slightly to the side instead of right in the back. You can choose whether to put it to the left or right.
The obi is in the correct location when it's slightly below the center of the waist. After turning it to the backside use both thumbs between the obi and yukata and push it downwards. It's done!
The Yukata Is More Fun When You Wear It Yourself
This concludes how to put on a men's yukata. After putting it on successfully, you will feel the joy of having managed to wear the yukata by yourself. It can be challenging to put on a yukata by yourself, but if you borrow one from a Japanese clothes rental shop or bring your favorite yukata to the shop to have it put on by the staff, you can be a rest. After that, enjoy a lively summer fireworks festival or a stroll down a traditional street.