Translated by Andrew J Tinkler
Having Fun At Summer Festivals In A Yukata - Women's Edition
Written by MATCHA
One of the most fun and rare opportunities of summer in Japan is the chance to wear a yukata, a light summer kimono. But how do you wear one, or make an entire look based around it? And how do you move in it too?
For young people who live for the modern era, wearing traditional Japanese clothing is unfortunately not an everyday occurrence. Although, it is exactly because of this rare occurrence that when people put on the easy to wear summer yukata, they get that feeling of excitement and the extraordinary.
This time, we are going to introduce a scene at Ueno Park on a summer day.
We asked these girls, who look wonderful holding candy apples in there yukata, to give us some pointers about choosing and wearing yukata.
Choosing a Yukata
There are so many different variations of yukata for women. One must first choose between a variety of colors, patterns and even the material it's made from. After that comes the obi (sash) and other accessories you wish to combine with your yukata. And each combination leaves a completely different impression on others.
When we asked the girls about how they came to choose the yukata they're wearing now, they said that they wanted to match their obi to the flower patterns on the cloth.
Sure enough, the red and pink of their obi can be seen in the pattern of their yukata as well.
If you look closely, you can even see that their ginchaku (handbags) are a perfect match, chosen specifically to compliment the colors of their attire. When dressing up in a yukata, it is of course important to choose colors that you like but you should also take into account the balance of the whole ensemble.
How Wearing a Yukata Changes Your Behavior
The style of wearing a yukata is that of being wrapped almost head to toe in a large cloth. Since the shape is rather cylindrical, your normal gait narrows a bit and you become more conscientious of your footsteps.
These days, you can see more and more people wearing normal, Western-style sandals but the standard footwear for yukata are either zori (Japanese sandals) or geta (wooden clogs).
Even Japanese people are no longer used to wearing geta so when walking around for a long time, your feet naturally get tired. Now it's time to take a little break to rest.
That being said, hold on a second! Sitting on the stairs is a breach of etiquette.
But, if you have to sit, do it slowly and carefully so as to not ruin your yukata.
The nape of the neck, said to be the epitome of sex appeal for a woman, is only heightened when wearing a yukata.
Also, when raising your arm while eating, try and hold back the tamoto (sleeve) of the yukata with your other hand so as not to show the upper part of your arm.
While wearing a yukata, make sure to be conscientious of all your movements. Sitting up straight will undoubtedly enhance your feminine charm.
Wearing a Kimono Makes Summer More Enjoyable
These two are high in spirits as they discover a food stand they are fond of. Summer's not over yet...
We hope the two of you have lots of fun!
So how about putting on a yukata and going out on the town?
*1 Ginchaku: drawstring or gathered handbags made of cloth, leather, etc.
*2 Tamoto: on Japanese clothing, it's not the name for the sleeve itself but more of the long hanging portion of the sleeve.
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Ueno Park, Ikenohata 3 Chome
Hours: 5:00-23:00（entry after hours is forbidden）
Nearest Station: Ueno Station, JR / Tokyo Metro Lines
Access: 2-minute walk from Ueno Station