Those who have been in Japan in the Summer should know how hot and humid Japan can be especially between July and August.
A casual cotton kimono typically called Yukata is worn during summer time in Japan. To untrained eyes, yukata and kimono may look identical. The only difference is, while wearing kimono, women must also wear the white sock called “Tabi” whereas there is no need for that if they are wearing yukata.
I felt so privileged to be invited to try the original Yukata by Yumeyakata shop in Kyoto which I would like to share with you in my post today.
The main components of Yukata are: the cotton undergarments, yukata and obi. You might need wooden slippers, called”Geta”, and a little bag to go with your dress as well.
The price of Yukata range from a few thousand yen to 30,000 yen or so, making them the perfect souvenirs from Japan. Kimono that are made of silk will be much more expensive. We are talking about millions of yen more expensive. That’s why Kimono was used as a luxurious present in the past.
Kimonos are commonly worn for commemorative events such as Shichi-go-san(七五三）(the third, fifth and seventh birthdays), Coming of Age (20th birthday), and weddings. Yukata, on the other hand, can be worn at any occasions. Nowadays yukata are worn at outdoor summer events such as firework festivals and bon-odori festivals.
Yumeyakata Kimono&Yukata rental <MAP>
Nearest station : Subway Karasuma Line Gojo station (just 1 station from Kyoto station)
The Yukata rental package is 3500 yen (without tax). I recommend that you reserve in advance. Especially on weekends, if you walk-in, you might have to wait for a long time.
There are English speaking staffs as well as Chinese, Thai and Korean on the floor everyday so you don’t have to worry about not being able to communicate with them.
After completing the registration, I was escorted to the 2nd floor where I was fitted for my perfect yukata!
There are 2 options for yukata
- For rental, you must return it at the end of the day before the business hours are over
- For purchasing, you can buy the yukata, get dressed and only return the undergarment at the end of the day
I chose option 1 with a hairdo and make up plan .
- M for woman under 150 cm tall
- F Free size for woman 150-169 cm tall
- LW extra wide, hip size up to 110 cm
- TL Special size woman 170 cm and taller
Take your time, choose your yukata first, then move on to choosing the obi.
I wasn’t so sure which Obi to choose but the lovely assistant helped me match each yukata with a different color of obi. Finally, I made up my mind.
Guess which one I picked?
It was a tough call but I finally decided to go with the pink yukata and yellow obi.
Finally, I need to pick a bag and wooden Geta that goes well with my Yukata.
The dressing room is on the 3rd floor. Of course this floor is reserved for only women. I was allowed to use the room up on the 5th floor as I needed to take some photos for this blog while getting dressed.
I received a large bag from the shop assistant and was told to put all my belongings in the bag. Except some valuables such as cash, cellphone, train ticket and watch, which I put in the little bag to take with me.
It might be difficult to picture wearing a kimono or yukata if you have never seen one.
Imagine a bathrobe, wearing a yukata is kind of like that. There are no buttons or zippers of any kind. Therefore, the gown needs to be secured tightly with the obi otherwise it will fall apart.
According to the store manager, wearing yukata or kimono is not advisable for pregnant women for the safety of the mother and the baby.
I am not even pregnant but I felt quite uncomfortable in the yukata. I don’t think I can eat or drink anything lol. It’s so tight!
After finishing dressing, the next step is the hairdo and make-up. There are 2 options; the simple hairdo (500 yen) and a little more complicated one (1500 yen). My hair is about shoulder length so there are quite a few hairstyles I can choose from.
It’s ok if you don’t choose the hairdo option if you can do it on your own.
>> Simple kimono hairdo by Tokyogirlsupdate<<
Important : Don’t keep your hair down. In Japan, only ghosts wear kimono and keep their hair down! I’m sure you don’t want to look like a ghost.
If you have short hair, don’t worry. A simple hair ornament or flower will do.
Then we moved to the B1 floor to do a photo shoot.
To be honest with you, I have no idea how to pose for yukata photos but the shop manager guided me through the process.
Basically, you should turn your face to 45 degree to show your face and hair, cross your feet a little and smile.
You can either place your bag in front of you with two hands or hold it with one hand on the side like I did. Please relax! Don’t hold it too tight. If you are tense, it will surely appear in the photo.
If you read my blog about the Geisha makeover, I was specifically told not to smile and show my teeth. The white makeup will make your face look funny if you smile. But for regular kimono or yukata, give the biggest and brightest smile!
You can choose the photos you like and pick them up when you return your yukata at the end of the day.
The photo plan is of course optional.
For couples, you can rent yukata for 6,500 yen (price without tax). Location photoshoot is from 22,000 yen.
Please ask Yumeyakata staff for more information.
Before – After
I look like a new person!
Recommended photo spots in Kyoto
- Kiyomizu temple
- Tofukuji temple
- Philosophy’s path
Please be early. It will be less crowed and not too hot for taking photos.
Location photo-shoot, Kyoto – Gion
Photographer : 小幡 豊 (Yutaka Obata)
It was a wonderful experience. I recommend everyone to try this while you are in Kyoto.
Kyoto Tourist information center MAP
How to reserve?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tourist information center facebook page.