Dressing Up in a Yukata in Japan

I have made it my goal to wear a kimono or a yukata when I visited Japan. I just thought that it would be a really unique experience and something that I would remember for the rest of my life. And I was right!

Wearing a yukata in Japan is a dream come true for me! And this photo is definitely my favourite! <3 Thanks to my Instagram boyfriend for this picture!

Rent it or buy it?

At first, I just wanted to rent it out for a few hours or even a day but as I was walking around the streets of Japan in Tokyo and Kyoto, I realized that it makes much more sense for my wallet to just buy one. From what I have seen, kimono/yukata rentals averages to about ¥‎5,000 while the yukata I bought from a store in Kyoto was about ¥‎8,000 and it came with a yukata, obi, and sandals (I’m not sure what they call it). I mean, I guess, it cost me ¥‎3,000 more but at least I got to keep it and use it again in the future. With renting, my ¥‎5,000 is gone forever. Although, I have to mention, I did see a yukata for sale at another store in Kyoto for about ¥‎5,000-6,000 but it didn’t come with an obi or sandals.

***Check out my budget guide to Japan***

A lot of tourists in Japan wear yukata/kimono on the street. This one was taken in Asakusa.

Where did I buy it?

My boyfriend and I were walking from our ryokan/traditional Japanese inn to the Kiyumizudera when we passed by this lovely kimono shop (I don’t remember the name of the shop as it was in Japanese but I googled it and based on the photo of the store front, I think it’s this one). I wanted to check it out but they were still close as it was really early in the morning. On our way back from the Kiyumizudera to our ryokan, I didn’t even think about checking out the kimono store because we were running late for our shinkansen/bullet train to Osaka. David, however, was so keen in making my dream come true and encouraged me to run with him to the kimono shop. Pressed for time, I didn’t have time to select each and every piece of the outfit and as I was looking around the shop, I saw about five pre-selected items or a set containing a yukata, obi, and sandals. I chose a pink, flowery yukata with a light pink bow obi, and a sandal with flowery design on it. I wanted the people who work at the store to show me how to put it on but like I said, we needed to catch our shinkansen so I just paid at the counter and left for Osaka.

When and where did I wear it?

I did not have time to wear it in Osaka as we were only there for half a day and I didn’t find a place that I wanted to wear it in and take photos. We went back to Tokyo and that’s where I wore my yukata for the first time. We were in Asakusa and I knew it would be the perfect place to wear my yukata and take photos!

There were a lot of shops in Asakusa that sells a variety of souvenirs and other items. There were also a lot of shops that rent out or sell yukata/kimono.

There were quite a few shops that sell or rent out kimonos and yukata in Asakusa and I went in to a couple of stores and asked them if they could teach me how to put on my yukata but they were not impressed that I brought in a yukata I bought from another store and refused to help me. I actually almost wanted to cry. With no one to help me figure out how to put it on, I told my boyfriend to come with me to a back alley and help me find instructions on Google on how to put it on. He was very helpful but not even a few minutes later, an older Japanese lady was walking in that back alley and stopped and just started teaching us how to put it on.

This lady saw us struggling to put on the yukata on me so she stopped and helped us out! She was lovely.

She was a blessing to me on that day when I was feeling down that no one wanted to help us out. She instructed my boyfriend and I in complete Japanese (we did not understand most of it) while at the same time showing us how to put it on. When we finally put the yukata on me, she looked so proud and happy. I said thank you to her in Japanese quite a few times and we also took a photo together.

After she put it on me with the help of my boyfriend, she looked at me and smiled. I think she was very proud and happy.

From there, we went on our merry ways and David took photos of me in my yukata in Asakusa.

After we explored Asakusa, David and I sat on a bench to rest and cool down and I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the older Japanese lady again! It was such a nice surprise. She said something to us in Japanese (we didn’t know what she said) and then she left. I felt sad that that was probably the last time I will ever see her again. She is definitely my favourite person during my trip in Japan but I don’t even know her name. If you recognize her in my pictures, please let me know. You can comment on my blog post or e-mail me at jusztravel@gmail.com. I think it would be great to connect with her.

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Comments

  1. This is actually such a sweet story! I love how the lady helped you out. It’s always random people who can make our day the best one. Love the kimono. Can’t wait to wear one myself some day 🙂

  2. This is actually a very sweet story! I love how the lady helped you out. Sometimes the most random people will make our day the best. Can’t wait to wear a Kimono myself some day. 🙂
    Edith C Rodriguez recently posted…Two Days in SeattleMy Profile

  3. That is so wonderful you got to fulfill a dream. You picked a very beautiful yukata. I love the story of how the woman helped you put it on. What a memory to treasure, and since you bought your own yukata, that can be treasured too.
    Lara Dunning recently posted…20 Washington State Travel Experiences For 2017My Profile

  4. It’s really getting much more popular for yukata kimono experience, especially in Tokyo and Kyoto! Glad that you enjoyed it and it seemed fun! @ knycx.journeying

    • jusztravel
    • January 15, 2017

    do you have a similar experience where a stranger made your day? 🙂 tell me about it! <3 and thank you 🙂

    • jusztravel
    • January 15, 2017

    thank you so much! it will definitely stay in my memory for life 🙂

    • jusztravel
    • January 15, 2017

    Thank you so much <3 I did! 🙂 It's a beautiful country and so unique!

  5. What a lovely story! Been helped by a total stranger is awesome. Dressing up and walking real streets in a beautiful outfit – every little girl had dreamed about it. So this is literally “dream come true” tale.

    • jusztravel
    • January 16, 2017

    It surely is, Elena! Thank you!

  6. oh wow… this is so neat. would love to do this with my girl:) Fun … Thanks for sharing… I didnt know there is such thing as kimono wearing experience:)

  7. This is the sweetest <3 I love when locals take the time to teach us even small things about their home and traditions. I think moments like that are my favorite thing about mankind, we have such a capacity for kindness, even in small things.

    • jusztravel
    • May 24, 2017

    I agree! I just wish more people will show kindness instead of attack each other!

  8. That’s cool, loved reading about the experience. I really liked the Yukata and didn’t know that tourists dressing up in them is a thing. Will add it to my Japan must-dos!

  9. This is cool, enjoyed reading about the experience. Didn’t know tourists dressing up in Yukatas is a thing, will add it to my Japan must-dos.
    Ketki Sharangpani recently posted…Liebster Award! Yay!My Profile

  10. This is cool! the yukata is lovely, will add it to my Japan must-dos.

    • Ketki Sharangpani
    • May 24, 2017

    Loved reading about your experience, didn’t know that tourists can dress up in yukatas.

    • jin
    • May 24, 2017

    what a lovely read! every time i go back to japan, i always tell myself that i would dress up! i haven’t done it yet – but for sure, maybe i will try it out the next time!

  11. I love when complete strangers help you out in different situations. Even though language can be a challenge, you can still explain and understand so many things.

    • jusztravel
    • May 24, 2017

    That is so true!

  12. Your yukata is so beautiful! I’m so glad that woman helped you out, I can’t imagine how frustrated that would have been if it didn’t work out 🙁

    I don’t know how the currencies translate over, as far as how much more you spent on that vs renting, but I’ve found that sometimes it’s definitely worth it to spend a little extra to have a memory you can bring home 🙂 We did that with spending the money on our pictures from our latest surfing adventure in Hawaii.

  13. What a beautiful yukata and classic Japanese experience! This just goes to show that the world gives you just what you need when you need it – what a lovely old lady! <3

  14. I love the little old lady who helped you, and I hope you are able to reconnect with her in the future! I don’t think I would be comfortable wearing a yukata around Japan, as a half-white, half-Mexican person. I would feel like I’m intruding on someone else’s culture. But you look stunning in it!

    • Rosi C.
    • May 24, 2017

    That is also one of my goals when i visit Japan. so cool you were able to buy. interesting one can rent too.

  15. What a beautiful story and so glad your dream to wear a yukuta came true. Gorgeous, by the way. I bet the old lady was appreciative of your respect for Japanese culture and traditions. Glad you got to connect with the locals over shared traditions. Beautiful memories!!

  16. This is such a lovely post and unlike what we get to read in other blogs. I loved the fact that you indulged in experiencing the local culture by wearing the traditional dress. Also, you look awesome in that kimono.

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