What is Yukata?
The Yukata is a traditional Japanese kimono worn in the summer. It originates from the Yukatabira which was used by nobility in hot springs during the Heian era to prevent burns, perspiration, and to conceal the skin.
The three pieces of Yukata
Below, I will introduce the three main pieces when wearing Yukata.
A yukata itself consisting of a sleeve, a collar and a torso part. Fold the open part and wear it by wrapping around the body.
This is the cloth wrapped around the waist to fix the yukata to the body. Although there are various ways to tie it, the most popular way is to start with the shape of a ribbon because its much easier to finish by yourself.
This traditional wooden Japanese footwear fits the attire of yukata.
Yukata and kimono may be difficult to distinguish, but the biggest difference is that when you wear kimonos, you always wear nagajuban (inner kimono) under it. In other words, the combination of an outer kimono and nagajuban is what makes it a kimono. Although it is rarely seen, a nagajuban is still more of a fashion than simply underwear, there are some with exuberant fabric and design.
A Yukata is basically just one piece over your underwear, though some people wear another layer so that the skin can not be seen through due to the sun rays or sweating.
Where can I get a yukata?
Because yukata is worn in the summer, there are many stores that will offer them in the summer. Around June of every year, a new design of Yukata be available at the stores. Although not as common as with kimono, you can find used yukata at some Second-hand goods stores and mail-order websites. Also, for those who want to wear one for just one day, you can borrow (rent) them at a rental shop of yukata mainly located in sightseeing spots etc.
Although prices range from relatively cheap to ludicrously expensive, in recent years, many of these items sell at around 5,000 yen and come with small items such as an obi and geta etc. you can find these online as well as in shops.