How to Wear a Yukata

walk around in a yukata in Kinosaki

For one of the best yukata experiences

The lovely hot spring town of Kinosaki Onsen, with its nostalgic scenery and atmosphere, is one of the best towns in Japan for a yukata experience. What better place to wear a yukata than in a hot spring town? Yukata were originally made for the hot springs after all!

  • About Kinosaki Onsen 7 onsen hot spring town

Immerse yourself in onsen culture and admire the town’s olden day atmosphere in yukata

The majority of visitors to Kinosaki Onsen are dressed in yukata. In Kinosaki Onsen, you will feel more than comfortable wearing your yukata outside of the baths and your ryokan. Stroll the town, visit local restaurants, ride the gondola up the ropeway, go shopping and just about everywhere and anywhere in your yukata. With the canal, stone bridges, sweeping willow trees, the evening lantern glow, and the traditional ryokan, yukata add to much of the town’s antiquated atmosphere.

  • walk around the town in a yukata

Sights and sounds created by visitors dressed in yukata enhance the charm of Kinosaki Onsen. As they stroll through the streets you will hear the soft hollow “clop” of their wooden sandals or ‘geta.’ Since a large majority of the people in Kinosaki Onsen are dressed in yukata, you will feel as if you are walking through a living history book.

Where can I get a yukata?

Most ryokan and hotels in Kinosaki Onsen offer their guests a yukata to wear free of charge during their stay. These are usually simple yukata and are of a uniform color and pattern. Some also offer more colorful original yukata, although there may be an additional charge to use these and they may only be available for the ladies. Check with your accommodation for more details.

If you are simply visiting Kinosaki Onsen for the day and are not planning on staying in a ryokan or hotel but would still like to wear a yukata, there is a great yukata rental shop located in town. IROHA Yukata Shop and Rental offers a wide range of men’s and women’s yukata, as well as some for the kids. For a reasonable price you can rent a yukata for the day. rentals include yukata, geta (wooden sandals), obi (yukata sash), hair arrangement (for the ladies) and assistance putting on the yukata. You can also purchase an entire yukata set or parts of the set.

IROHA yukata rental and sales shop Kinosaki Onsen

How to put on a ryokan style yukata

Putting on a yukata for the first time might be a little tricky, so we have created illustrated step by step guides to help.

First we will show you how to put on a ryokan style yukata. These tend to be a simpler version of a "color yukata" or the yukata you would normally see at festivals in Japan. The obi or sash is also simpler and easier to tie.

  • yukata step 01

    1. Put on the yukata with undergarments worn below.

  • yukata step 02

    2. Wrap the right side of the yukata around to your left hip. Then wrap the left side over the right. Check the bottom of the yukata to make sure the lengths are even.

  • yukata step 03 tie the obi sash

    3. Holding the yukata closed, wrap the sash around yourself two to three times. Leave enough length to tie a bow.
    *Women: Tie the sash at your waist.
    *Men: Tie the sash at your hips.

  • yukata step 04

    4. Tie the sash into a bow. You can wear the bow in front of you or twist it to the back.

How to put on a "color yukata"

The "color yukata" tend to have more elaborate designs than the ryokan style yukata. They also require a few more steps than the ryokan yukata. Take a look below to see how to put one on and also how to tie the obi in a simple ribbon style bow.

  • yukata step 05

    1. Slip on the yukata and take the front of both sides. Pull the yukata out and up in front of you. The bottom of the yukata should be just above your ankles. *It is best to wear undergarments under the yukata.

  • yukata step 06

    2. Keeping the desired length, first wrap the right side of yukata around to your left hip. Then wrap the left side over the top of the right and to your right hip.

  • yukata step 07

    3. Holding the yukata closed, take the thinner cord and wrap it around your hips, securing the yukata closed. The excess fabric should hang over the cord. Check the bottom of the yukata to make sure the lengths are even.

  • yukata step 08

    4. Slip your hands through the slits in the yukata. These are where the sleeves meet the body of the yukata. Tighten the top of the yukata around your neck and chest from the inside. Tug the fabric that’s at your waist over the cord so that it lies flat. This will create a fold of fabric that hangs over the cord.

  • yukata step 09

    5. Take the sash (obi) and hold it up to your stomach. Take a short length of one end of the sash, about the length from your stomach to just over your shoulder, and fold that in half, leaving the remainder of the sash unfolded. Wrap the unfolded sash around your body, just above your waist.

  • yukata step 10

    6. Wrap it about 2 times around. Leave some length to make the bow. Tightly tie together the ends of the obi sash. Keep this in front.

  • yukata step 11

    7. Make an “accordion” fold with the longer end of the obi sash. Then grab and pinch it in the middle.

  • yukata step 12

    8. Holding the pinched obi sash against your stomach, wrap the other end of the obi sash around the center of the folded bow shaped fabric. Go over and down, then under and up.

  • yukata step 13

    9. Tuck the end under the obi sash that is wrapped around your stomach to hold the bow in place. If some of the obi sash sticks out, tuck it under the obi sash that’s wrapped around the waist.

  • yukata step 14

    10. Lastly, twist the bow into the back. Grab a bag and pair of geta (Japanese wooden sandals) from the front desk before you go out to complete the look.

Don’t be a victim to yukata fashion faux pas...

  • Yukata don'ts

    Do not cross the right side of the yukata above the left. This is how Japanese traditionally dress the dead in yukata.

  • Yukata don'ts

    Stay classy. Keep the top of the yukata tightly closed around your neck and chest.

  • Yukata don'ts

    Avoid embarrassing exposure. Keep the bottom of the yukata tightly wrapped. If it’s windy, keep one hand on your yukata’s opening.

  • There are businesses located throughout the town, about 30 in total, that will help you fix your yukata if it starts to lose its form while you walk around the town. Just look for this sign.

  • If you are borrowing a yukata from your ryokan or hotel, please leave your yukata in your room when you are ready to checkout.