It’s time to bask in that heat and hit all the popular spots and events that Japan’s summer has to offer. What better way to do that than go in a cooling, classic yukata? The yukata is a variation of the kimono, a lighter summer version that still retains the elegance and distinguished look of the traditional Japanese garment. During this hot season, you’ll find many people in Tokyo wearing yukata to go to festivals or watch the fireworks. It’s become a special occasion, and you won’t want to miss out the opportunity to don one yourself in the summer!
If you don’t have a yukata of your own, we have you covered. There are plenty of shops in Tokyo where you can rent a yukata, and have experts put it on for you. Yukata are known for their beautiful designs; there is a dazzling array of patterns and colors for both males and females. For a reasonable price, you can choose your favorite and spend the day wearing the traditional Japanese experience on your own shoulders.
The first step is to choose a shop. Neighbourhood is an important consideration—the atmosphere differs from place to place, so it’s important to know your starting point.
Kimono Rental Shop Koto (Asakusa)
Asakusa is one of the most well-known traditional downtown neighborhoods, and home to everything traditional. With the famous Sensoji temple, old-fashioned streets and shop after shop of cultural treasures, you’ll feel like you’re walking back in time to the feudal era dressed in a yukata. Kimono Rental Shop Koto offers a one-day rental that includes the yukata and various accessories. It’s the quintessential experience you need to complete your summer experience in Japan, right at the center of a historical landmark.
Address: Daimoto Building 2F, 2-18-12 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan 111-0034
Official website: https://asakusa.kimono-koto.com/english.html
Kimono TOKYO (Harajuku)
Located right at the mouth of Harajuku station, this shop brings you to the heart of Japanese youth culture. Pop meets tradition in a unique marriage you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Visitors can choose from a wide range of cute and fashionable styles, with trendy hairstyles thrown into the bargain.
As expected of Tokyo’s cult fashion mecca, this shop has a rare offering of unconventional styles. From denim yukata to lolita style to straight-up gothic fashion, the shop promises to give you a kimono experience like no other. They even have a ninja costume option, where you can play the part of a ninja during the old Edo period and roam the streets that once belonged to them.
Address: 306 Shibuya Family Building, 1-19-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Official website: http://www.kimonotokyo.jp/en/
Kimono Rental VASARA (Ginza)
Have you ever heard the phrase gin-bura (銀ぶら)? It’s a colloquial term that originated from the Taisho era, referring to the act of strolling around Ginza. Since the last century Ginza has been distinguished as an upscale district in Tokyo, where it was considered fashionable to be seen walking the streets. Decades later its image of prestige still remains, so taking a stroll here is still a popular pastime. Now you can wear a yukata to gin-bura, and elevate your experience into an extra special one.
Ginza may be known for being upmarket, but Kimono Rental VASARA offers reasonable packages to let you walk in style without breaking the bank (save it for the shopping). With varying price ranges and couple packages, you’re sure to find the perfect plan to gin-bura.
Address: Keitoku Building 3F, 3-3-14 Ginza, Chūo-ku, Tokyo
Official website: https://en.vasara-h.co.jp/
Aki Kimono Rental (Shibuya)
Shibuya is surging with bright lights and busy intersections, but that’s not to say you can’t bring the flavor of traditional Japan into it. Head into the metropolitan area decked out in a fine yukata, professionally put on by Aki Kimono Rental. The rental chain prides itself in its extensive services that not only allow you to rent a yukata, but also participate in a tea ceremony or sushi lunch to get the most out of your yukata wearing. They also offer professional photography services, bringing you to Japanese gardens and houses to fully immerse yourself into beautiful scenery befitting of your garments.
Address: Maruyamacho 15-14, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0044
Official website: https://kr-aki.co.jp/user_data/english
So once you’re nicely fitted into your yukata, where to next? After exploring the neighbourhood and taking pictures, you might want to venture further out and find a festival or two. During this time of the year there are many summer festivals being held around Tokyo, where people gather among stalls of street food and traditional games. It’s a pleasantly bustling crowd, where spirits are high and time is endless. On some weekends the sky will burst into a dazzling display of fireworks, above crowds of people gazing up at the thrilling show.
Yukata is just one part of the picture that paints the perfect Japanese summer, but it’s not something to be missed if you’re in town for the holidays!
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