How to Put on a Japanese “Yukata”


Accommodations in Japan generally include a yukata (Japanese Cotton Robe) for you to wear around the ryokan, outside for an evening stroll or as PJ’s. If you decide to wear your yukata outside then we recommend you borrow a pair of geta (wooden shoes) to complete your look. If it is cool outside there will also be tanzen which is a short jacket.

When you go for your evening Japanese bath you should also bring your yukata to change into. Personally, I like to take a bath before dinner and then wear my yukata while eating. It just makes me feel more Japanese and more connected to the culture. Putting a yukata on is easy but you do have to be careful about one point. First, put the right side flap in and then the left as shown below. Doing it the other way is reserved for the deceased (i.e. not you). If you put it on the wrong way that is OK but a Japanese person might walk up to you and fix it. If this happens just smile and make a friend. Remember you are in Japan for new experiences.

First, pull the right main section of the yukata around the body. This is important as doing it the other way is only for the deceased.


Place the left main section over the right one, pulling it snugly but comfortably around you.


Wrap the sash around the waist.


Tie the sash in a bow just off to the center of the body.


The yukata can be worn both inside and outside the ryokan. When walking outside, Japanese “geta” (wooden sandals) will be provided for you.

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