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Can you wear a kimono as a tourist?

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Can you wear a kimono as a tourist? 2009/7/7 23:36
In november I'm finnally travelling to Japan. I've been fascinated by the country for many years.
Now I dream of wearing a kimono once in my life. Just because I think its really beatiful and feminine to wear to wear a kimono.
But my friend read in a guidebook that Japanese people think it's insulting that a tourist wears a kimono. (or a yukata)
What do Japanese people think of tourist who want to wear a kimono?
by Miellyn (guest)  

.... 2009/7/8 09:31
I am not Japanese, but... I don't think Japanese would find it insulting, as long as you wear it with respect, and in an appropriate manner.

Yukata, for instance, is akin to pyjamas, and is suited to lounging around the hot springs resort, or small backstreets around the resort - not traipsing down the main street of Tokyo - if you know what I mean.

If you do your research (on kimono) and how to wear it, and you know what you are talking about - I don't think anyone would find it offensive.

If you are running around laughing, with a beer in your hand, taking photographs and acting a buffoon while wearing one... you know what I mean.

Go for it. Enjoy it. Like you say, once in a lifetime...

by John (guest) rate this post as useful

different yukata 2009/7/8 09:38
John, what about the yukata that the girls wear to festivals in summer? They aren't only lounge wear, for women at least.

Miellyn, I believe your friend's guidebook is wrong- Japanese people don't mind seeing non-Japanese in kimonos at all. When I was in Kyoto in April I wore a kimono for the first time (after 11 years in Japan!), and I saw quite a number of tourists at shrines and temples in kimono. I have also seen plenty of foreigners in yukata at summer festivals.

Japanese people are not that intolerant- wear a kimono or yukata if you want to, don't worry!

by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

Apologies 2009/7/8 09:51
Sorry, I wasn't trying to cover every single scenario. As Sira says, there are exceptions.

I guess I was visualising the stereotypical disrespectful gaijin as I wrote my comment. All too often I see gaijin doing things that just make me cringe. Don't people have common sense anymore?? :)

by John (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/7/8 11:05
I recommend to overnight at a traditional ryokan at a traditional hot spring resort, where it is common for staying guests to walk around town in yukata and geta. My two top recommendations are Kusatsu (try a ryokan close to the yubatake) and Kinosaki:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7400.html
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3525.html

It is also possible and quite common on Miyajima in the evenings:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3401.html

by Uji rate this post as useful

yukata types 2009/7/8 11:14
Yukata, for instance, is akin to pyjamas, and is suited to lounging around the hot springs resort, or small backstreets around the resort - not traipsing down the main street of Tokyo - if you know what I mean.

To clarify, there are 2 types of yukata. The ryokan yukata, which is more akin to a bathrobe or pajamas, which are cotton with rather plain designs or hotel logos. Then there is the dressier and more colorful yukata seen during festivals and such, which is much more akin to a summer dress.

Miellyn,

It is possible to dress in Kimono while visiting Japan, but be aware that they are very expensive and it is probably best to rent one. You will also need someone to dress you. Also think about what you will do and where you will go, it is rather formal wear so why not wear it to some event or show.

Or take portraits. There are many studios, especially around gion in kyoto, where you can dress up as a maiko in full kimono and makeup and take pictures.

by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Viewpoint by a Japanese 2009/7/8 13:18
Miellyn, you don't need to worry about it. I think Japanese people in general are quite tolerant to foreigners' behaviors unless they obviously violate Japanese manners and rather feel happy to see foreigners showing their love or respect for Japanese traditional culture.

If you are running around laughing, with a beer in your hand, taking photographs and acting a buffoon while wearing one...

Even this would make me smile since I understand she's too happy and excited by wearing a kimono :)

And yet you will surely be given a lot of curious stares by people while walking in kimono around the town except Kyoto where, as Sira mentioned, local residents are very used to see foreigners in kimono.

What yllwsmrf said is almost right but let me add that as there are 2 types of yukata, there are also not very expensive, rather casual kimono.

by mm (guest) rate this post as useful

Thank you! 2009/7/8 15:39
I never thought there would be so many answers in one night :-)
Thank you very very much!

It was qiute a strange guide book my friend was reading. It even sead he couldn't wear a short. so we decided to ignore it, and just look at the pictures :-)

I think I will try it! I found a kind of workshop in Tokyo that gives a lot of information about how to wear a yukata, and how to paint the fabrics. I think it's really fascinating. You can also choose to take a yukata (not a kimono) home.
Idd once in a lifetime

by Miellyn (guest) rate this post as useful

get a summer yukata! 2009/7/8 20:47
OMG, are you kidding, everyone wears yukata in the summer to the festivals! Every year my japanese friends are so impressed that I make the effort to wear a nice yukata to the festivals. You can go to any big mall, (try DAIEI if you can find it) in the summer they have yukata shop and workers there that can tie the obi for you,etc.) Nobody will be offended, if anything, happy that you want to experience the culture. The kimono can be much more expensive, and in summer you dont want to wear the many layers. So..put that yukata on and have a great time!!!!!
by aya (guest) rate this post as useful

Yukata at fireworks display? 2009/7/13 04:54
Ok, so Japanese people will not be offended when seeing a foreigner in a yukata. But will they think it looks a bit silly? :)

I am thinking of wearing my yukata at the Sumida fireworks festival. Will people laugh and point fingers/stare, or will there be so many people in yukata at that kind of event so that nobody will notice a westerner wearing one?

by Sarah (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/7/13 06:42
Ok, so Japanese people will not be offended when seeing a foreigner in a yukata.

Of course not!

But will they think it looks a bit silly?

Only if you wear the yukata wrongly or wear a yukata of a wrong size.

by Uji rate this post as useful

no pointing and laughing 2009/7/13 08:22
No, they won't laugh and point fingers- when have you noticed adult Japanese behaving like that? They would not be so rude. They might have a second look and think "Oh, a foreigner wearing a yukata", but there is nothing negative about that.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks 2009/7/13 09:22
Thanks a lot for your help! I'll take my yukata and think no more of it. :)

And no, I didn't really literally mean that anyone would point fingers, sorry. But I was a bit worried that some people might stare or something like that.

by Sarah (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/7/13 11:05
People won't be offended but will smile for you. It is so nice to see people enjoying different cultures. The only time I humphed was when I saw Madonna wearing her costume kimono wrong way.:)
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Yukata 2009/7/13 13:56

I am thinking of wearing my yukata at the Sumida fireworks festival. Will people laugh and point fingers/stare, or will there be so many people in yukata at that kind of event so that nobody will notice a westerner wearing one?

I think you might be pleasantly surprised as the to numbers of foreigners wearing Yukata's at the fireworks.
You will not be alone. Have a great time =)
by Kevin (guest) rate this post as useful

Kimono in Kyoto 2009/10/3 03:57
This is very cheap at Kyoto
http://www.loje.jp/okiraku/index.html

3H 3.900yen
1D 7,700
2Days 10,000
with dressing

options
underclothes 500,bag 300-,simple hair dressing 500-,simple make-up 500-

by tacochu (guest) rate this post as useful

It is your vacation 2009/10/10 05:15
It is your vacation so do what you like. If you want to wear a kimono than do it. Some Japanese might not like it but that is OK. You will be respectful so do not worry just enjoy.
by ryokans rate this post as useful

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