What Is The Difference Between Kimono And Yukata?

When talking about Japanese culture, most people often think of Kimono and Yukata, the traditional garments that have been famous around the world with their charming style, beauty and traditional aesthetic. However, not many people know the actual difference between Kimono and Yukata. So in this blog, we will help you know how to recognize the two with ease. Let’s check it out!

The Difference Between Kimono And Yukata

1. The Fabric

The main difference between Kimono and Yukata is their fabric. Kimono dress usually comes in silk fabric, silk is traditionally a more luxurious fabric and reflects the aesthetics of the Kimono. On the contrary, Yukata comes in polyester or cotton, this makes Yukata is less expensive than Kimono and also cooler to wear in the summertime.

difference between Kimono and Yukata

The main difference between Kimono and Yukata is their fabric

2. Occasions

Another difference between Kimono and Yukata is they are worn for different occasions. Japanese people often wear Yukata in summer to attend fireworks or matsuri or other summer festivals. Yukata is also worn as bathrobe in places such as Hot Springs. On the other hand, Kimono is commonly worn for more formal occasions like in graduation from high school or first prayer of the new year or wedding.

difference between kimono and yukata

Kimono is used on special occasions like graduation ceremony


3. Sleeves

There is also a big difference between Kimono and Yukata in terms of sleeves. The sleeves of the Kimono are made based on many factors such as marital status, age and the importance of the event you are attending. Furisode Kimono is the Kimono having the longest sleeves. This type of Kimono with the long sleeves touching the ground is worn by unmarried young women only. This helps Japanese men in knowing which women were available to marriage, though today not everyone knows about this fact. Besides, there are also many Kimono types that have medium length sleeves. In contrast, the sleeves of the Yukata are never longer than 50 cm, so they won’t touch the ground ever.

4. Composition

When wearing Kimono, we have to wear a lining underneath the patterned silk layer. However, with Yukata we never need this lining as Yukata is worn in summer and the use of a lining would make us feel too hot. Kimono also has more aspects than just the lining and patterned silk.

5. Socks

White socks are a compulsory accessory while wearing Kimono. It means that unique shoes, like geta or zori, will have to be worn with Kimono dress. On the other hand, it is not compulsory to wear white socks with Yukata dress.

kimono vs yukata

A group of young people wearing Yukata at a summer festival

6. Collars

Another difference between Kimono and Yukata is their collars. While Kimono has at least 2 collars (one sitting close to the neck, and the other one located a little lower), Yukata has only one collar.

7. Season

As Yukata is made with only one layer, it cannot be used in winter. In comparison, Kimono comes with many types of accessory so Kimono can be suitable for all the seasons, for instance, a fur shawl for the winter. So if you see someone wearing a garment in winter and are not sure whether it is Kimono or Yukata, it is surely Kimono.

difference between kimono vs yukata

Kimono is still suitable to be used in snowstorm

8. Price

Kimono is worn by both women and men. In contrast, Yukata is worn more by women than men. In terms of price, Kimono is more expensive than Yukata as Kimono is made from more luxurious materials and requires more time to make.

Watch the video below to learn more about “Kimono vs Yukata” :

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can A Foreigner Wear Yukata?

Yes, it is truly fine. Japanese people mostly welcome foreigner wearing Kimono or Yukata. During the summer, you can see there are many non-Japanese local wearing Yukata. And there are also many Kimono stores and photo studios where you can try wearing Yukata or Kimono in Japan for visitors or foreigners.

2. Do Japanese Still Wear Kimonos?

At present days, Kimono is often used by women, especially on some formal occasions like wedding, festivals or graduation ceremony. Some older women and even fewer men still use Kimono on a regular basis. Men often wear Kimono on very special occasions like tea ceremonies, weddings or other very formal occasions.

Hopefully, after reading our blog, you will learn how to recognize Kimono vs Yukata easily. If you have any question related to Kimono vs Yukata as well as the difference between them, feel free to leave a comment below and then we will discuss further. And if you want to learn more location guides, keep following us to get more useful travel tips and guides updated everyday.

Thanks and see you in our next blog!

About Hayami Mori

Hayami Mori is an awesome travel blogger & photographer. She was born and raised in Tokyo and have been here for nearly 25 years. She loves traveling and always wants to introduce her beautiful Japan to travelers from all over the world. Therefore, her blog is a great source of information for people looking for what to do in Japan as well as provides some tips to make their trips unforgettable.