We wear Yukata for the very first time
Summer comes when the Japanese people start talking about Yukata (浴衣). The traditional clothes made from colorful garment in summer has become a beauty of Japan which you cannot find nowhere else. We have never worn Yukata until last summer.
I and my friends had a trip to Kitsuki, an old village located in the south of Kunisaki peninsula, Japan on summer vacation. In this trip, we rent a car in Beppu city at a very inexpensive price (around 4000 yen/day) to move to Kitsuki. We thought it would be much convenience in transportation if we rent a private car. Our trip started from 9.30 am in Beppu and it took us around 2 hours to arrive in Kitsuki.
In Kitsuki, we heard a good news from the local people that if tourists dressed up in a Yukata, entrance fee to all tourist attractions would be free of charge and they also got some discounts in restaurants. Similar to Kimono, Yukata is the Japanese traditional clothes made from cotton without inner layer, usually worn in summer or ofuro bathing in the evening and kept it dressed when sleeping. It brought such enormous benefits to students like us because Kimono or Yukata rental fee in Kitsuki was much cheaper than in other places, around 3000 yen/pax with some accessories like hair clip, pouch bag, ... So we not only saved a lot of money from entrance tickets, meals but also dressed in beautiful outfits and took countless photos!
We visited a quite big clothes rental shop in the village. Just right after we entered the shop, we were dazzled by hundreds of colorful clothes arranged neatly on the shelves for both male and female. The old and young ladies in the shops assisted us to choose the most suitable clothes which best fit to body shape and helped us much in color schemes of clothes and obi belt. I was helped by an old lady who was still very healthy, humourous and had a very good sense of aesthetics. She chose a nice pinky orange Yukata for me and said it perfectly matched to my skin tone. After we was done picking clothes, the shop owner took us to the changing room and helped us wear it properly. This was the very first time I wore a Yukata so I felt strange a bit but the owner lady was so kind and patient to instruct and give me a hand to dress it nicely. Put on Japanese traditional clothes needs so much time and meticulousness. If you had a chance to see how those ladies shown great respect to every inch of the clothes or how they tied every strings and knots till it looked flawless, you would understand how they appreciate such a beauty of their culture. I did know that wearing Yukata was much easier than Kimono since we did not need to wear inner layer. However, Yukata was still so overcomplicated to such a novice like me.
We were also advised for hairstyling. We rent a pouch bag at a very cheap price, around 100 yen per item. So, the total expense for the whole experience of wearing Yukata in Kitsuki was approximately 3500 yen ~ 4000 yen/pax. The first steps when moving in Yukata was slightly difficult and awkward since the all the layers, strings and belt tightly wrapped around my body which made me hard to move around and feel so uncomfortable. But fortunately, I got used to this clothes after a few minutes and felt much better then.
The Japanese in general and the local people in Kitsuki village in particular all know how to indulge the tourists. Wandering around in Yukata in the summer while enjoying the beauty of this place is not only an interesting experience to the tourists but it also is a way to promote Japanese traditional culture to other countries. Kitsuki always reminds me of how happy and excited we were in our first time wearing a Yukata!
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