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The Best Festival Clothing for Summer in Japan

Marissa EllisMarissa Ellis
Published Time
Posted on August 30, 2023

Let’s talk about Japanese summer festival fashion, where festival clothing and accessories are a fun way to express yourself and enjoy the season! From elegant yukata to playful uchiwa fans, each piece tells a tale of history and the pure excitement of this summer activity. Get ready to immerse yourself in the colorful world of festivities!

What is Japanese summer festival clothing?

Happi: The best festival clothing for a team

Get ready to wear the “happi” est attire at Japanese summer festivals! Happi are loose, airy jackets with symbols on their sleeves and backs. The symbol is often tied to the festival’s name or theme. With their baggy sleeves, they’re the ultimate blend of comfort and style. Traditionally worn by specific groups like firefighters or trade workers, happi have transformed into a symbol of unity. 

Japanese people in festival clothing stand in a formation at a festival
People representing the same organization wear the same happi coats. Image via Shutterstock

Whether you’re part of a company, school, sports team, or university, slipping into a happi is excellent for building team spirit. Initially limited to a few shades of blue or black, this festival clothing now features a variety of colors thanks to anime and manga’s influence.

Yukata: Classic Japanese Festival Clothing

Get ready to unravel the wonderful world of yukata – the beloved summer attire for both men and women. These outfits are usually breathable cotton, like a summer canvas decorated with charming floral and grassy designs.

two girls wearing Japanese festival clothing smile at a summer festival
Strike a pose wearing yukata for summer festival pictures! Image via Shutterstock

Modern yukata have embraced the rainbow with bold, bright colors that radiate pure fun. While yukata and kimonos might appear similar, they aren’t cut from the same cloth. People choose to wear yukata during relaxed activities, especially in hot summers. On the other hand, people only wear their 12-layered kimonos for special occasions, such as traditional Shinto weddings. 

Many people pair them with matching purses and accessories. You can also conveniently place small items into the obi belt, which makes this iconic summer clothing extra useful! When it comes to festival outfit ideas, yukata are at the top of the list!

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Uchiwa: A Great Accessory for Festival Clothing

When you venture into summer festivals, remember to grab an uchiwa! This accessory becomes a must-have with its history, charm, and cool style. It blends tradition and modern fun, adding a unique touch to your festival experience. Uchiwa fans’ main job is to save you from the intense heat, but they’re also versatile and handy for summer.

Japanese woman holds an uchiwa fan dressed in festival clothing at a summer festival
Color-coordinating yukuta and uchiwa is never a bad idea! Image via Shutterstock

Do you want to spice up your summer outfit or protect yourself from pesky bugs? The uchiwa has you covered! In addition, these fans can spark up a fire for a summer barbecue, making it a summer festival essential.

Additionally, uchiwa are common at the legendary Bon Festival Dance, giving the dancers’ performers extra flair. When everyone in the dance crew brandishes the same fan, it’s not just about unity; it’s about owning the stage. 

And talk about crowd control – these fans double as timekeepers, ensuring the whole squad’s on the beat. So, when you hit those summer fests, grab an uchiwa! It’s the perfect item to to beat the summer heat and look awesome!

What shoes should I wear with Japanese festival clothing?

Get Some Geta!

Made from wood, geta shoes bring a touch of tradition and a hint of fashion to your festival outfit. They capture attention with their distinct charm. When paired with yukata, they make the perfect summer combination. They effortlessly blend comfort and traditional style. People also wear geta with Western clothing during those hot summer months. It’s common to see young people wearing geta with shorts, too!

Close up of two people wearing geta shoes with white and colorful socks respectively.
Geta are occasionally worn with white socks, but it’s okay to get colorful, too! Image via Shutterstock

They may seem uncomfortable at first, but there’s a trick to getting the most comfort out of geta! When worn correctly, your foot extends beyond the back edge. There should also be a slight gap between the strap and the skin webbing between your toes. This combination keeps you stable while providing amazing comfort!

But there’s more – their lifted design isn’t just about looks; it’s practical, too. These stylish shoes elevate your feet and keep them dry, even during summer rain. They’re the perfect choice for all-weather festivities!

Are masks a part of Japanese festival fashion?

A young woman is wearing a Japanese traditional kitsune mask at a shrine.
Traditional masks are a great way to stay festive! Image via Shutterstock

In the hot weather, festival-goers have a trick – they stylishly wear masks on the sides of their heads. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too. You stay cool while flaunting that festive vibe!

Japanese masks aren’t just fashion statements, but they’re also classics! Some wear them to connect to their ancestral roots. Others want to embrace the festive look, a colorful tribute to fun times.

A Dance Team Dances in Traditional Clothing at a Tokyo Matsuri
Whether you’re a part of a dance team or just enjoying the performance, festival clothing is a great option! Image via Shutterstock

So, let loose, dance like nobody’s watching, and celebrate with all your might. These aren’t just fabrics and accessories – they’re the connections to a season of togetherness and tradition. Japanese summer festivals aren’t just events; they’re awesome times for everyone! How do they compare to summer festivals in your country? Let us know in the comments below!

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