It is almost impossible to walk down Tokyo’s summer festivals and not see Japanese people in their yukata, a traditional Japanese clothing for summer. Yukata is the more casual version of a kimono, made from cotton or synthetic fiber. It is made for all genders and ages. Not only is it perfect for personal wear during summer festivals, it is also a good choice for an unforgettable gift you might want to bring home. The prices of yukata range from cheap (around 4,000 yen) to expensive (around 150,000 yen), depending on the quality and, of course, where you buy it. If you are in need of buying one but do not want to break your bank account, consider these five places!
When you think of Japanese souvenirs, Asakusa is probably the first place that comes to mind. There are many shops selling Japanese souvenirs in Asakusa, including kimono and yukata shops, ranging from old to new ones. However, there is one recommended shop called Tansu-ya Kimono Recycle Shop, located in Shin Nakamise Dori, where you can buy recycled yukata. Tansu-ya is not only located in Asakusa, and you can find the information about their other stores on their website.
Price range: 3,000 yen to 6,000 yen
Ameya Yokocho is an open-air market located next to Ueno Station’s Central Exit, and it is one of the most visited markets by foreigners in Tokyo. Here, you can get a lot of merchandise, accessories, and even fresh foods and snacks. This is a good place if you want to go yukata hunting while enjoying various snacks. There are some yukata shops along the shopping road and prices usually start from 2,980 yen.
Price range: 3,000 yen to 5,000 yen
Starting late June or early July, you can find stands of yukata in all Don Quijote stores all over Japan. They do not only sell yukata sets but also summer clothing that might be interesting for you to pair with yukata, such as summer hats, colorful anti-UV umbrellas, and hair accessories. They have many options for the yukata sets: single yukata, yukata and obi set, and yukata with obi and geta (sandals) set. Cute Japanese handmade bags are also available starting from 3,000 yen.
Price range: 3,000 yen to 9,000 yen
One of the biggest clothing chain from Japan, UNIQLO also celebrates the season of summer festivals by selling yukata sets (with obi). They do not sell them every year, but this 2017, they have a limited number of yukata sets on sale for only 1,999 yen. Their yukata designs are modern and simple but are very eye-catching and fun. Children’s yukata are also available in some stores.
Price range: 2,000 yen to 6,000 yen
Tokyo offers various flea markets, especially on the weekend. Flea markets are also a good spot for yukata hunting. Some of the well-known flea market places include Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Yoyogi Park, and Shinagawa Station. You might find a seller with choices of vintage yukata (also with obi and geta) for less than 2,000 yen.
Price range: 1,000 yen to 3,000 yen
Other than the five places mentioned above, generally, all kimono stores in Japanese department stores, such as Takashimaya and Marui, have a big range of yukata available. Their yukata will be a little pricier, but the best thing about them is that shop assistants will help you in trying out some yukata sets and give their recommendation in choosing the perfect color and design.
You can also find some grocery stores like Ito Yokado selling yukata for a limited time during the summer season. Yukata is the perfect clothes for summer, and not to mention one of the easiest traditional Japanese clothing that you can easily put on yourself even if you are not Japanese!