9 Things To Wear On a Japanese Festival

4153 People Viewed - about 41 months ago Culture

It's common for the majority of attendees to wear traditional items on a festival in Japan.

Check out the 9 most-seen types of traditional clothing you'll see at a festival.

1. Yukata

Everyone Loves Yukata

Everyone loves wearing yukata to summer matsuri and fireworks festivals. 

Yukata are an inexpensive, informal traditional summer robes that looks something like kimono.

They can be worn roughly from March to September but look a little strange in the middle of winter. 

2. Happi

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Happi are a robe-like vest that are worn by festival teams. They are adorned with the symbol of a shrine, temple, school or organization.

Anyone wearing a happi is usually officially associated with the festival in some way. For example, mikoshi teams usually wear happi. 

3. Geta

Geta: Japanese Snow Sandals

Geta are Edo-era Japanese platform sandals.

They match yukata but are fairly dangerous to walk in unless you're accustomed to being elevated.

They also break sometimes. Nevertheless, they're commonly worn by both men and women to festivals. 

4. Zori

Zori: Formal Japanese Sandals

Zori are traditional Japanese sandals that are considered more formal than geta.

They're also more comfortable. 

5. Tabi

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Tabi are socks designed to fit Japanese geta and zori sandals. If you wear any socks to matsuri they'll likely be tabi. 

Matsuri aren't exactly formal. Most people wear sandals with bare feet. However, it's common for dance costumes to feature tabi socks. 

6. Jikatabi

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Jikatabi are a type of boot that has a separate big toe.

They are shaped like shoes historically worn by Samurai and farmers.

They are popular for festivals because they're a traditional shoe that's cheap and comfortable. 

7. Dance Costumes

Festival Fashions: 4 Things To Wear to Matsuri

Japanese dance festivals are usually competitions that are judged. One factor in the judging is usually costumes. 

Teams design their own costumes with the help of uniform companies.

There are thousands of dance competitions each year in Japan each with thousands of participants. Dance costumes are big business. 

8. Fundoshi

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It's common for mikoshi teams and anyone involved in a team feat of strength and endurance to wear fundoshi.

It's considered unusual to wear fundoshi by yourself, it's usually part of a team uniform.

Only men wear fundoshi to a festival. 

9. Kimono

17 Reasons To Wear a Kimono

Kimono are generally too formal for many festivals.

However, festivals that involve formal events such as tea ceremony may call for a kimono. 


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