In the summer season one of the unique experiences you can try when you are in Japan, is to wear a yukata. The yukata is the summer version of the kimono. It’s made of cotton, more casual and more “fresh”.
Aki’s Home Visit
Aki’s Home Visit is a service offered by my Japanese friend Akiko. The house is located in the city of Kasugai. It takes a half hour by train from Nagoya Station.
Aki’s Home Visit, mainly offers Japanese cooking classes for foreigners, in English. It also offers tea ceremony classes and, this year, she has started with the yukata workshops. Her objective is to spread the culture to foreigners so that all can share a passion for Japanese culture, food and customs.
About the yukata
Yukata literally means “bathing wear”, and originally it was the wear that was used after bathing in the onsen (baths of natural thermal waters), working as clothing to cover the body quickly and absorb the moisture. In fact, the yukata is a clothing that is used when you are staying in a Ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel).
Over time it has gained so much popularity that it has become a way of dressing for summer festivals, fireworks and other outdoor events during summer.
The men’s yukata generally has darker or more subdued colors, while young women’s yukata are usually bright and colorful, with floral designs, buttelflies, etc … The yukata for mature women tend to be less striking.
Learning how to wear the yukata
The workshop to learn how to dress the yukata is open to anyone who wants to learn the correct way to dress the yukata and the different knots of Obi (belt). If you have your own yukata, bring it! If you do not have it, Akiko prepares you several sets, so you can choose the most what you like. The yukata workshop is aimed especially for beginners, both women and men.
Each session, lasts about 3 hours, during which Akiko teaches you in detail how to dress completely the yukata. The only thing you need to have prepared in advance is what you will wear as underwear, a sport bra or tank top and shorts. You will also need about 3 or four small hand towels that will be used to correct the shape of your body.
Once you choose your yukata, Akiko begins the lesson.
First, she shows you the correct way to put on a yukata.
After that, the obi (belt). This is the most complicated part of dressing the yukata, so Akiko explains it step by step.
Once the obi knot is achieved, the final touches are made so that the yukata looks perfect.
Finally, the hair. The hair has to be collected in a bun or a simple ponytail.
Ready for a walk?
With Akiko. Observe the surroundings, take photos, enjoy the experience of wearing the yukata. Ah, to go out with the yukata you will also need some sandals. The typical shoes are the geta, but if you do not have, some sandals will be perfect.
As I said before, for the workshop you need to bring your underwear and some towels with you.
If it’s the first time, you may notice how the obi is quite tight. Do not worry, that feeling usually happens at the beginning, but you get used to it, believe me. Well, I do not want to tell you more details, what if you experience it for yourself?
From Nagoya Station, take the JR train line to Kouzouji, Tajimi, Mizunami, or Nakatsugawa. Get off at Kachigawa station. Take the south exit and Akiko will pick you up by car.
1-31-2 Choda-machi, Kasugai, Aichi
Check on the website