Difference Between Kimono and Yukata

Kimono vs Yukata

Japan is a country that has many mesmerizing objects and traditions for the outsiders. While it is sushi that dominates all other dishes from Japan, especially in the west, Kimono tops the traditional costumes or dresses from Japan. In fact, Japanese men and women draped in robes called kimono can be seen all over the internet. There is another Japanese dress called Yukata that confuses people because of its similarities with Kimono. Both are robes that can be draped by the user in style to cover his entire body. However, there are differences between these two traditional Japanese dresses that will be enumerated in this article.


Kimono is perhaps the biggest symbol of Japan for a westerner. It is the most popular dress from Japan that the outside world has ever known. It is a robe like traditional dress that can be worn by both genders and people of all ages. The word actually means a thing to wear, but today it has come to represent a particular dress that is T-shaped and has long sleeves that very wide. The left portion is always wrapped around the right shoulder when wearing a kimono though the direction reverses when draping a dead man during burial. After wrapping the body, the robes are held in place with a string or another robe called obi. Usually obi is tied at the back, so it is not visible to people.

You may have seen large sized sumo wrestlers wearing kimonos before their duel, but mostly kimonos are worn by women in Japan. There are many different varieties of kimonos that are worn on different occasions, especially celebrations. There are still places in Japan where older women folks prefer to be draped in this traditional Japanese dress.


Yukata is a dress that resembles bathrobes used in the west. In fact, the word Yukata itself means bathrobe. It is a very comfortable dress that is made of cotton and is used for leisure wear or after a hot bath. In a way, it can be described a summer kimono as it is made of cotton. This is a dress that is worn by both men, as well as women. Sleeves of Yukata for women are longer than the sleeves for Yukata meant for men. While Yukata worn by young people are brightly colored and have floral prints, those worn by older people are generally dark colored and have sober designs. In ancient Japan, Yukata was mostly worn by the upper class rich people. However, the dress has become very common as a summer dress these days.

What is the difference between Kimono and Yukata?

• Yukata is a word that comes from yukatabira that literally means a bathing robe.

• Kimono is a traditional Japanese dress that is worn today by women on occasions.

• Kimonos are more expensive than Yukata that is made of dyed cotton mostly.

• Yukata was worn by nobility in earlier times, but it has become as a common summer dress in Japan these days.

• Kimono is more popular than Yukata.

• Kimono is made up of two words Ki and mono that mean a thing to wear but with the passage of time it has come to represent a particular style of dress.

• There are many varieties of Kimono while Yukata is rather simple.